Up and down your moods will go. Of course, in the end you will become addicted to something. Alcohol, over the counter medication, barbiturates, and food anything just to bring closure. Even my throat has a pattern. A pattern of the blue cut glass of the sky. It is not just emptiness filled with vowels and consonants. It smells of perfume. I want comfort but I also want anger. I want the progeny. I want to be the scholar of trivia. I want the white picket fence. I want that station wagon. I want those daughters who will be my heirs. I want that husband. But I realize this. I am aware that I cannot have those visions and be the drowning visitor in winter every year.
Love me or hate me. Like me or dislike me. I do not really care. For me to exist, I sometimes must sigh very loudly or exhale very deeply drawing attention to myself. I know other women will think that I must have everything my heart desires, but then again who is the real phony there?
2. I am beautiful.
There, I said it. No turning back now. I married. I had those kids. I had that sunny road and then the heavens opened up and it began to rain. I take this pen. I write and write and write. This pen then becomes a sword and I strike at the page repeatedly. It has a look about it. The written work. It is dark and pleasing at the same time. It gives me pleasant thoughts at the same time I think about genocide and suicide in the same breath.
3. There is nothing dumb about pain.
For me to exist, pain has to exist. For the girl inside of me to be a late bloomer as flowers bloom in a garden, pain must also find a way out of this equation and bloom, a latecomer. We are visitors, angels with the eyes of shrouds, pain has the perspective of the next big thing, and that the show must go on. I am never leaving. Pain and I bloom side by side elegantly. "Do you not know it?" I tell pain. "You are only a piece of furniture. You are only a flame." Pain and romanticism is inseparable. Pain and I are husband and wife. There are great poets. There are great paintings. I think to myself, if there more great men than there are great women then I must throw myself back into the great lake.
‘Russia was the land that borders on God,’ Rilke said.
4. Sardines on toast please. No sons have I, although I am still a lover of other mothers’ progeny.
I delight in them. I have discovered I can do clever things with my hands. Artistic things. Instead of braiding hair, I can intuitively thread words. They are my fish. It is no longer winter here. I am no longer a guest in my own country. I praise your silence and the personal space. You left behind and I feel the tightness in my heart. I praise you I praise all of you, but most of all I have been left behind in a tunnel into the black. There is insomnia even in a sermon and electric wavelengths in a lecture room. A female writer journaling away in her diary, but where are the children and the husband? She has none. For now, she has none.
She is afraid of those words. That those words will make cell walls around her. That those words will become her prison. Winter with its shark teeth that threatens to overwhelm her every waking thought and moment. She thinks of grief and remembers her childhood and the fact that her mother never held her hand when she crossed the road or believed in her. When looking left, then right, what is she grieving for? What is she living for? What is she praying for? Midnight’s children. Children who live under the bridge. They smoke cigarettes as if their lives depended on it. In another poem. In another lifetime, another life there was a mistake. There was a little obsession. A predestined promise of procrastination that smelled like perfume.
Then too soon, you will realize that you should not have walked away in that moment even though you were forgiven child of God. Child of an extraordinary God stripped of all illusion and fear of expectation. And as Marie Antoinette was led to a guillotine, are we not we all at some stage in our lives? Do we not have to live with our misgivings? And with being misrepresented, dancing around golden laughter in our mouths that we do not want to escape from. We want to search forever more for that most singular delusion swinging swiftly. I like my innocence and I like my imperfections. I like the fact that I am flawed and that I am confessing to it. Let silence speak for itself like a birthday.
5. Grief is only a warning. Denial too.
I need to find out why the brightness dies and then flowers heads. Every one. Every man is a machine. Every woman is a cog and a wheel in that machine. I am toxic. I am too self-conscious. I come laden with self-portraits and customs. Gaze at me and you will only see an empty look in my eyes. Vacant. Vacant. The serious depths of which have a vacant beauty. Blame me for everything. It is okay. I can take it. All toxic people are damaged or writers. They have all suffered loss. Their family life is dysfunctional. If only I could get a handle on relationships. If only they did not have a handle on me. I am in a hurry today. A release of joy in my heart. The Pulitzer. The Pulitzer.
Look at me as if I am the woman that you are coming home to in the evenings. Look at me as if I am the mother of your children pouring out your single malt whisky in your glass before you will eat the supper that I have prepared for you. This is probably what they mean by migration. What happens after the happy conclusion, after the honeymoon, is it the long migration? The migration is having the progeny, the children with the angel shine on their faces, watching genocide on the news or reading about it in the paper from the perspective of a political correspondent. The migration is raising a family, growing old together, but nothing was meant to be conventional in my life.
My mother never taught me what to do about the unconventional ingredients of life. I can tell you this. It will be a flawless day on which I die. Men will go into war. There will be girls and women losing their looks working in factories. Mothers and daughters side by side, but I will not be one of them.
On the day that I die, I will be wearing a fur coat.
Beginnings are much more important than endings, but the question remains where will your story end?
Her recent literary work was published in Spontaneity 7, the inaugural issue of Peaches Lit Mag, ITCH The Creative Journal, and The Voices Project.
She writes a weekly article/commentary for Modern Diplomacy as well as contributing to a symposium on Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine monthly. She has written a noveltini, novella, volumes of poetry, and collections of short stories. She is the recipient of two National Arts Council Writing Grants, one from the Centre for the Book and another from the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council.
Connect with Abigail:
Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn
5 THINGS I LEARNT FROM ANNE SEXTON'S LIFE & #POETRY by Abigail George http://goo.gl/jWU9ym #theartistunleashed #inspiration #writerslife