Blossom, good old Blossom, here we are, homework done, at last, but just a little differently, not quite 12 things that might call to me over the great abyss and bring me back to the land of the living, more a mishmash, a ramble . If I were teaching I would write ”you have not answered the question” on this pice of homework, but then we all must answer life’s questions in our own way, n’est pas?
Smells used to create enormous pictures in my head until I lost my sense of smell and rarely now it return to me, then only as a faint wisp of something familiar, although I suppose a sharp tap on the noggin might just jolt it back!! I remember smells, like some half forgotten language. Roses with their rich velvet scent, big blousy blooms in sugary pink and peach hued popcorn colours heady, I know, with sweetness. The smell of tar and dust on a hot road after rain, the delicious caramel aroma of my childrens hair when they were tiny, sea salt dried on sun kissed skin after a day at the beach. Sometimes suddenly I get a whiff of something and when I do catch a scent it is such an unexpected surprise it sets my heart singing. Recently in a hot open drained street in the South of France I caught the sickly rotten smell of Cairo’s dirty markets and I was transported back to my days living there, all before me in my minds eye like a photo album thrown open and the pictures spilling out , So much joy from one brief breath.
And sounds? Oh yes give me a rousing tune or a song with sentiment, music can stir up deep emotions in me out of all proportion to the situation or the song. When we were on holiday this summer, we walked across one of those old metal bridges that looks like something from a world war II film set ,and when we came out into the sunlight the other side found ourselves in the midst of a dedication ceremony to a band of resistance fighters who held the bridge against the Germans in 1944. There they all were, the old soldiers, very few of them left, the flags were lowered and the band played the Marseilles and I burst into choking sobs and had to turn away and hide my face, much to the consternation of the children and the other villagers. I suspect they now will tell the tale of the strange woman who turned up at the dedication ceremony and wept for France, by this time next year I shall no doubt have been reinvented as the long lost illegitimate daughter of a dead resistance fighter. I do that sometimes ( cry not masquerade as a by- blow of the marquis)I have never been sure why but it is like some primeval grief, mourning for all the lost souls in the world. Terribly inconvenient believe me!! Land of hope and glory does it too, which is why I can only watch last night of the proms in private!
And songs? Well once a long time ago I went to a concertand a singer sang a song which goes “ the rivers wide I can’t cross ‘ore nor have I wongs with which to fly..” and it set every nerve in my body jangling. Somewhere, sometimes someone used to sing me to sleep with that song. I don’t know who, but I remembered the song and it fell into my memory like a tiny fragment of jigsaw which I thought I had lost. Now I sing my children to sleep with it if they ask which thankfully they still sometimes do.
Words... So many words to spark that tingle...When he says he loves me totally unexpectedly and for no reason. Or when he makes us choke at dinner by telling the children they must have “CONSTANT VIGILLANCE” suddenly very loudly like mad eyed moody in the Harry Potter stories. The sound of him reading to the children and doing all the voices. Or just catching his unexpected smile. The children, just thinking of the children and all that they are, cascading into one large swift dashing piece of film footage inside my head. Sometimes just a glimpse of something insignificant can make my whole soul glow.
So instead of a list of things that might bring me back to the world of the living should I ever fall into that dark place I seem to have given instead a list of things I feel blessed by, that I have had the capacity to be happy , to love and to have been loved and to be alive. After all is said, despite what we or those we leave behind might wish not all those who fall can be brought back by a kind word, a soft touch , a kiss, but they can live on in other ways, in our hearts and memories and for that we should all feel blessed.