Actually I'm glad it's not 2007 any more even though I'm suspicious of 8s.
We saw Cinderella at the Little Angel Theatre shortly before the Festivities. Eva was transfixed by the wooden puppets and especially the Cinderella who looked so like her. It was melancholy. Tinkerbell could fade again and again for Eva. Will this come to figure as anything later? As a child whenever a film started I used to ask 'who's the hero?' then 'does he get hurt?' and I used to wait for the moments of wounding. Needless to say I don't want Eva to take after me. But her love of the fading, the down-trodden and the wounded leads me to suspect ...
I wish I could find a friend, a real friend, for Eva. Other than animals, me, fabric rabbits and all the figures who emerge from her imagination. At school she drifts from one to another, or rather they drift to her (she's compelling but difficult) then away again. She's so enthusiastic when they drift in and so crushed when 'they don't talk to me any more.' There are some old friends, daughters and sons of friends of mine. But they're not her own friends.
Our new home is home suddenly. I looked over my shoulder one evening and thought it. It took so long.
I'm still waiting for IT to happen and I know at some point later I'm going to think about how much time I wasted in that waiting. But I honestly don't see another way.
I just read Michel Faber's 'Under the Skin' which really moved me. It was so cold that it was impossible to feel anything for the vodsels (us) even though enough was given to make one feel empathy for them. I also loved Faber's 'The Crimson Petal and the White'. I think he may be a bit of a genius; more 'mainstream' (yawn at my own lazy patronising term) than I'd expect to like but I think I trust my feelings about him. He's a storyteller in any case. Sugar. I still have a sense of her.
So... A NEW YEAR. I'd like to document a few more things on here only I've got so much more accustomed to keeping my personal thoughts to myself that I've frosted.
I'm still reading though. Thanks for staying my friend.
11:07pm: The London Bubble
In South East London there is a theatre group, The London Bubble. They perform in parks and woodlands, moving from site to site for each 'scene' of the play. We went. It is how We Are.
Eva is nearly 5. Very nearly. She has joy and rage, imagination (cue rainbow head) and frustration. Rabbit obsession coupled with a desire to design dresses and deliver food on motorbikes. We can lie on the bed and discuss the scariness of bathrooms.
The thing is ... she's athletic. Fancy it, a daughter of mine? How. She has hyper-mobility so can contort into fabulous positions and swim length after length. I've yet to put even my toe into a vat of cold water let alone my whole self. My bones shake to think of it.
Helen is my story and she's coming on but it's so slow. Talking of cold water, it's hard to get immersed.
Cotton and Mitsy. Lightening and Mater. Spiderman and Beegu. Dippy and Lotta. REMEMBER.
I'm still so troubled always by what is to be left. By the pointlessness of gathering memory. I need to be immortal because something's got to be.
Very slightly on the road to leaving the 21st. I'm so rooted here, do desperate to leave, that I worry about surviving. Surviving the move I mean. Like an invasive cancer that holds your veins together, that will kill you, but if removed will also, maybe, kill you.
The emotions of a four-year-old are a schizo rollercoaster. Hysterical laughter so quickly into desperate tears. The Sad Face. The Terrible Face. The capacity for wonder. Deleuze, I believe, was sad that in French there is no word to match the English 'wonder.' I am sad that adults, mostly, hold onto wonder as a memory. An embarrassment even. Maybe you can still wonder alone. With no mirrors.
I must attempt to write here again when I've got more of an idea of something to say. I'm watering the plant today, just keeping it alive.
From the hilarity of horse's teeth, to tears at bedtime about How to get to Heaven by Herself if I am Already Dead. But all of it always, when there's not the threat of the torturer, is steeped pregnant bursting unbearably beautiful. Scent of head, weight, silk of skin. Me and not.
Ordinarily when I'm not dashing slow-mo backwards I've been searching for Lost Paintings which is a laborious task. And on the subject of the Lost, I have succumbed to that disease so many (UK) people have developed of 'tracing the family' (stifle your yawns if you please) and discovered, for my father's tragic family, many little plaques and rememberances in surprisingly many places. They even featured in an exhibition in the North, not so long ago, 5 years. Strange how long it takes to even try to reach out to touch the things that you know will make such difference when you begin to work on them.
I've been reading friend's posts. I haven't written anything because I haven't been wordy. I'm still not. It's just that time of year. I need to mark it in every little way I can.
