Catpaws Cafe

Random musings from my virtual fountain pen

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

The unexpected melancholy of others

Summer is at it’s end. I feel the sadness and melancholy of others, in other places. I feel it and it’s not even mine – and yet it is me – in earlier years.
The children have gone back to school
autumn is drawing close in the northern hemisphere
the end of august,
still a few warm, sunny days to be enjoyed
but the days are getting shorter again, the evenings darker.
Soon the trees will break into the finale and launch natures own fireworks
the announcement that summer is indeed over for this year.

I feel it, even tho where I live it’s perpetual summer according to some.
It isn’t; but the seasons aren’t as pronounced this close to the equator.  Peculiarly enough
it is the winter I treasure the most here, even tho the vibrancy of autumn is still my favorite.

On my inner screen, years and geographical distances is no obstacle;
one aspect of me is driving down a lane in France in an old split screen Citroen
the weather blustery and the road covered in fallen leaves turning brown.
And I want to be there in body too
feel the crispness in the air and the light rain on my face
as I get out of the car and pull my jacket tighter, hands in pockets
delighting in the bursts of colour of my new scarf.

Or in the garden where my parents once lived.
I am walking around in this no-time land like a ghost
the sound of the silos drying the harvest in the far distance ever present this time of year.
The bright red garden furniture my mother restored all those years ago
the droning of the drowsy bumblebees, enjoying the last of the Nasturtium.
A younger version of me, new notepad on her lap, pen poised
waiting for inspiration that won’t come
before giving up and reading someone else’s prose instead.
Transported instantly to another place and time
where something worth writing about actually happens.
She dreams about cities where there is music to be heard and others like her to make friends with;
who reads books, likes art, go to the theater and to see a live ballet,
far from immature teens with their cigarettes and beer-cans, smelly locker-rooms and spots.
Where the people with dreams and aspirations live…
For a minute I too want to red wooden garden furniture
in a fruitless attempt to somehow connect with mother in a way we, me and I, never could.

Picture blurs, and clears once more
New school, new books, new jeans
the promise of new, hope of new friends
maybe even a fanciable boy…
Sitting at a desk
when I’d rather enjoy the last days of summer, cycling to the lake and going for one last swim.

The brochures of evening and hobby classes drops through the letterbox
see what tempting things we have on offer this autumn!
All in the name of trying new things and exciting adventures and the hope of meeting kindred souls.
Special offer Sunday lunch with friends after a brazing walk, lazy late afternoon drinking tea or wine.

It is the quiet exuberance time of the year
the enrich the soil of my mind – nourish my spirit time of year.
Not the loud jump up and down and dance of spring and summer.
It’s the tgi the weekend of my school-years
not to go out or partying
but to be allowed to spend time as I choose, with whom I want, well – to a degree…
A break away from the noisy crowds of competing children,
school corridors, playgrounds and gym-class.

All while the cats snooze in the midday heat
a gentle breeze keeping the mosquitoes at bay
just dregs left of my coffee.
The far side neighbor is on his lunch-break; Mexican popular music is pounding for all to hear.
I briefly wish our trusty bike would miraculously transform into a truck
where everything was ready and packed including the cats
and we could just jump in and take off onto our next adventure…
It’s time to go inside.

Pic from the web, I can't quite make out what the watermark says.  If this is your property and you want me to remove it please drop me a line.

Nasturtiums.  Pic from the web, I can’t quite make out what the watermark says. If this is your property and you want me to remove it please drop me a line.


the then what?

The then what?

Trying to solve a problem from the outside in
is not possible
There’s that vacuum feeling of
I want something
something new.
a new haircut
something to wear
but what you really want is to dull that vacuum feeling…

So ”women” go shopping,
”men” more often head for a pub.
I want to fill that void
but I don’t know what I need
that’s when you get the then what.

So, I got a new haircut – now what?
Still feel the same undefined restlessness
but with a new haircut.
You feel better for a little while and then…
Nothing’s changed.
It’s the If I only had such and such syndrome;
new shoes/ jeans/ stuff for the house/ chocolate/ bottle of wine
books, cd’s, games sometimes last a little longer
but it always comes back.

I keep searching for that which will make it all better
I will try it on for size energetically
and if it does not do it for me
I will no longer accept bandaids.
And until now it has always fallen short.
I don’t want to pay for a quick fix any more
I want to truly identify what’s going on here
so I can make a lasting fundamental change.
Not a shiny thing to distract me with it’s newness and sparkle
for the next what, day? Hour? Week?
And then where am I?
back where I left off last time
but with less money in my pocket
and more to carry when we move.

Breathe.  Just breathe.
Then breathe some more.
And some more.
Deep, delicious breaths.
Cutting yourself off from source is such a bitch.
Plug back in.
Now, isn’t that better?

Strange what sticks in one’s mind over time…

One summer, back in the days when one still had pen-friends and the highlight of the day was to check the mailbox for letters from your holidaying friends, back in those days…

One summer we had, in addition to the old, big station wagon dad needed for work, an even older, beaten up black PV. I’m guessing somebody gave it to dad because the cost of the repairs needed was better put towards buying another car. He however patched it up, put some 3rd party insurance on it and for that summer it was our ”cheap little run-around”, despite guzzling just as much (if not more) petrol, I suspect. It didn’t go very fast or very far. It took dad to work, my brother to football practice, and carried the weekly foodshop.

It was noisy to drive, had no radio, back doors or anything. There was no ventilation bar the small tilt-able windows. When the sun shone it was hotter than hell and the usual stink of petrol and oil gave me an instant headache of the kind that made me see flickering lights, feel motion-sick and nauseous before turning on the engine. The old cracked plastic vinyl seats were not only hard and uncomfortable but would scald your legs if not careful. The scratchy blanket used to cover up the mess was forever sliding all over the place, sooner or later ending up on the far from clean floor…

Ever so often there were spiders to be evicted first too. Not by me. I was the only one in the family shit-scarred by them and thus got precious little sympathy from the others.

Somehow though, that old banger has stuck in my mind. It was a very embarrassing ride at times, especially with its slamming doors and stuck seat-belts. Yet defiant in it’s old, outdated and out-modelled state and far from shiny exterior. It felt freer and more adventurous than any other car we ever had in an “I defy you…” stick it’s battered chin – or chrome bumper – out sort of way.

I don’t remember what happened to it, but its memory keeps cropping up ever so often lately. Strange that.

Old black PV, photo from the www.

Old black PV, photo from the www.

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