Moods, rhythms, prose…

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The last post like this was simply titled ‘inspiration’. It was a way for me to utilise the mood boards I make when I’m overwhelmed by everything leaving impressions on me. But I had an idea! I’m mesmerised by us women, our different quirks and how we, and the things we pour ourselves into, express who we are. So I thought why not create a character from what I collect, incorporate the ever changing facets of who I am and what’s interesting me and combine it with the scribbles I accumulate whilst people watching and the moods and scenes the images paint. It’s one of my most expressive tools as a writer, to look at an image and unravel it, paint the backstory and give the subject life. And seeing as it’s International Women’s Day (All the love to my fellow chica’s) I thought it was the perfect time to post one. Let me know what you think.

She is a solitary creature this one. A myriad of musings painted by her features, a whisper of a smirk, an appraisal in the subtle tilt of her brow, defeat in a minuscule hunch of her shoulders. With gentle grace she pours admirable patience into the life she so desperately needs to surround herself with. Potted palms in every corner, every room of her home a conservatory. Her existence is measured in shades of evergreen, sage, olive. In the yard she tends the soil with bare hands, dirt beneath the bitten nails, the glue to bound what anxiety unravels. This is her way of encouraging life from her breaking. A way to purge the loneliness, the doubt and in turn find budding shoots from this mangled suffering, the ugliness blooming into something to sooth, something she can nurture.

The seeming meekness is just an introverts protection though and if you were to spy, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, between the shutters of the bay windows, then you would see a damsel of independent certainty.¬†The record player crackles out folk melodies, that she spins to, lulls the plants into a gentle sway with her lofty tones and fairytale whistles. She’s barefoot and grazing the carpet, in just a shirt, hair a mess atop her nymph like face. The smile is foreign, unleashed from its confines in the security of home.

The off balanced wooden bookcase behind her has life etched into it, with splits and cracks in the white overcoat. On it, the spines to manuals of varying botanical topics are visible in no particular order, interluded by vintage spray cans and a picture frame of pressed daisies. The walls are white, the carpet a light hazelnut, the only colour injected is from leaves that boast unique patterns and budding blooms of whites and muted pastels. There are no ornaments, no personal photographs or trinkets, everything is precisely there to benefit her work, her pleasure, her purpose. Around her, love thrives, her patience and maternal core a focused thing, a rare thing.

Love to all my green thumbed Goddesses, N x

 

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Words on my Mind: Kindness…

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We’d escape into the evening in just our pyjamas, climbing over the broken gate to the neighbours yard where she’d stand in her doorway clutching her tea. Our parents would wander out soon to investigate as we jumped through twilight skies to catch fireflies. They’d of course slip through our fingers and twirl away in the moonlight. In my mind they were tinkering a laugh and playing along with us. They were trickster fairies delighting in our young hearts. Maybe none of it was in my head. “Don’t hurt them, dance with them. Be friends.” She’d say, a kind smile on her aged face.

In the morning we’d stretch out bronzed limbs in the same garden, weeding flower beds and following her lead as she tells us to encourage the flowers to bloom with kind words and gentle hands. As a teenager she would stroll passed me in the square, my vulgar hands ripping at the leaves of a bush. “Remember kind words, encourage them to grow. No one likes a bully.” I smile and it isn’t taunting, it’s reminiscent of golden days and soft hours chasing magic in every corner of her yard. Now the summers are long and lonely, cinema dates with friends and afternoons with my head buried in books.

Today I pass a garden over run in natural bliss, somewhere in New Zealand, magic manifested in colours and blossoms that I can’t identify and I smile and whisper “You’re beautiful, keep blooming.” As I hurry on past. It’s spoken spontaneously, barely a thought before it’s a phrase but it loops around me for the rest of the day. If a kind word can encourage the plants to grow, imagine what it could do for a human.

N x

Words on my mind: Vanity

The bleak lighting highlights the bags beneath my eyes and the access skin above them. Tired and hooded, a dull state. My skin takes on a vulgar orange tint, the nooks and crannies obvious under the scrutiny. My long hair curtains around my round face and protects it all from analysis. My long hair is about to be taken from me. It’s vanity, it’s severe conditioning from an anonymous source, or, rather, from unlimited sources. Years of clutching to thinning strands, scared of the scissors and laying it all bare. Years of hoping for mermaid hair, princess hair, pretty hair. Acting like hair is the single defining element that makes me a woman. How misguided?

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My lovely hairdresser Emma double checks the new length, a length I asked for, and I nod a little numb, my stomach flipping. I lower my head as instructed, the only evidence of the action is the snipping of the scissors. The sound had never haunted me quite so deeply. It’s so strange to have such fear of losing a thing that renews itself everyday, takes barely any time to grow. It’s so bizarre to think my femininity lies in the length of it, in the style, the texture and colour. It’s sickening the amount of money I pay to maintain it. My confidence is at stake in those five minutes sat in a chair, paying for my security to be stripped away from me. But it’s part of my internal revolution. Part of my rebellion against who I’m supposed to be. In the end it’s liberating. I look so different, so I can act so very differently too.

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The shards of my armour scatter the marble floors but the sight doesn’t effect me, I just stand up and brush off the remnants, thank Emma and even leave her a tip. Instead of heading straight home as planned, I amble around town, peeking at my reflection at any given chance. Girls with curtains of light satin locks and others with waving dark tresses don’t spark any regret or envy in me. My new bob bounces when I walk, my head feels lighter and there’s something very delicate about the shape of it. Something maybe even a little more feminine than all that matted length.

Embrace a moment of courage and take the risk. You’re more than your physical vessel.

Positive vibes, always. N x

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Three Days in Melbourne…

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Two hours in Melbourne and the vibe is surreal. It’s grungy, graffitied streets are alive with activist intention and colourful statements about love, death and life. But these same alleys feel hollow, archaic, haunted and broken at night. A lost civilisation off the streets of the modern urban landscape. There’s something sinister in the dark, bars tucked away in dead ends, people in blackened attire with lethal smiles from whiskey shots and puffs of weed lurk around forgotten corners, chic restaurants and niche bars seem cold in their industrial settings and the whole thing is some bewildering mix of dirty London and sunny Sydney. But the line between Melbourne’s Jekyl and Hyde sides is a flexible one, blurring into each other, softening in the lonely lit skyline. With just a handful of skyscrapers it looks smaller than it is from the viewpoint over the Yarra river. Like in any other city parks and puddles of green scream out loudly from their imprisonment in the smokey grey grid, fountained lawns meet tram lines and hipster clad trends pass a steady helping of grey suited business men and homeless bodies hunched under the weight of the belongings they smuggle through the streets.

In the sunshine the city is transformed. A halo of light dances off glass fronted towers, showers down on the beaten, shop lined streets. Victoria Market bustles with keen tourists and laid back locals, St Kilda sings a promise of city escape with its stretch of white sand, and even the varying levels of pretence from sunglasses cannot hide the smug satisfaction on the faces of the cities inhabitants. Even a homeless man smiles as I pass, though I share nothing but my own blissful grin, he wishes me a ‘g’day’ and carries on with the tinkling tune he hums to himself. Melbourne sheds its soul in the sunlight, is possessed by deep mystery by the moonlight, conceals secrets of liberation in its twists and turns, and encourages diversity through its music, style, food and people. It’s a broken culture, more united than anything I’ve witnessed. I feel free here, I sense change here and most of all I find a weird peace here.