8:49pm: Eva's favourite music
I have had little to do, really, with her musical tastes. But here, so far, are some of the things she asks for independently and consistently:
Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue (it's all about me) Radiohead - Paranoid Android (you need to take your clothes off to dance to this one) Comus - Diana (goblin music) Grieg - Pier Gynt (monster music) Dexys Midnight Runners - Gino (marching music) Abba - Knowing Me, Knowing You Ravel - Bolero (toys love it) The Melodi Light Orchestra - Puffin' Billy Saint Saens - Carnival of Animals Goldfrapp - Lovely Head Air - Le Matin La
I know there are more. The things she gets foisted upon her ears by me for instance. But her taste is interesting because she has, as yet, nothing to prove to anyone.
There hasn't been a lot that could be said. But not because there hasn't been a lot happening.
It's all been stretched to the point of indifference. Except where She is concerned of course of course.
So, for now, let's stick with Her. And do I indulge the Warm Foot Walk even if it is taking longer and longer to complete 'perfectly'? Do I really let Her wash her hands up to the elbow, fairy surgeon, then refuse to touch anything for so long? And is it really right that She wants to be my food so much of the time? Peaches, mushrooms, lush grass, blackberries, cherries, etc.?
Well, still, London moves by. I said to the analyst 'She's like a gem in a tank, hidden so high up on the 21st' and he recommended we move. I am holding onto this thought most closely because it really is Time now. And yet, coming down low, will be oddness itself. No more the clouds. Plus She loves it up there, She does, She doesn't see the imperfections, only the potentials.
Analysis today. More of the screwed up paper map of my life folded out and, well, at least superficially flattened. If not erased. Or torn in anger.
Today we avoided the past, namely The Childhood, because as I said to him That's All Done And I Can't Time Travel So If It Is Truly Indelible Am I Destined To Stay Like This Forever??? I really was quite incredulous and I think he suppressed a smile as though to say Has It Taken You 5 Years To Finally Ask THAT. He was, incidentally, in his black corduroy suit again today and had a pimple under his left eye. Marvellously human. Incredibly intelligent, sharp as a blade. If you'd ever suggested I might speak to a male analyst I'd have scoffed. He's so small, so compact, a brain in a suit.
I asked him what I Am. 'What shape am I?' rather than James' horrified 'THAT shape am I!!' which moved X and I so. And Kleist, Kleist's fear of his shape. Still they stay in my mind and I sympathise with those who have no shape as such and dread the moment of its reflection elsewhere. Like a shadow leaping over, settling in, refusing to leave.
To practicalities because The Analyst is also a Practical man. Thank goodness. Imagine if I'd ended up with a Dreamy Analyst? He said and he is blunt that I was the most psychosomatic person he'd ever met. I asked him if that was because of my problem with the colour of food etc. etc. and the inedibility of Blue. In part, yes, he said. I am not a neurotic. No. And I am not a psychotic. No NO NNNOOOOOO. I am in the middle. Because I am not neurotic it has always been and always will be wrong to label me as, for instance, because there have been many labels, an anorexic. I know I am thin. I know my weight. I don't hide it, lie about it, etc. etc. I just find food, some aspects of food rather now, poisonous. It's the coloured emanations of it from the belly outwards that I can't stomach and that I truly can't understand anybody else being immune to.
He said I am too aware of The Real (Lacanian, don't ask me, X would know) and that that is the source of my Constant Anxiety. I will think all this over.
And X is nearly there, so nearly there, with the book. It is advertised on Amazon already with a second hand copy option. We joked about ordering one so X doesn't need to bother writing it. It has been the hardest slog. We are all exhausted with the weight of this project.
eanwhile Eva's learning about time. 'When I'm a lady in a couple of weeks I might have some bosoms.' Honey, I'm still waiting ...
The beautiful synaptic clarity of a 3-year-old's memory. Short-term is strange, a mixture of pure fantasy. Witness:
R: What did you do at school today darling? E: I did loads of things? R: Oh yes? what like? E: Everything. I did everything. R: Did you do some painting? E: Oh yes. I DID. R: Did you play in the sand? E: Oh yes. I DID do that. R: Did youplay outside? E: Yes. I DID. R: Did you ride round on an elephant on your teacher's head? E: Oh yes. I DID.
And yet. She stood at the end of the bed this morning in the most gorgeous long-sleeved nightdress and sang to me a whole, long, complex song (plus actions) which I've never heard before in my life and she remembered from school the day before.
