The Secret Me

There’s a bit in the film Titanic where the old lady version of Rose says “a woman’s heart is an ocean of secrets”. At least I think she did. It has been a long time since I saw that movie.

I’ve always gone with that idea though.

There are so many daily miseries, joys and hopes that swim around in a human heart. Most of them we cannot always voice or express to those around us. I guess the driving factor behind that is very simply fear. That fear of being honest and saying how you feel about stuff and people and what the consequences of that honesty may reveal.

I suppose I fear that too. I’m not necessarily afraid of talking to people about my feelings and that big vat of bubbling, swirling emotion in my heart – more admitting things to myself.

Sometimes I find it quite purifying to admit things to myself and then get the hell on with life in general for a bit, until I need to do it again.

I do not talk to people about how I feel about everyone and everything, although I used to be a very open book when I was young. Now, I play my feelings so close, that I can bottle things up and keep things only to myself.

It is not that I don’t believe people would keep my secrets, but because… I don’t know… I think I have to perhaps always be an entity known better by just myself.

I mystify my husband on a regular basis and he is often perplexed and at times lost by the fact I can and do keep things inside. He understands me better than anyone alive and is my best friend, yet there are times when he doesn’t get me. This doesn’t upset him (unless he’s concerned; of course), as he knows that I will always try to be honest with him and I do of course, love him.

I can’t describe it sometimes, about how I need to keep things inside of me. The best analogy I can think of comes from my favourite novel, Jane Eyre.  Jane is asked to be the only teacher of a tiny girls school in a little, bucolic village. From the outset it is made plain to her that she will only be teaching the basics: reading, writing, sewing and other very limited yet practical things. Jane has a spectrum of educational accomplishments – she can play the piano, speak fluent French and can paint wonderfully, to name but a few of her skills. When the local Vicar asks her what she will do with all of her accomplishments, seeing as they will not be needed in her new situation, she simply reassures him that she will store them away inside herself until they are needed.

That is a bit like me and my heart. The things I don’t show or admit to or talk about are simply stored away inside my being, awaiting one day to be released. This might be via talking, should I ever need to, or even through my writing. I feel like they are tomes kept in an archive and although I visit that archive every single day and thumb through their pages; it is within the archive they shall remain.

I’m kinda okay with that too.

Cat x

Poem: Crying Without Sound

By the time she was nine
She had perfected the art
Of crying without sound.

It’s all in the breathing
At first it’s hard to
control
yourself but you slow
Right
Down.
When she was six
She was happy in her ignorance of
Life
Her noiseless shudders helped her
Out loads and
She coped
By
Re

Treating
Into herself.

February 2004

Looks Like We Made It

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Twelve years ago today, a boy sat on a worn green bench in a bar and turned to the girl with a broken heart sat next to him.

He promptly snogged her face off.

Without warning and without preamble, he just got stuck in.

The girl had wanted him to, but at the same time wished he hadn’t. The girl was heartbroken – convinced that the only lips that would ever touch hers ever again, would have been the boy who had broken her heart just over a month before.

So, she took a chance.

She quickly decided to put aside her misery and her despair and just abandon herself to the possibility of joy and of love. Her charred soul needed a balm and in the kind, warm and beautiful soul of the boy who had just kissed her, she knew she could find renewal.

The pain was still inside her, despite how her head swam and her legs jellified with the kiss. Yet, it numbed it all somehow. It swept it aside, tucked it up into a neat pile with a post-it left idly on it with the scribble “To Do” stuck on.

He put his huge, heavy and reassuring arm around her shoulders and picked up his pint of bitter. A Yorkshireman through and through. Got me bird and me beer. Sorted.

It meant so much for her though. So, so much more.

She had not experienced gentleness and kindness, genuinely meant. For her, it was diving into a beautiful, mysterious pool from the top of a mountain. She was plunging down into the cool, clear depths not knowing if she’d survive it – and she loved it.

~

A boy sat next to a girl in a bar twelve years ago today and without knowing it, they were to change each other’s lives completely and unrecognisably. Without knowing, they were weaving around each other as vines would. Mingling and wrapping their delicate leaves and their strong branches around one another to make an entity so resilient, it could and would survive any storm.

But twelve years ago today, they were just a boy and a girl, at the start of their lives, cuddling up in a bar. Daring to dream of what could lie ahead of them, if they decided to travel together in life.

What a beautiful world it looked to be and what a beautiful world it became…

And the girl loved the boy even more than life.

And the boy loved the girl, so he made her his wife.

2003

2003

2015

2015

Short Story: Hush Now

Warning: the theme and subject matter of this story may not be suitable for younger readers. Thank you.

She was sitting behind a pile of books on early Romantic poetry, like a child in a fort. Other students milled about all quiet words and restrained giggles. It was programmed into all students – you obey the rules in the library.

Just like her.

He was sat next to her, a frown etched on his wide brow, black hair falling down in jagged points.

She opened her mouth with innocent words, meaningless words, mundane words. What shall we have for tea tonight? Did you phone your Dad back? Any more thoughts on getting a job or pressing for you loan? When is your next lecture?

Pow

The crack. The angry physical jab that raged a thousand screaming, rotting, angry words at her.

His fist had connected sharply with her upper left arm. So quick and hard an impact that she could have mistaken it for a heavy book falling and hitting her instead of his knuckles.

What had she said this time that meant she required punishment?

She hadn’t murdered anyone. She wasn’t stood there like some cheap fish-wife, screaming abuse in his face. She wasn’t cheating on him. She wasn’t… doing anything wrong. But these were the latter days. She was so conditioned in accepting the blame now.

