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Furniture for Enormous Rooms
by Abigail George
2015-12-27 11:36:10
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I have no wish to be a medical anomaly but I am.

Everything in the media today is charged with emotion, materialism, the haves and have-nots. Is post-apartheid all there is to it? The struggle legacy of South Africa, the liberation, apartheid. Of course there is tension. Observation, and surface tension. And my life? What of it?

That is how I came into this world. That is how I will leave it. Whenever I go to the sea, I try not to feel deleted, or erased, secretly evaporated from this planet. Not yet anyway. I have my stories. I have my lined up dominoes in a row. All my ghost stories. I put them lovingly into boxes using memory work, innocence and fury. I put a spell on them with my incense stick. Pandora’s Boxes.

abi01_400_02To get to them I have a code. Secret codes sewn into sides like braille. I am calm, peaceful and collected. I have to be. Some people may call me young. Some people may call me ‘girl’. Some people may call me old. All I see is the doctor's with their cute personality, their dreamy eyes writing me out a long prescription. I do not know what to feel anymore. I am alive that is what counts, right.

I cannot fall into the trap of feeling it break the loopholes of my heart or my spirit. I cannot wish it away. It is here to say. The illness. The renal impairment. They have another word for it. Chronic kidney disease. I am just another walking, talking disease. I will never get tired of angels though. The angels that hover. First, there are the angels. They are angels in their tunics.

They come to shoot down medical history and make as if you are a medical anomaly. You are going to make it and they bash their Bible. Say a few hallelujahs. Talk to the doctors as if they are someone important too in your life. Showing up in the shadows when you least expect it. I can only be the best I can be and not let it break me. I see roses in the rain. The passion of the imaginative coming together with the chaos in this world.

I see all of us juggling history and our perspective of reality. We are all swift, aware of our self-worth and dazzling. We shine as bright as candles. We are moths drawn to the flame of another's trapeze. The future is in the art objects of our hands. We can hurt each other bad but as time goes on, we discover beauty in our tears, in the measure of loss that we made stone gods of in the past.

For the most part our language is empty space. Enough empty space to furnish a room with and that is why we need personal space. To remind us that we have thrones. That we have been through those wars. I watch them write out the prescriptions with their fingernails that look manicured thinking to myself that when I was a young girl I expected paradise when I closed my eyes.

Life gets so heavy especially when it is a waterfall. I must learn how to fly now. Spread my wings and surrender myself even to the wet green of where the ocean meets the blue skies stormy bits. Where the river meets shark teeth and the velvet intimacy of the waters. I dream up worlds with my fingers and my hair. Most days I listen to the blue slates of stormy skies, summer's end and the autumn chill that is always on my mind.

Keep me safe. I will go underground with you. I will defy gravity with you. That is the kind of person, no wait that is the kind of woman I am. This is how I begin each day. With hope and prayer and Coldplay playing in the background. Once in childhood every fall was kind of waterfall. The symphony said bough down, so that is what I did. Feeling the cold, feeling a kind of winter that did not want to let go of me, my limbs began to hurt like feeling an echo in the paradise of heaven.

In the end, that is where I landed up. Heaven as account of my good deeds. I would go on marking my good deeds, making my mark in concrete. Stop using your heart as a weapon for war, my mother said. I should have listened to her. Fear told me. We sing ‘Happy birthday’. It does not mean anything to us yet here we are singing our hearts out. I kiss the smooth apple of the baby’s cheek. He smiles at me.  Does not know where we are going. I want him to stay. I want him to stay with me but I did not carry him in my womb for nine months. He belongs to another. I still feel I owe him an explanation.

Then there is the kitchen genie. The genie’s shark teeth knocking on the old world with a great appetite. Fire ancient under unbuttoned starlight. Heaven’s tongue. Naming sunlight. The open window sings. The dark leaf settles. I study their cartilage on the evening kitchen table. Precious celery stems. Land of thirst. Putting new experiences in boxes this parched summer.

Silent comrades. For poets that I love. Restless infringing. The soup’s salute. Tangled hair. Tangled fringe benefit. The shoreline stops there. Underneath the lampshade there is a monster season of lightning. A thunderstorm. A floral mouth. Mum feeds the spirited baby. He is a poem beneath this hot climate. A fork makes an excavation in her garden. The oven is on grill. I watch her put on her mascara as if she is going out on a date. I have fish fingers and hot tea for breakfast amongst an absent-minded storm. There is a chill in the air. A birthday sunset. Lonely rain. Hours land in a flurry.

I wonder what the colour of laughter is to an artist. The protective shield of a child’s innocence. The intellectual capacity of Alice Munro, Anne Sexton, Emily Dickinson, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Susan Sontag, a princess, a prince, and a scholar of trivia. Do we all follow the golden rules of the power book?

I think of the bride standing in the church before she gets married. Before she sees her bridegroom for the first time. I think of the arguments my parents had in front of us, and I seem to withdraw from that world again. I think my mother had all the power. She still does. I had mouse feet. Mouse hair. I could not move. I could not think. In the end we are still flesh and blood. Widespread texts of flesh and blood. Me, and my competitive, tribal siblings.

I am left thinking of baked beans on toast, French toast, breakfasts made of marmalade, and honey, molasses, sticky fingers caught in the biscuit tin, the peanut butter jar, the spiritual classics that J.D. Salinger wrote, the history of water, the psychologist elsewhere but not the real now, and here. It, like most of everything in my life so far has been a show. There is a psychiatrist in the show.

I have not yet begun to write about love. About the passion of being a mother. About unfinished things every one of them. You see I have not returned from the wilderness yet. The patterns of history. Those dead things have interrupted my life’s work. It comes from childhood, from youth. A nation’s enthusiasm for armies built with guns, armour, and ammunition on my back, and child soldiers. The dream-keeper’s angelic cousin’s romanticism. I am getting around to getting older.

Distance has begun to grow around us. She is the one who has led a sheltered life. A monogamous life and how strange that life must have been. A burned, empty, vacant soul spirited her away from me. Buried a secret life, a bitter life not like a man. A man always lives an exciting life because these are exciting times we’re living in. He leaves his wife behind at home refusing to be told what to do all the time. His goals come first. She is perfect. She must be perfect. She must have the perfect mouth. Her smile must be pasted on perfectly. Perfect bird with broken wing. Perfect, lovely one. Spirituality keeps her going like a cuckoo clock.

When God met Sarah my grandmother I could hardly breathe because I was so sad, a child.

There was just a gnawing need to escape the innermost reality. Is it a mistake to long for a mother – that flame? The flame of the mother’s love-light. I watched my brother and felt the texture of a killing. I told myself to freeze. To seize life and to grab a hold of it. A life in which I searched for the depth of things. I watched a boy and a girl become a man and a woman. They brought a child into this world. Music became like water.

It had its own confessional weight. Purpose and motherhood comes with great sacrifice. I hate this blue. The colour of the sky today. It is a pale white like snow descending or the white hair of the elderly (what else is white, what else is depressing and cannot nurture, cannot speak, cannot speak truth). Wet paint, paper, pills (capsules of truth, knowledge), sweet powder, all come with power, plates, that can be shattered. Teacups that must stand for years behind glass. A family’s crockery, horses, unicorns, tiaras, diamonds, and sometimes people too.

Abigail George has a new book in the Ovi Bookshelves,
"Brother Wolf and Sister Wren"
Download for FREE HERE!


In the same shelves you wil also find one more book from Abigail George
"All about my mother"



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