A love letter {by Laura Fraser}



 Image: authors own. Taken from a plane window coming home. The madness broadens into perspective, well kind of 

Image: authors own. Taken from a plane window coming home. The madness broadens into perspective, well kind of 

There's nothing like thinking you're the only one, only to have this wonderful thought quickly rebuffed.

"You drive me mad." I say to boyfriend.
"You drive me madder." He replies.


But the thing is, as far as life and the people in it are teaching me, when we struggle with something in another, we're really struggling with what it reminds us of what we've repressed in ourselves.  

In other words, the part in me that is being driven mad by boyfriend, could just be a messenger wanting to tell me something, but my ego is a bit worried an’ all, so instead of welcoming it in and making it a cup of tea saying, well then: tell me ALL. It’s sort of hissing at it:

Go awaaaayyyyy.

Go…I'm fine, just as I am. Don't need no changing!

And then it does this sort of mad merry dance:

I am what I am! It declares. And I’ll stay as I stay! Feeling very pleased with itself that it’s sent away whatever it felt threatened by.

The only thing about that, is that it’s a very lonely place to be…

Walking: clears stuff up

The other day, following some disgruntlement, I headed to the park as it was waking up and walked. And as I did, I watched as the morning light shifted from pale to moody to bright. And felt as the air bloomed from cold to warm.

I leant against trees and felt my feet plod on the earth. I walked around the pagoda, that overlooks the River Thames in London’s Battersea Park, om mani padme huming and then got distracted taking photos of the Buddha.

He’s just so big and gold.

I leant against the railing and watched the river Thames flow. She was loaded with plastics and waste: our gift to nature (forget us not). I watched the runners run. Immaculate men in tight neon shirts and neat little show pony legs, knees lifted high as they canter down the pathway that runs alongside the river.

I watched the joggers running with their dogs, and as I walked a man with knee high black socks ran so close past me, in a pace as slow as a walk, that his shoulder almost touched mine. There was a relaxed air about him, but he gave me the chills, so I stopped and turned towards the river instead of carrying on.

I watched mothers stretching their limbs, whilst their kids held their bikes, waiting. Women on rollerblades, glided past, yapping spaniels skipped behind them. I watched people sitting like multicoloured chicks, on a small boat making its way down the Thames and I watched men stretch brown legs with no socks on in trainers that were probably more fashion then ergonomically interested in the integrity of their feet, knees and spine.

People ran alone. Together. Slowly. Quickly. Tidily. Messily and every now and again, joylessly.

Later, I met a friend and his son and we go to the playground and then have an ice cream and I buy a Twister lolly for the son and say you know this is the kind of thing I would criticise Little Human's father for: "And then he gave her a Twister!"

As if there is nothing worse one can do. Sugar an’ all. Overlooking the fact that that white gristly substance, was probably the staple of my diet, from at least 1987 to, well, not too long ago.

We laugh, but inwardly a tear drops. There's a well inside each of us that sometimes some memory, some sentence, some sight or smell stirs in a way that a wave of it will rise so that out of our eyes, tears slip, their sparkle catching your gaze. Most of the time we reprimand and shame those tears into believing that now is not the time for them to fall.

Or, if we're more honest: it never will be. Not until something in us gets that there is more benefit in tears that fall, and so saying: my heart is moved, then there is in showing a dry face to the world. And so instead we say: my heart; it cracks.

On that walk, I felt the sadness in me. It was hard to locate. Needed encouragement: yes I really do want to hear from you! When the warmth of the sadness finally came through, a yawn came with it.

it was a good yawn. A full yawn. The yawn I love to hear when Little Human is about to fall asleep. It means she's relaxed. Afterwards, I leant against a tree and did some more watching.

I watched as a couple rode on a pair of Boris bikes. The woman in front, dangled out her left hand, her wrist soft. The man, who was cycling a little bit behind her, peddled quickly and then with glee darted out his hand to tap hers, before speeding by.

They laughed in delight.

I watched and felt a longing, whose rawness roared inside.

You make me mad. You make me madder…

So I try to be tidier. And he tries to relax around the mess of family life. Or we both pause and go you know what I'm hiding. I'm hiding behind the mess, or I’m hiding behind the tidiness.

I'm hiding behind complaining and criticising you and yet all I want to do is love you.

And yet, and yet, sometimes we need to open those doors of what we most fear, so that we can welcome in those fears. Sit them down and go okay now, what exactly is this all about? Mostly, probably, those fears, the poor darlings, just need a big hug and a blanket placed over their rackety old shoulders and given some hot chocolate.

And sometimes not. Sometimes, they need to hold your hand and look up at you and see you've got this one covered, as you turn towards the door and say we can do this, lets do this together.Turning to open it up.