Long term memory: I rely on her far more than I can rely on myself.
Tomorrow: Big School. Not for Big Hours, only mornings, but still there's a Uniform. She put it on and ran in circles before her bath this evening and asked if she could sleep in the sweatshirt as it's So Fluffy Inside. I love her enthusiasm but it's not contagious. I hated uniforms. Grey trousers (she won't go for the skirt - tights are Scratchy and she can't Dance or Climb Properly in a skirt), a white shirt and a red sweatshirt with school logo on it. A nice logo - an oak tree. Surprise surprise.
And oh, I went to all that strife to get her into the good school. All the time in my selflessness forgetting my selfish agoraphobia and that the journey there is at least a 30 minute walk which means I'd be walking for 2 hours in total every morning when really I want to be spending the time on the bed with a novel. So I got, for me, rather ooommph and bought a bike and child seat, cutting the journey down to 10 minutes each time, but doing nothing for my agoraphobia and adding a few new terrors about the wheels, about slipping us under a car, about going blank. And what the fuck is up with my anxiety levels?
I spent New Year by the sea. There was snow. It was lovely really the whole time and Grandma behaved. One perfect moment. Here: Eva and I in a dull little seaside paper shop with a smell of old paper bags - something at the back of a shelf that should have been burnt long ago. The woman behind the counter asks about Snowy. Eva, as though someone pressed a button, instantly breaks into Walking in the Air (Raymond Briggs animation, done to a cinder on this isle) song with dramatic hand gestures, word-perfect (HOW?), fairly good tune, deadpan face. Staring at the woman. Woman's mouth hangs open. Queue behind us gape. At the and Eva just stops and nonchalantly says 'bye.' Queue clap. Eva bows. Says 'come on mum', then leaves the shop. And all the while I stood there with a fixed expression on my face that I've felt before and still have no words for. Then I followed her out the shop like a pet.
I feel her strength and newness like a storm, blowing me away, but blasting me upwards at the same time. It's good to let go.
But I don't want to go to sleep. I know darling I know. Me neither.
Long long long long long days.
The little town of ... X. We've been fulfilling X's desire to see EVERY sci-fi / psychological / mystical / existential type t.v. drama series ever shown 1970-80 and are currently ploughing through The Omega Factor. We did the entire Sapphire and Steel. All the obvious ones. And some kid ones - Children of the Stones anyone?
The suspension of disbelief is virtually impossible as the set shakes and the acting is as me being normal.
Eva is in throes of melancholy that Christmas happened. When asked to say hello to a relative on the phone she muttered only in a dreadful voice 'Father Christmas has BEEN' then wandered off, dropping the phone with no small drama to the floor. She suggested, with optimism, closing all the windows on the Advent Calendar and opening them again, one by one, night by night, so that 'it will be Christmas again.' Etc. She walks upstairs in the morning and says 'remember when i got up and there were all those presents [wistful smile] ... all gone now ... [sigh]' She still believes too that if she SAYS something it will be so. 'That cupboard is full of all my presents!'
on the agenda EVERY day. For ever it seems. There always was the Santa obsession, even in summer, but now true to her 'I'm different. Pink looks like bird poo. Dolls are boring' nature my darling has now dumped Santa and opted for Snowmen. A seasonal change for the best.
OR the discarding of Santa could be to do with our visit to his Grotto. Later I called something 'grotty' and Eva said 'yes, like where Santa lives' and I had to agree. We went to Harrods which is, for anyone who has never been (myself included until this time), an amazing place. Another world. With no signs. Finding a lift, a toilet, a set of stairs was such a venture. You'd expect such a grotto in itself to have a rather magical hidey hold for old Red Hat Fat Tum. We waited in a queue for an hour while his Helpers gave us gingerbreadmen which Eva tucked into with all the right malice 'eek ... my head is gone!' 'AGH! I'm just a leg!!' We knocked on the Grotty door and in we went to a Twin Peaks square red room with a big fat cockney on a green chair in a bag wig. 'no way' I thought. Eva was crest-fallen. I don't know what she thought. She's refused to speak about it and can be bribed only to nod or shake her head in response to questions on a Santerial subject. But I think already, age 3, for her the myth is dead. I'm secretly glad. As I am about pink and bird poo. Of course.
