I miss writing on this blog but I’ve felt unable to for ages. It’s felt hard to string much of anything together. So as a way of making a small start, again – fragments, like cards on a string hung across a wall. Some hardly approaching fragments. But: a start. Small start.

I was carrying a long heavy box down the steps when it got caught on a large fern frond. I stood there pushing against the frond, trying to free the box. The box contained a bookshelf in parts that needed to be put together.

Kerry lifting up his feet to show me his bright new shoelaces.

I got a new lamp that has an over-sized round bulb with exposed filaments. The filaments criss-cross each other, like a tiny game of elastics.

Thinking about that kid Gordon. The seventh-form hockey player from Tauranga. We billeted him. 1997. His laugh was a sudden booming sound, like his normal speaking voice had been plugged into an amplifier and then unplugged again. His favourite computer game was Duke Nukem, which he played at the little white desk in the hallway of our house. He emailed me when he had returned to Tauranga. Gordon’s email was all in caps and it came to our family email address and it professed his love for me. The email was passionate yet barely coherent. AGE DOESN’T MATTER. MY GRANDFATHER IS MANY YEARS OLDER THAN MY GRANDMOTHER. And how, afterward, sleeplessness for being so cruel, so mocking to him in my reply.

The poster that I see every day of that unbearably beautiful woman, advertising haircuts, with her hair made of tendrils of different colours, and the look in her eyes that says – I don’t know, I think it says – you wanna get out of here?

The future as a physical shape, with heft. Enormous high funnelling cloud. Air, its traffic, uncontrolled.

None of us have known a silence like this silence, wearing its notes down like the grey warbler.

The contributor has gone awol.

The contributor flowers only once every seven years and emits a terrible stench but is a cause of great scientific excitement.

The contributor has assumed the form of a hundred double happies going off in the gloaming of your childhood.

The contributor was banned long ago.

What is that bird? Where from and why that shade of blue?

Digging a crisis around yourself like a moat. Flying yourself like a small pennant from the tower.

Amenable. Are you amenable? To this? What about, to this? Are you able, at least?

Wrapping the security light in duct tape. To stop it disturbing my sleep by shining through the curtain. But – in the morning, its long face of bandages.

Are you able?

If your week has not snowballed. If you have a small window. If somewhere you are free. If you are flexible.

Jenny’s soft voice rising up the stairwell, wishing a happy new year.

I met someone who has only one spoon and refuses to own another. He can’t find another one beautiful enough. I think this is obtuse. He thinks I am a philistine. Why can’t I seek and treasure beauty, in small functional things that, like the bees, the frogs, shape our lived experience? I spit out: I can. I do. I just believe, I know, that in this world you need two spoons. At least. You’ll see. You’ll see.

Moving truck full of young men, four in a row, waving from the high windscreen, waiting to turn.

Sunday, I shared a punching bag with a man. The bag hung from a beam running along the ceiling and was big enough that each of us was almost completely obscured from the other. Sometimes I saw his leg – hairy, muscular – appear around one side of the bag as he high-kicked it, or I saw an elbow jabbing out. And his feet, moving expertly as he approached and backed away. I took care to also stay obscured as I attacked the bag. The bag twisted and bucked violently and at one point the instructor came over and repositioned it. Then we carried on. My hands weakening inside my gloves, my punches slackening, until the bag barely moved for me.

How amenable? How able?

Matt bringing me huge, new, soft, grey socks, which I unfold and put on immediately.


About ashleighlou

Person, usually on bike
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2 Responses to frgmnts

  1. Carol says:

    Not baby steps really but toddler projects, with the same intensity and purpose of each short foray. Beautiful pieces. Thanks for sharing!


  2. annethecoach says:

    Please keep writing for us dear Ashleighlou. I love reading you.


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