Sunday, 16 May 2010

Grey

It feels like winter today. It's cold. Seeping up through the floorboards and through the timber walls. So grey, obliterating the sun and sucking all the colour out of the Earth. The tip of my nose is cold and runs a bit unnoticed. My fingers burn with it, make me want gloves with the tips exposed so I can still type.

I'm hiding from my children at the moment, sitting on the floor of the front verandah, back against the wall, laptop well, in lap. And it feels gloomy and wintery. I feel gloomy and wintery. I miss the colour. The bright blue skies of autumn. The chill is seeping through my clothes. Under the layers and slapping exposed flesh.

I'm all alone out here. Everyone else inside their homes. A soft wisp of woodsmoke rising from some of the rooves, perfuming the thin grey air. Every now and then a big, energetic dog will bounce past with a bright cheeked owner swaddled in warmth cluthching at a straining leash. We nod at each other, the few willing to come out into the cold.

The warm scent of roast chicken is seeping under the door next to me, onions burning slightly on the bottom of the pan to make rich gravy. The birds (the crows especially) are rioting in the trees around me, calling goodnight to eachother as they settle into the branches. Loud caws of affection.

The grey swirls around me, warming and cooling at the same time. I am alone out here. Cloaked in mist. Keeping me company in the thin twilight.

I am not the least bit lonely. Actually reveling in the quiet and solitude. Feeling the burning need to write. Wanting to compose. Hearing snippets of lyrics dance through my mind and grasping ineffectually at them with my fingertips.

My breath is making tiny puffs of smoke as I exhale. I am compelled as ever to try and blow rings, but have never mastered the art. Instead I just pull funny faces that alarm another dog walker. No nod this time.

The darkening sky is deepening to blue now. The indigo night behind the grey making its presence felt. I love the silhouettes of the birds as they mar it.

I have been discovered and the joyful Possum is hugging me around my neck, smacking his lips together in an approximation of a kiss. He looks so proud of his discovery. Delighted to have found me. All is now right in his world as he drops to his knees and bounces, before rapidly turning tail and scuttling off on all fours at the speed of light.

The temperature is dropping as rapidly as the sun and I am starting to shiver, but unable to move. Inhaling the fresh ironbark smoke from an unseen neighbour's fire. Wishing we had a fireplace here so that I could write to the dancing flames.

The Monkey has found me now, and is noisy and ebullient. Worried that I am out here suffering for company. She is treating me to her latest philosophical dilemma which is that she would love to be Santa Claus, but she has no beard. Before declaring that I am a bit boring, and darting back inside into the light and warmth.

I can barely see my fingers on the keys now. Technically I can illuminate my keyboard, but I like the ghostly light from my screen over my pale and stiffening fingers. Keeping them dancing to force the blood to flow.

I know my eyes are waking up now. In the darkness burning. Flames to match the twirling white wood smoke. The grey tempered by twinkling city lights. I couln't see them before, when the mist was swirling, but now that the indigo has encroached they sparkle like diamond chips along the horizon.

Normally I hate smoke but I'm breathing it in greedily now. The rich scent. Evocative of school camp fires and marshmallows crisping and dripping dangerously to scald unsuspecting flesh. Being amongst the trees the first time I ever went camping and feeling the darkness prowl in as sausages sizzled over a flame. Blood warmed from tramping along bracken lined trails and ears painful with cold. Lying in front of the fire at home, shutting out the cold dark night as I curled my toes in te toasty warmth. Lighting fires when I got home after school, fingers chapped and clumsy. Learning how to perfectly stack it so that it did not smoke or smoulder but burned warm and hot and red.

I am shivering now, my whole body shaking slightly but I cannot move. Cannot bring myself to shut myself out of the night just yet. I can barely see and my fingers and stiff and clumsy, missing half the keys, giving back space a workout. I am home here. The air is filling me, perfumed and heady with essence.

I need to write more.

2 comments:

Melissa said...

Yes, you do. Need to write more. Because Jenn, when you do - noone comes close. You evoke such emotion in me when I read your prose. Noone makes me want to write more than you do. Noone.

Thank you.

xxxx

Nina said...

You are a brilliant writer.

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