14.02.2010. electricity sparked from my fingers when i touched, in the dark, one of my mother’s leopard-print pillows. i stared at the blue flickery lights in awe, electrified, and thought to myself; “no one will believe me when I tell them that electricity came from my fingers”. then, i fell asleep.
15.02.2010. i walked into the hospital and stepped into the room that housed my birthfather, now in his 60ties, ravaged by a life too hard, awaiting open heart surgery. he looked well, even good, for someone with a heart problem. i even thought that his sharp facial features and his toned upper body resembled that of nick nolte’s. when he saw me and dylan, he started weeping. weeping was something he’d been doing a lot more of in the last years.
on his windowsill stood photo frames with pictures of my son, my brother and me.
his speech was difficult, but his english was surprisingly good. i studied his face, his hands. his finger nails did an odd thing; they were rounded out around his fingers. his nose, pointy, looked a little like my brother’s, not so much mine.
my birthfather holding me as a baby
16.02.2010. the wind was cold, the sky was cold and blue. we walked down to the shopping centre in hopes of finding the perfect restaurant or cafe to celebrate our 5 year anniversary in. i wanted a place that was understanding of how beautiful this was, but no cafe or restaurant seemed to understand the particular beauty that our union represented. we strolled back to the first ‘brasserie’ i had rejected. “all that matters is that we know, that we connect, that we stand still, for a moment” said andy, the most amazing man in the world. and i agreed. the restaurant, cafe, the particular place where we celebrated, did not matter. it was us that mattered. ♥ 5 years ♥
we each ordered a salad, andy chose salmon, i had goats cheese with honey. we each listed our top 5 wonderful memories of each other, andy recalled my shuffling feet rushing back from the bathroom when i found out i was pregnant with dylan. i remembered a moment of great empathy, andy has oodles of it, for me, and kisses, there are always the kisses.
17.02.2010. “he’s got my ears!” my mum exclaimed proudly! i stared with curiousity at her ears, and goodness me; she was right. both hers and dylan’s are a little ‘flappy’. i’d never noticed it on my mum before, her layered light brown hair always cover them up. so cute. i smiled.
18.02.2010. my step father walked in with a sly smile on his face. always the kidder, always the joker. he loves laughing and making people laugh. dressed in funky clothing, he looks young and ‘cool’ for his age. “i got you a map of europe”, he says to andy. “oh great” andy smiles at him with kindness. my dad hands him over a little box. “here’s your map”. confusion spreads over andy’s face and mine. when andy opens the box, we see that it contains a tom tom gps system. “a gift for you” says my step father.
25.02.2010. my brother and i sit on the bus from patcham to the centre of brighton. a lady opposite us is mewing like a cat and cackles on and off. her eyes wide, she stares at me intensely while producing more inane noises. my brother and i exchange glances. we pretend nothing is going on and tell each other in dutch to avoid eye contact with the lady. he continues to tell me stories about his life, thoughts, feelings. he manages to ignore the lady, i’m not so successful, she makes me nervous, fearful. all of a sudden i am deeply amused by and appreciative of my brother who just continues to talk on and on, like nothing is going on, while a cat lady makes crazy mewing sounds opposite us. the scene is truly hilarious, and i love him for it so much.
life. it keeps pushing me towards awareness, towards being present, to here, to now, to people, to thoughts, to emotions, to feelings, to joys, to fears, to carpet fibers, to birds, to grass, lemons, paintbrushes, pencils, light bulbs and books. it’s as if it screams at me sometimes, but i am so so sleepy, and unconscious much of the time. it makes me feel sad. and to that too, life wants me to be present. so i try, and then i am, and then fall asleep again, while being awake.
i’m taking more active measures to remain here. to remain now. it is really the only thing there is, so i’d better start valuing it, savouring it and noticing it more.
there is more. there is art, there is people, there is family who i don’t see a lot like my cousin mirjam who is beautiful in and out. there is my only living grandma who is gentle, beautiful and sweet, there are two young children, david and levi with sparkles in their eyes. there are my online art students, there is the blue, blue sky today with breath taking sunshine. there is my rainbow coloured fingerless gloves, nail varnish and my obsession with tidying the house. there are the big stuffed floppy elephant and the great green stuffed crocodile my mum gave us. there are my issues with food, my rheumatism, new meds that seem to make me fearful.
and of course of course of course, there are andy & dylan. andy, who is gentle, compassionate, beautiful and kind. his new thing is that he likes to give food to the birds in the garden. he goes out to buy those bird food balls and hanger things. the first 3 days, no birds came, while he stood excitedly in front of the window, looking out. now, we’ve seen several, including a robin and a ‘koolmeesje’. he makes me smile and sigh inside. he helps me, loves me, cares for me with kindness.
and dylbee, the centre of my universe, who manages to throw up on everything i own, including my face, and who knows exactly to poo mountains of poo when he’s not wearing a nappy, making me and andy laugh our heads off. dylan, who now is learning to eat solids and smears it all over his face with careful precision and who likes to put his feet and toes in his mouth! dylan, who makes me heart leap, swell, jump and grow, every day.