Spider Silk


It wasn’t there any longer. The golden spider silk cloak had gone back to Madagascar. It was amazing, the man at V&A information desk told me, amazing. Yes. I am sure it is. And those giant puppets in Liverpool. I want to see these things. I want to be in there presence. Does the paranormal exist asks a questionnaire? Oh, yes. Life is beyond normal, beyond ordinary. See the wonders. Such wonders. The tiny and the massive. Life explodes with sensation.

London was fun. I felt alive. So much to absorb. The sun shone. The sounds, smells, sights all exaggerated. Coffee in the Monmouth Coffee House. I rush to stand, to place myself in my favourite haunts. To find myself there. To be there. It is enough, that revisiting.

Back home I walk to the sea. Early. I heard snoring. He was lying on the first tier of the scaffolding around Alexandra Hall, wrapped in some lagging. A group of kids were shouting by the pier. One shouts a greeting at me. I smile. I wanted the peace. But that is OK. The birds shout too. The oystercatchers peep, the seagulls screech. The water though was still. A lapping quiet. It is good to be home. To be with my work. Useful. But I miss. I miss that aliveness. I miss my aliveness. All that possibility making me feel beautiful.


Man in the maze

Only Connect (1) May 2012 - an

I saw him from North Road. A young man sitting in the middle of the maze. A miniature maze made from roped fences, not bushes. He was sitting on the circular seat in the centre. It was 5.45am. His body kept slipping forward, trying to succumb to sleep.

My dreams have been vivid. Is it the heat? Or the supermoon, perhaps? What did I dream off? A butterfly trapped in an inner chamber of a inn. I closed the door knowing that at any moment this fragile creature would set off the burglar alarm. In another I had been asked to play the part of Jesus. It was to be performed outside and I remember standing on the cross, looking down, crucified. Then there was a loss of a child. Last night I dreamt I had begun to menstruate again. I was both alarmed and excited. New possibilities for birth. For a child.

The radio is my delight. The radio fills my day and my thoughts – weaving magic. A series of interviews with war widows yesterday. Such stories. Heartrending. In Afghanistan they have to chose between marrying again into their husband’s family or out of it. If out they will lose their children. All we ask is to be free, they say. Free. Freedom.

You won’t see me for two weeks now, he says. Oh, I say. Are you going away? No, but at least I won’t have to come in here, he says. A cheerful man. A contented man. I miss him in the mornings. He showed me his coins the other week. So proud. This one’s gold, he said. Solid gold.



drawings from spoleto - Sculpture 2007

I found it on the beach. A porpoise. Dead. A deep red liquid oozing from its head. Rooks bobbed around it. Flies buzzed. How did it die? A large plastic bottle of water lay on the sand next to it. I was overwhelmed by sadness. It didn’t belong there, beached, exposed and alone. The day before we’d watched the dolphins. Such vitality, such rolling joyous-ness stopped. I touched it. I wanted to wake it, carry it back to the waves. Dead. Gone. Later it was gone. Who took it? Was it the sea?

It’s life this death. I force talk about moving. He closes down. I close down. An ocean between us. What do I want? I just don’t know. I make a return journey to childhood things. Will it help me know? I read Wind in the Willows both wanting to escape what they are. A bedtime story plays in my ipod about the mouse who heard the roaring. She had to go out and find the source. Even though it was dangerous and uncertain. She encounters a land where old mice live comfortably and safe. Stay here, they say, stay here with us, we’ll keep you safe. No, she replies, I must keep moving and find what it is I am looking for. She finally sees it, that shining hill.

‘Save my life’ say Mary Oliver’s voices all the while knowing as she knows, that the only life she can save is her own. Just last night, I dreamt of the shining hill. Nice.

A man sitting on a bench at 5.30am. A brutish-looking man. Tattooed. Do you live here? he asks. Yes, I reply. Was it worth it? he asks. Yes, I reply, without thinking, knee-jerk, anxious to keep moving, to walk on, it’s lovely.

Worth what? I think afterwards. Worth what?


La Vie en Rose

2012-07-24 20.24.18

Edith Piaf. Fiercely loving, wildly living, hurtling toward disaster. Ending with her father giving her the doll, the death of her child and smiling as she sang that song. In the pink. A life in pink. A rose-tinted life. A body stiff with the pain of it all. What is a good childhood? One of safety, of consistency, of love? Titine the prostitute teaching her to pray, her father the contortionist pushing her to perform to find her voice, her mother begging her for money. A life, no better and no worse. Just. Just different. In pink. In the pink.

In the Spar, the boy with the beautiful eyes telling me his life. I’m sleeping on me mate’s couch. Me Mum threw out me things. All me toys. Me childhood things. She threw out me childhood. It will get better I say. What do I know? He smiles. Thanks mate.

And me. I order Wind in the Willows. Trying to remember what made me feel safe, grounded. Mole, Badger and Ratty. Tales of the Riverbank on the TV. Do you remember? The live mouse, or was it a rat in a little boat? The lapping water and the soft voice of the narrator. Gentle moments in the chaos, the uncertainty of moods. Her moods. Sometimes. Sometimes love too.

I am thankful. I am alright. In the pink.