Paper Cut

We all need to feel grounded. 


Walls and hedges, floors and edges, markers to our world’s defining spaces. Blanket stitching a creative space for everything to come, and everything to reflect upon; a place to heal within, to plan from.. A place to rest and go from next. A place to call home. A hub to conjure up new ideas and have fun in. A place to nurture old friendships in and grow new ones in.


We make temporary spaces naturally at our desks, in our childhood bedrooms, in our holiday hotel rooms,  even it seems, ( from recent Netflix binges) in our prison cells.  In the last three months of my pregnancy, when I was kept in more than I was allowed home, (due to a complication;) my corner of the ward very soon held an assortment of personal memorabilia. A cushion, paintbrushes, all the quirks and accoutrements I probably don’t know are me– but everyone else does!

As a child I held family open days to show off my new bedroom layout. Creating different versions of normal and making new from old. Hours of pushing the bed from one side of the room to the other with my legs shoving the base inch by inch across the floor and rearranging my Wham posters !(yes, I was that kid) and on holiday it doesn’t feel the same until the suitcase is unpacked, the toiletries are in the bathroom, and we know what time breakfast is. A little bit of home from home.

Every student flat, every house, every holiday campsite, no matter how temporary is a blank canvas for a new beginning.

Every one a new route to friendships and chance.

Occasionally there must be a inevitable spanner.

Paper Cut
The walls are paper thin here,
Each paper rustle heard.
Each line of book surrendered,
T'wards rest like idle birds. 

On wings of paper feathers,
Forgotten, inked at last.
Between the paper walls, 
Burt embers of the past. 

This paper cuts each finger,
A trail of pink and read. 
We stitch each words so carefully, 
Each hope with paper thread.

A paper trail of bows left,
Tied on the seat of kites. 
They dive through days and shady lanes,
And feed on terabytes. 

We're papering the cracks now,
To show we're almost real.
A chain of paper dolls stuck fast,
were lined up, toe to heal. 

Our supper on our paper plates,
This picnic tastes the same.
And though the walls are made of card,
We're sheltered from this rain. 

And while the paper calendar, 
Knows not where life will take her,
We stumble through this paper maze, 
and sleep on formal papers. 

In time we'll empty boxes,
A cardboard overwhelm. 
We'll sail on paper aeroplanes, 
Exploring new, old realms.

We'll find our lost belongings,
In tissue, and newsprint.
And mark our new tomorrows,
With smudgy fingerprints.

 

This poem was inspired by life over recent months . A period of beautiful, but, at times; almost unbearable stillness.

Where once was busy routine, noise, people, structure and and planning of things to get through the seasons of the year; the details, the full stops and punctuation, the life chapters, those that will become embarrassing Facebook reminders in a year or two for groaning offspring; days going by in snapshots of celebration and those yet to be experienced.

What was to be a few months of waiting for a house move has stretched to over half a year.
Not knowing an outcome for a move or a big life change is a hard thing to cope with, no matter whether you are a small or a bigger, experienced human.

When we make a home, it is the centre of our web. From there we can go places and do things and join things, make things happen. Grow roots.

For various reasons this year, this has been on hold a little while.


It isn’t always easy to stay positive without our p.j.c (personal joy collection. ) How easily our solid house of cards can become paper thin. A home is so vital but even more so, are the friendships we nurture within it. To say I crave the smell of chalk paint and new carpets, even a trip to b and q, would be an understatement.


But, when life gives us lemons..

If you had told me we would be packing for this many months, it would have been impossible to imagine what we needed. We could only take so much with us, most of that was for animals. Some clothes for each season and the basics. Which have been added to, seasonally including a birthday each and Christmas. It feels a little now that what we have here now, in our temporary home, is the sum of our belongings. When someone has a bad day, it is so easy to forget that this isn’t our life now. Or who we will be forever more. That this is who we all are now. And at times when it is hard, that this is the whole picture.

But every day is a new beginning. ( I love mornings) And in between the slow ticking of the clock are revitalising rushes of appreciation for what still is . And what will be.

There are still bookshops and mornings, hugs and sprinkles on your coffee, ideas and paws,

Sunrises, amazing architecture, hugs, tiny cinemas and beautiful views.