But not so C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. That is alive alive oh. Snowmen to be spotted everywhere and I swear she has the vision of an eagle with a telescope. She can spot a cm big snowman on a roll of wrapping paper across a supermarket. 'I saw something! I saw something!'
The most miraculous of days yesterday. Eva did her first, first EVER Nativity play with her little school friends. She was (is!) an angel in long white dress with tinsel crown and way too big wings which slipped a bit and she couldn't wait to get off. For all these weeks of steady rehearsals she's been too shy to sing with her class but has given me private performances at bedtime 'with all the actions'. On the day she triumphed. She sang her heart out, gazing steadily at me the whole time. I was transfixed, wedged into that moment, recording every blink of her eyes.
Later I thought how cliched I'd have found myself in that moment before knowing what loving a child is like. And I tried to work out WHY those moments are so overwhelmingly poignant and painfully passionate.
But I can't work it out. It's like trying to describe a colour that doesn't yet exist.
2:29pm: 10 favourite things
kelquestor has asked me to take a torch, to write 10 things that make me happy and then invite 3 others to do the same. So I will try. Here are 10
1. Sleeping next to Eva 2. Rain 3. Mid-afternoon novel-reading sessions alone on the bed 4. Having my back scratched by X 5. Very cold beer alongside the thinnest slivers of edam cheese 6. The sensations of Eva's hair and Eva's voice 7. Photographs that get it 8. The sound of cash registers 9. When words come 10. The realisation that I am still neither mad nor dead
Yesterday I met the analyst. In a very crumpled pinstripe suit from the bottom of a suitcase. He, not me. I wept. The whole time. I thought I was dry as a desert.
Today I collected Eva from school and she bounced out then remembered she wanted to show me an 'amazing picture' she'd drawn across two blackboards. So we went back in. The pictures had been rubbed out. Eva just sat on the floor like all the will had seeped out of her. Just sat there and then started to cry. Huge, inconsolable crystal tears. Almost silently. The teacher said she'd spent ages on the pictures, had even included hair slides.
I have kept a 5-year-diary since 10. A 5-year diary is specific: only 4 tiny narrow lines, a tiny narrow page - there's room for nothing other than jotting down 'events.' I chose it for a reason back then which stuck. Despite unfortunate supplementary 'journals' running alongside but really - to the bonfire! So I can account for every single day of my life since 10. Which leads me to wonder, naturally, about the ghastly transluscent kind of existence I must always have known I lead, which must be reinforced, substituted even, with / by ink. What KIND of amnesia did I fear?
And now. Now I write less than ever. The 5-year diary still, often updated weeks late. I wonder (only rarely, and less and less) whether the disintegration of my language desire is a temporary affliction. Affliction? Of course now, of course the mental spaces are now filled with snowy bleeding chatter, incessant beautiful fluting, hostipal, fanks, mooznik, mezwin etc. etc. ETC. But somewhere I wonder. Will it return? I can sacrifice it. I would. I am. I wonder. Rather than hope.
Then there's the force of the future. Future. HA! Given that morning and night I feel exhausted with 'This Can't Go On'. Then it has. It does. But that gives me no reassurance.
I can almost SEE the aneurysms. Sometimes I think even that they giggle.
Drying her hair (grown women would DIE for that hair. I do. Will. Whatever. But the hair! It is so thick, way too thick for 3 years old. Straight. Silky beyond) and I'm thinking Her Without Me. Walking the street and I'm thinking Her Without Me. So I miss Pipey. Her Other world. Pipey, love? Who's Pipey? If I disappear I would like it to be to her mind.
Tiny dark Bardot with swollen eye sends me bck to the kitchen with a shake of her head and a pointed finger. We stretch together. And I'm drunk. And the pain pain pain of it. What? Bloody WHAT? The unthought is all I can say. The unthinkable which won't stop being unthought.
I would like another one of those screams, W. I would. You won't remember it. I do. It was the only one so it feels for me like it belongs to the centuries.
I am so late this year at getting 2006. Even numbers are not for me. I want to stay in this one. Even numbers so frequently bring the WORST.
"You're not mean. Only when you tell me not to throw things." I want to never tell not to anything. To be thought mean! It's awful. M-E-A-N. And to think I will no doubt have to get meaner. I shall have to redefine the term.
3:09pm: eye trauma
The Analyst phoned me in the end. We meet on 29 November 'toseewherewegofromhere'.