Whatever those everyday, innoccus words had been that it meant she was thumped for them, were now very much forgotten. The familiar hum of the start of another painful bruise throbbed down her arm.

He grimaced at her, his “look what you made me do” face on.

Rising calmly to his feet, he left her sitting there as he stalked off out of the building, raging to remember what she had said.

She had perfected the art of crying without sound, though. She dabbed at the tears streaking from her eyes – the ever present waterfall of pain that was now her life.

Be silent. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Shhh.

Why did she stay? Why did she put up with him? Why didn’t she bring down the heavy cleaver of ‘No More’ as she’d planned to at Christmas? Why wasn’t she strong enough? Brave enough…

Because she loved him unconditionally. She didn’t choose to give him her heart when she was just fifteen years old – so long ago now; he greedily snatched it up and held it hostage all the while, abusing it and taking it for granted at every turn.

She rubbed at her arm futilely, grateful for the long sleeved top she wore. Of course, she wore those types of tops more and more these days. He preferred them too. She had to cover up to prove she wasn’t the dirty little slag he kept telling her she was.

This was now her fate and she got on with it, wishing the prison her heart was being kept in would fall down so she could be free. The pain of being with him wasn’t comparable to the pain of being without him. Yet.

Life without him? She’d never seen it before. She had no idea what it looked like… she’d literally known him forever and the idea of no him… it terrified her.

People will notice, calm your breaths. That’s it. Look at a book, turn your face away. Hush now.

She felt guilty for everything. Now she was feeling guilty at potentially upsetting others with her silent sobs.

Stop trembling, they’ll see. No one can ever see this.

She could deal with the tantrums and the abuse for now. At least, that was the ragged old tale she sold herself each day. She lived in fear too much and for too long, making her feel like a gnarled up rope about to break. The pain of staying, the pain of going… it tore into the sinews of her soul like a ravenous bird of prey tearing at a long awaited meal.

Be strong… Hush now…

Poem: Healing

Healing

The soothing strangeness of feeling

The silken notion of healing

Pouring deftly into a charred soul

Renewal of light, no night like coal.

 

Quieted symphony

Joy and harmony

 

And

No more you

Can’t hurt me now

The scar is healing

 

Warming replenishment from biting cold

Bring in the new world; extinguish the old

I have a future I can touch

Your cruelty now won’t hurt me much

A mistake I can now rectify

I the one you wanted to crucify

 

Stillness of heart

Now we’re apart

I’m healing without you here

No more living in fear.

 

And

No more you

I can breathe clean air now

Confinement has dissipated

 

Spread my arms and am free

The way I always wanted to be

 

Sceptical, told new love was a healer

Now I’m a disciple and a believer.

 

24 February 2004

 

Just a jumble of words that made sense at the time for me. I just wanted to take a bit of a sigh, poetically, to celebrate the freedom I had to live in a better, happier situation than the one I had been in.

Open to interpretation, make of it as you will.

Cat x

 

Happy Voting

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The UK general election marches onwards towards its end date and the streets are alive with colourful Party banners, shouting out slogans and dripping with promises.

Insincere smiles beam out at you from uncomfortable looking people in suits.

Loud halers squawk from slow passing cars and vans, all bedecked in logo’s and swathed in affiliation colours.

It reminds me of the first time I voted.

It was the first summer after I turned 18 and I was a fickle voter. By that I mean, I had no political inclinations or passions. I was a live-and-let-live sort of a girl.

I loved the part of my home town that I came from, but as to the management of it and other such things? They were not necessarily what wason my mind. Generally, passing my A-Levels, getting into Uni and being with the boy I was dating were vastly more interesting to me. Oh, how times have change and how I have changed.

So, how did I vote? I voted Liberal Democrat. Why? Because the candidate was someone I had known all my life and, more importantly, she was the mother of my boyfriend.

Did I even care if she was good at the job? No. I had no idea at all if she was good at it – besides, I didn’t even really know or care about what the job in question was meant to be.

I even gave out leaflets for her campaign, again, because it meant I could tag along like the teenage love puppy I was, with my boyfriend.

Off I went to vote in the local community centre and popped my ‘x’ in the box for my boyfriend’s Mum, not caring about what that tick meant.

I think it was because I didn’t care about my community or country in the same way I do now, as a grown woman with lots of life-experience under my belt.

Now, that was the first and last time I voted Liberal Democrat. Since then, I have voted Labour, Conservative and occasionally, for an independent candidate. I’ve never voted outside of that.

I look more at policies and track record and how the things they promise will impact on me and my family personally. I work and have kids, so the decisions these people make affect everything from the healthcare we get to how much it costs me to put petrol in my car and how much money is in my wages. Important stuff.

At the age of 18, I was just a green, sparkly girl with not a care in the world. Now, I’m a world-weary, cynical and pragmatic woman.

Obviously, I’m not going to go into who is getting my vote, because I think that should be kept to oneself unless one wishes to influence others – which I don’t.

Happy voting,

 

Cat x

100 Objects Project #14: Quirky Dancing Couple Figurine

Quirky Dancing Figures

Quirky Dancing Figures

A mutual mate from Uni, named Kat, bought us this when we got married.

Whenever I look at this object, I think of Kat. It is fun and quirky, just like her.

Basically, Kat is an entire party trapped inside a person. She is delightful, beautifully crazy and stupidly wonderful and clever.

Kat is a particularly talented person who is a qualified teacher, drama teacher and crafter (she has a store in Fleetwood market).

I always smile when I see this little statue smiling at me with warmth and barely contained glee, as if the little figures where frozen in a moment of fun and joy.