Happy memories from Skye Blue House inspiring New ideas for the next Home

In these twixt days and months, in the early hours, these precious daylight hours, when school keeps her busy, or cold winter evenings waiting for news of housey things; much is being created and made.

Soon we will grow flowers. Until then we will just grow more (im)patient and bigger piles of paper…

Sometimes the big picture takes a little longer to materialise !

And we must make and be ..

With love and gratitude

Liz at the Beach Hut x

Her

A post for a few who need it.


Her

There was a girl who looked like me
She followed me close by.
If someone hurt or saddened us
She hid away to cry.

She weighed as heavy as a rock
But couldn’t quite be seen,
She sometimes almost went away
But re-appeared in dreams.

She often spoke in voices
Quite like those I knew so well,
The tag team of complicit pain
Who cast their icy spell.

We look inside the mirror
Thinking, I know who is me
But you know you are deeper still,
Than anyone can see.

We see the version of ourselves
That we accept as truth.
Honed out of mixed perspectives,
Thrust on us since our youth.

The saddest waste of life is what
we all can sometimes do.
To trust the doppelganger,
Who pretends that they are you.

Go back and hold your own hand
In the places, times and hours
When your wondrous thoughts and feelings
Were swamped by other’s powers.

Refocus where you stand today
Right now, and ever more,
The person who can walk alone,
A giant through the door.

Without the weight of what was then,
And who you never were.
For all that is ahead of you
For you, but best for HER.

LW

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Cheeky

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Christmas smelt of coal when I was very small,
Curled beneath the eiderdown, light flickered on the wall.
A tealight by the bedside, insurance just in case.
On Christmas eve, a certain hope to catch sight of his face.

Christmas smelt of sausage rolls, upon a Christmas Eve.
When it was dark and candles lit, their festive scent I’d breathe
For that was when the night began, and he’d be here quite soon.
A bell, a thump, a cloud of smoke; inside the living room.

I’d picture him amongst the stars, a map within his hands.
He’d plan his route and plot the houses chimneys in each land
But now I think he may have found a warehouse in each town,
And make TV appearances when funds are running down.

His cheeky rounded cheeks and his bristly fluffy beard,
His soft and round red tummy, never changing year on year.
In my childhood, Santa had no socks from Tk Maxx,
He didn’t carry ipads and hair straighteners in his sacks.

He took delight in filling socks with oranges and sweeties.
And no-one mentioned tooth decay or early diabetes!
He ate enough mince pies to keep weightwatchers very rich,
But I could never see, his tummy pop a single stitch.

And if he drank the little whiskey on each little plate
Would Santa not be very drunk? Or least of all quite late?
Would he not muddle every present on each waiting hearth?
Creating chaos in his fluster. That would make me laugh.!

He’d maybe just decide to see the ones who saw him too.
For magic only happens if you first believe in you.
However, he still does it, whether Amazon or sleigh
And even if you’re always grinchy, park it for the day.

Nothing truly wonderful can ever be explained.
Santa is who Santa is, and lives in all our brains.
Hang your hat on someone good, you might just be surprised,
And one day you’ll wake up to find a bite from your mince pie.

Liz

And Breathe

I have spent quite a lot of time looking at clouds recently.

Either through a doorway at dawn or at dusk when the spectacular paint box of colours and shapes sploshes across our patch of sky. Or sometimes from the inside of a wheelchair as I get trundled on a too- far- to-walk-path or as passenger in the car, I have been awestruck by the never ending capacity for the fabulousness of clouds.

Fluffy snowy cloud mountains hovering on the rooftops of the town, volcanic explosions backlighting the gloom of greys creating clouds of such density you surely must be able to ride on one. Dramatic inky washes, Turneresque pastel streaks of wonder, explosive fiery bursts splitting their intense vibrant blue canvas. We paint the skies with our eyes.

I’ve always loved skies, like gazing at the sea, their vastness make us feel tiny, our thoughts less important. Ironically being mindfull makes our minds less crammed full of clutter.

Watching the clouds pass through the sky I focused on my breath. It hurt to breathe. The week before quite suddenly I hadn’t been able to. After a week of feeling quite strange, a day in A and E, and an extra unexpected ambulance call out, it turned out there was a problem with my lungs. It looks like it was a blood clot. It was extremely painful and frightening.

