About two months ago, in mid-May, WordPress sent me an automated note to congratulate me on becoming a blogger five years ago.
I found my first blog post and read the date it was published – 20 May 2012.
It was my first solitary winter in Wellington.
I wrote few more posts since.
Some, arguably, better than the others, but all written to pierce small holes in silence left behind after my daughter left home. Which in our case simply meant living in the same house.
Where I can come into her room in the morning and inhale scent of my sleeping child.
In five years, I have not learned how not to long for it.
I fear I never will.
As I haven’t learned in more than forty how not to long for a shabby little house with an old-fashion wood burner in the kitchen corner and frost flowers on the window panes in winters.
I am a slow learner.
It took me a long time to learn how to string a few words together. By which to remember.
And by remembering hope to understand.
What happened to me.
All of which makes me somewhat of a writer but none of a blogger.
It is for that reason that light of the lantern is dimming.
On some nights, when winds are merciless, I stroke its old-fashioned, fragile glass gently and lower the feeble flame close to oblivion.
In the everlasting darkness, we are both at peace.
Still mornings arrive;
Some are bouncy with urgency of getting to work, and
Some are those of Sundays,
A friend comes for a coffee bringing biscuits and pineapple in case I am sick, or
We go for a long drives along deserted winter beaches where even seagulls are too freighted to loiter while we eat greasy fish and chips in the overheated car balancing scalding parcels on our laps.
Few days later, in a small café above the central city’s only library where I am usually joined by the fine assortment of homeless, pensioners, students, refugees and parents with bored children, I would order a black coffee and try to recall those scenes to write them down.
But then I would get distracted …
By the two men sitting next to me who speak French and might be lovers, (story prompt – one of them is hiding a terrible secret from the other and is looking for a way out …)
A young woman with purple coloured hair and clownish looking stockings as she opens her book up-side-down and pretends to read, (story prompt – she escaped from an institution where she has been held against her will which dictates that she follows her calling as a street performer …)
While I (‘somewhat of a writer’) pretend to write.
And so, it goes.
Five years has passed in this fashion.
No ‘grand’ novel. Or even a ‘tiny’ one.
Only a story here and there.
Handful of poems.
Mostly about love and pain and loss,
In the time-honoured female tradition.
While winter storm is raging outside and
I imagine a lonely cabin standing in a deep southern snow.
Signs under the lantern.