So we will. See. Or not. I may not turn up.
That aside. She saw an ophthalmologist yesterday re. the endless leaking cyst below her beautiful eye. She's on the list for an operation. I'm numbly refusing to think about it. Oh shit. As a childless person I regarded the childed as doing things I would never dream of. Were I childed. For instance. I have always been resolutely unsentimental. And resolutely resolute about Facing UP To THINGGGSSSS. But with Her I am gone. That I. I face up to nothing. And am absurdly sentimental. The conflict of I is to be expected. Of course it is. Shut up about that, idiot. But it's these small everyday, unimpressive manifestations of It that ... What? Embarrass me? Tear me and show me my new reflection too clearly?
No point in it. Leave it. Live it instead if you can. If you dare!
Still, I can remark on the absolute beauty of her eyes without fear. And the tragedy that one blue pool has to be cut. There again, look, I would NEVER have called an eye a 'blue pool' before. But still it doesn't matter. Because whatever word I choose, blue pools they remain. The scalpel will just glance off them anyway. Mirrors reflecting nothing yet but strange truths and obvious lies.
With my darling cartoon character. The closeness, the bond, well. When I try to write it about it this love it is of course impossible and a repetition of a repetition and on. But there it is. The most repetitive repetitions are there for a reason because they're worth repeating. And the repetition is: there is no love like the love you feel for your child.
THERE IS NO LOVE LIKE THE LOVE YOU FEEL FOR YOUR CHILD
It is terrifying helter skelter intense, like an injection of electric fearpassionfear. Better than drugs.
Artaud would do better. Of course. But not at loving. At loving Her NOBODY is better than me.
My analyst's voice on the answerphone today. It's been a long long time. I've avoided him. Hearing his voice even reminds me of what I'm not thinking about. I don't know. Is it better to face the Terror or tuck it under an edge? Tell me.
Pain, Her Pain. It haunts me however real it is or not. And all kinds of it from the obvious, the coughing season obvious which tears at my nerves, to the subtleties of disappointment. Her desire was thwarted the other day by the over abundance of a larger child and she stood in the background watching, hands fallen to her sides, and I wanted to pull a bit of me out and give it to her and say it doesn't matter none of it because you won't really ever remember this. But even that, well why, because the Pain as I put it so exagerratedly is actually mine rather than hers. The pain of keeping her painless is bloody shootingly painful.
My analyst was so against mental hygiene. And so am I. But not with her.
But anyway. Here's a day. Yesterday in fact. We planned it because it's her first half-term holiday because now she's at 'school' in the mornings. Sunshine Corner. But well. So, the day. We've been reading a story 'Katie in London' which is really an old-fashioned story about a girl and her brother being shown The Sights of London by a Trafalgar Square Lion who comes to life. There's nothing David McKee about it, it just Is What It Is as Lynch would say. She loves it. So we went to See the Sights for ourself. Of course the Lion didn't come to life and was really so enormous she couldn't even keep her tiny bottom on one of its paws. The Changing of the Guards was good in the sense of beautiful horses but her attention span is very different to her previous visit to see that. And I'd promised her Hamleys. Cue eye-swirling, out-of-her-mind excitement that was bordering on, bordering on, I did write 'hatred' but that's stupid, there's no hatred at 3, but something like that, almost like she wanted to consume the shop. With fire. Still. We went. I kept calm. We found something. Phew. Let's pay and get out quick. She said that, not me, I offered the other 5 floors for her to see but she wouldn't. Enough. Then I took her to the cinema and that was wonderful. Muuuum ... it's a bit dark. Hee hee!
4:36pm: since then
since then my neck turned to wood and my head blew up like a balloon. Just in time for the party. 3.
I made myself ill with anticipation. Every year another one I did not expect to be. 3. So ill, unreasonably so, I lay and slept some times - even up to the 15 minutes before. On the sofa, in the sun, my legs bare. I can't believe how ill I get how feebly I cope.
Yet we went on. And there were people in the flat. Horror for Her. She hid her face in my elbow and felt hot, very hot. I felt drunk. Nothing was Proper but it was all really ok.
And looking. And looking. Occasionally fading into other images but mostly looking steadily.
Despair, joy, fate. Her voice (high flute) running through a scenario in which BD with BF in a suitcase has to fly across to the other end of the bath to deliver a small cup of water to Tink. That doesn't matter. It was that existential sense of the reality of her.