Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Reasons to be cheerful...


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.

29 comments:

Elizabethd said...

Those are the important thoings in life, when all is said and done.

Faith said...

Very beautiful UPL. I totally understand about the crying for lost souls; anything to do with WW1 has me sobbing.

Take care of yourself and Jackofall.

Mootia said...

I think you've passed the homework test! Sorry to hear about your loss of smell - can't quite imagine what that would be like; like having a permanent cold I guess...does it affect your sense of taste? Humm, maybe too many questions! Agree with the songs prompting a cascade of tears - 'Jerusalem' does it to me and 'I vow to thee my country' - goodness knows why - stiring melodies, probably...

Suffolkmum said...

This was a simply beautiful post. Loved your bita about the family especially, and about those primeval instincts which just catch us unaware and have us sobbing. I'd be there sobbing with you! Really loved reading this.

Posie Rosie said...

Oh that was lovely, you capture your 'blessings' beautifully. Love to you al at what must be a tremendously hard time. xx

Withy Brook said...

Darling Un Peu - you made me cry.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I loved reading this post - particuarly the last paragraph, very beautiful.

Crystal xx

mountainear said...

Nicely put.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I am sure you will get a tick and a pass from Blossom and if you don't just poke her in the eye and I will of course deny everything.

I can't imagine what it would be like to lose your sense of smell. My Aunt lost hers. Then again when the dogs have been rolling in fox pooo . . .eeeuuuggghhhh.

Blossomcottage said...

You done good UPL the hairs on the back of my neck, my arms and infact all over my body are still standing up after reading it, they were all lovely things and I am sure should you ever suffer a similar fate to Diana (heaven forbid) we will all know how to reach you and reach you we will, as thoses surrounding Diana are, a word and a touch can make such a difference. I will keep you posted on her progress.
Love Blossom "A star"

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Sobbing..in Snailbeach!AGAIN!

LittleBrownDog said...

Un Peu - that was lovely. Really heartfelt, true and unique. I can identify with all those things - smells, songs, words, an unexpected smile or word... I sometimes get overcome by the choking sob thing, too, and know just how embarrassing and inconvenient it is.

Thank you, too, for your lovely comment on my blog. And that's a great photo, by the way - solid iron doors opening onto a vista of mountains...

CAMILLA said...

Dear Un Peu,

You write so beautifully, and you deserved that Star from Blossom for your homework. I too love Last Night of the Proms, and the song Land Of Hope And Glory, such emotional music.

My love to you and Jackofall at this very sad time for you all.

Camilla.x

Pondside said...

The nicest thing about these bits of home work and the 'tags' is the insight that they give us on one another. How many opportunities do we have to really think about what makes us happy or lifts us up - I mean, beyond the obvious 'sunny day' kinds of things.
Thank you for the peak at what makes you unique - and thanks to Blossom for asking for it.

Frances said...

My goodness, when you call this the other side, that is true, but it seems to me that you have many sides indeed. Fully rounded, (spirit/soul sense not exterior!)
Thank you for these well expressed thoughts.

xo

Mootia said...

Thanks for your comment in the Common Room - yes, Mum is waiting to kick his a**e if he comes back - I just mentioned Christian at the end of my 'Sailing to Antigua' blog...

ChrisH said...

I know that song - have it on a very old LP which belonged to my Dad, by the Seekers. Can't play it very much 1. because it is crackly 2. because it's full of other tear-jerky old ballads and folk songs.
3. Dad.

Take care of yourself.

Grouse said...

Smell is perhaps the most evovative of all...a smell can take me back 40 yrs....but perhaps the loss of yours has concentrated yor senses elsewhere, which is why you transport us with every word......

ChrisH said...

Aah... you noticed the bit about the boat, did you? Hmm, suffice it to say with a sans boat at the moment but, for how long, I don't know.

Milkmaid said...

As much as I love your regular blog, I love this 'other side' too, I have a strange sense of smell too, somethings I can't smell at all others very acutely. I thought I was the only one who found the smell of drains evocative

@themill said...

Loved reading this. Thank you

bodran... said...

Stirring music always makes me cry.. and that song the wings one yes i love it xxx

Sandip Maiti said...

You touch..deep inside.

annakarenin said...

Much as I enjoy reading the UPL saga it is these little snippets of you that I find so incredible to read and which also show what an good writer you are. Fennie also did this tag really well. like yours it was a wonderful read.

The last paragraph is so very true and is what we need to remember. It must have been sad writing this but you and your family at least have those good memories of Jacko's dad and I hope it helps. At Mikes Granddad's funeral his SoniL read a poem his daughter had written about her Grandad and it was all about how he would be with her still because of her memories of him. I wish I had asked for a copy because it was such a wonderful poem and so true.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Very nicely written.

Milla said...

Gorgeous, Un Peu, loved it all tumbling out, but distinct too. Still haven't done mine - and everyone else has done such good ones that it makes it harder still. E (Bill) has a terrible sense of smell, can only really smell horrible things, like the dog. WIth a rose, he can work out that it *might* be nice, just not that it IS nice. have also only just noticed that @themill nominated me for a blogging girl thing - you were on the same list (it came out when was on my hols) - so how do you get the green thing, then?? THanks

Exmoorjane said...

Just totally and utterly beautiful and gorgeous and, well, words fail me but it's a big blowsy old English rose of a blog - rich and resonant and heart-achingly delicious. Truly, I love this side of your writing so much.
Like Milla, I'd love to know how to get my Rocking Girl Blogger up - @themill did explain but not in words of one syllable for technopathetic twerps like me.

Pipany said...

UPL this was beautiful. You write so evocatively. How did you lose the sense of smell? I am so nosy! Do the other senses get stronger as a result do you think? A wonderful list xx

posiepatchwork said...

Yippee, a new post. Oh, loosing your sense of smell, it evokes so many memories for me, i'd miss it. I find the weather is predictable by smells too, or is that just because we live in the Tropics & can smell a Monsoon coming. My sister-in-law is a dentist & finds no sense of smell a distinct advantage in her profession (& having 4 babies, no issues at nappy changing time). Love Posie