Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How Things are in January

The Christmas tree is lying on its side by the bins. It has a gold ribbon still tied to one of the branches and it waits for me. Do something good with me, it says, don’t let me go this way. I say it must wait. Everything must, I am sorry, but there it is again. And January, of course, which brings renewal or things breaking down, depending on how you look at it. The car lights need fixing, the computer is malfunctioning, the boiler needs replacing, someone has tried to access my online bank account, I have been overcharged on my mobile phone. And all around the little house is stuff – piles of it, or so it seems when one is able only to lie on the sofa or bed and look at it.

Oh wash me, say the sheets that appeared as though by magic from an overlooked laundry bag – son’s laundry bag – yesterday, just prior to his going back to Oxford. Oh recycle me says the army of empty bottles, ditto and gather me, say the newspapers that are everywhere in grumbling piles. Attend to me, says the rusted gate fallen from its hinges, and the room that needs a damp course is quite beside itself, neglected as it has been.

Be quiet, I say, I am doing my best which, at this particular moment, may be nothing at all, but it is my best.

Oh write me, says the novel, compose me, cry the poems, give voice to us, the words all shout, falling over one another in the attempt to be heard. And Live me, says the life that is pressing against the window; an astonishment of blue, a clear , cold winter’s day. Let me bite you, it says.

Yes yes, my darlings. Soon. I promise.

17 comments:

Mellifluous Dark said...

Ah, gorgeous. You flipping genius. Love this post.

Reading the Signs said...

You are too generous - but thank you, dear Mel Darko

witnessing am i said...

Damn, this is one of the best things I have read in a while -- "Oh write me, says the novel, compose me, cry the poems, give voice to us, the words all shout, falling over one another in the attempt to be heard. And Live me, says the life that is pressing against the window; an astonishment of blue, a clear , cold winter’s day. Let me bite you, it says. Yes yes, my darlings. Soon. I promise."

Loverly.

Reading the Signs said...

Damn, but I feel honoured, David, by your quoting me back to myself. I thank you.

Nicola said...

I could weep - this is so nearly where I am at this moment, but I couldn't have put it nearly as well as you do.
Thank you for your excruciatingly felt way of saying things.

Reading the Signs said...

Nicola, thanks. Sometimes it is good simply to say how things are. And today I have written a poem.

Nicola said...

And today I am well into an essay which has been eluding me for weeks. I did it just this way, by saying how things are and keeping my pencil to the page, led on by you, I know it.

Reading the Signs said...

Oh, splendid. I wonder - was it about how things are in January?

trousers said...

Incredibly evocative, and vivid too. Wonderful writing, a pleasure to read.

Reading the Signs said...

Whoosh, Trousers, good to see you, have just been over at yours and am still relishing Post of Ice.

Collin said...

It's the new year blues. Things will look up for you soon.

I've just been so overwhelmed by life, job, etc. that finding time for my own writing has been impossible. All my major appliances decided to break down for Christmas -- washer, dryer and laptop -- and all have been replaced, but I'm very poor.

Kahless said...

sigh
Yes January is full of things crying out to be done.
I am achieving most of them, but I am running out of steam!
I think your measured way is good.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Collin - spirits are ok nonetheless. I hope you get more time to write and that the appliances serve you long and well.

Hi Kahless - actually, I'm not very measured but when I can't do, I just can't. Slow-lane living. Got the car lights fixed.

Nicola said...

It must be the mood of January. Essay all but completed - on the process of creative writing - and now my printer drum has beaten a silent retreat and expired.
The coughing boiler is breathing again, but complaints from all now that the woodstove has been allowed to go out - no heart, no heart, Mother, in our home!
How contrary January is with its hopes and resignations.
Comforting to be among your company, Signs.

Reading the Signs said...

Synchronicity abounds, Nicola - I must have been putting up another post as you were commenting. I agree about January.

An essay on the process of creative writing, you say? This is of great interest to Signs!

Kahless said...

Signs, I meant slow lane living as a measured way Nowt wrong with that. Do what you can do and look after yourself.
:-)

Reading the Signs said...

Perhaps I can make it fashionable, Kahless - like slow food!