Quite literally all there was to do was put one moment in front of the next, trust and focus on my breath. It hurt to laugh, to bend down and especially to breathe in cold air. Several times I almost blacked out going outside. In these moments we cling to those we love and the skills we’ve gathered . And trust that we know it is temporary.

I have been reminded.

As someone who is limited by mobility, I use my time and energy differently to a lot of other people. Rising early, using that burst of energy, keeping extra warm, scouting for disabled parking spaces close to the shops or the beach. But it is the world we are used to. Accepting new levels of limitations is another layer of challenge. Accepting even more help is even harder.


But like the skies that change, so too do our needs and our strengths. When there is no choice but to come fully home to ourselves we find we had been patiently there all along. And no amount of illness changes who we are.

These last few months have been ( again) fairly isolating. In a time where nothing is permanent, it can be tricky to hold onto the walls. Your feet need to be firmly on the ground at least somewhere, even if it is just a springboard to travel from and to return to , Staying true to yourself without any of your belongings, with your normal clothes or reference materials with books or tools and equipment; creates an opportunity to pare back to who and what is most important in your life.

After the start of the year, crammed full of community events and time with friends, choirs and art groups in Scotland, these last six months have felt frustrating; of time moving slowly, or time not being filled with our planned version of events. But when time is standing still second by second, we are offered a revitalised appreciation of having achieved in both large and small ways.

Take a breath

It was a summer of getting to know the area, enjoying the warmth and indulging in the odd treat here and there!

Autumn sauntered in with her rich fruity tones.

The zoo continued their daily antics. Bumble and Bonnie the guinea pigs, Max and Molly the cats and Horace the flat-coat retriever. Bear is now living somewhere new with more space and freedom to be his wild self. We will always love you Bear x

A few months shuffling about in one small chalet….

To a larger one …

The girl grew as they are wont to do…

And much Art and Poetry was made

Keeping up with friends by post has been invaluable. Online classes and weekly galleries can be seen on seasparkle.org.

Once a week office space waiting for the laundry!

Remembering every day what makes us happy, even if we have to wait a while…

Sudden illness, a change of direction, a change of pace throws us, We expect it all to be back how it was. But life can’t ever stay the same.

No matter what that looks like for each of us

It can be cathartic to become unwell somehow. I don’t say that flippantly, and I can only speak from my own experience and those who I have spoken with.. But, occasionally we are blessed with an opportunity to gain insight into what is real and what is snake oil.

Unable to catch that last bit of breath, a series of strange little coincidences balanced the universe again. There was a peaceful inevitablity. I just had to not laugh too much. It hurt.

Maybe, the universe took over?

I can breathe a little easier now. Yesterday my daughter made me a delicious dinner, after my first foray out in town walking a few hundred yards. We shared her cheesy chips. We were simply in the day.

It is time to get cosy

Tomorrow will happen regardless

There will always be clouds.

We must just look up.

Have A Fabulous Christmas, stay warm, stay positive and stay in touch

And remember to keep breathing! xx

All our love, Liz and the zoo xx

Happy International Artists day

Thankyou to all my readers for your kind comments and support this year. Here is a mini gallery of recent illustration work. As most of you know, we are mid relocation so this has been a calming constant in an ever evolving world!

As ever, inspiration is always better amongst friends.

See our community Art xx

Raven

Raven

The day we watched the funeral,
when all the nation grieved.
Sat inside with children home,
Choirs on TV.

A raven watched beside us,
Beside the open door.
Catching little snippets, 
Coming back for more.

Black were all her feathers
Black were her bright eyes.
But though the day was heavy,
The sun shone in the sky.

Other ravens gathered,
Smart in feathered suits.
Regal, loyal, slick with time
Wearing formal boots.

Lined up at the palace,
Making good the tower.
Celebrating Queen’s long reign,
Warm and strong in power.

Nobody was counting,
Looking at the sky.
Watching for the minute when,
Their Monach passed them by.

So, nobody missed her,
One less precious bird.
Hanging on the commentary,
Huw Edwards every word.

Solemnly she stood there,
Forgetting I was there.
Forgetting all the other birds,
High up in the air.

And as the crowd stood sombre,
Her majesty was led.
A million mourning faces.
A raven bowed her head.

She turned then from the TV,
A tear filled, beady eye.
And left me to my musings,
As she soared into the sky.

Liz Walker