The door is wide and warm, the kettle's on. The honey pourer that arrived here via China and the USA sits upon my Granny's plate, its edges softly frilled like grandmothers are, but often aren't. And the woman framed above who looks as if she might have slipped off the tip of William Russell Flint's sable brush, hasn't. I know; it seems as if nothing's as it really is. But it is. The child's drawing on the fridge is nothing else but itself. The gouge mark in the knotted pine wood floor proof of something heavy dropped between us, even if we struggle to remember what. And fruit is always fruit even when its cut.
There's laughter here. In the photos of how we used to be and, I like to think, captured from family, friends and even strangers like yourself in the butter yellow doors and drawers - invisible veins of music. And tears too. Our own. A daughter's pain. A friend's, in the instant she knew her man's betrayal and her shoulders dropped the way you'd watch a puppet fall when its strings are cut.
|Taken in a vintage Kodak photo booth|
Santa Barbara CA 1992
Sometimes the oven's or the summer's heat envelops us. Sometimes a season's morning chill makes us tiptoe across the room past the cold slices of glass, looking out on a wall of rough cut stone, a meagre persistence of moss below glowing emerald in the winter sun.
A black cat stretches here. Goes out. Comes in and leaves her muddy paw prints on the hand-made table, though its size and weight bely that phrase, the slabs of pink beech and squarely jointed legs, body-made perhaps.
The pendulum of the electronic clock mimes a tick, a tock: its swing a measurement of time that metronomes our hearts, our breath, when we are calm. Falls silent when things are broken, cracked: a plate, a forgotten promise, a glass salt pot. Regains its voice when we dance around the room, the cellar's dark air beneath our feet where wine is stored and brought up and made to singin crystal and drunk.
|Garden bell from Villa les|
When you come to leave take the back door, the one that opens to trees, past the photo of men who worked on this farm a hundred years ago. Their faces are inscrutable, obeying a call to pose, their real lives hidden like the faint traces of dreams. Which this life you've just walked through might seem to you: a mismatched congregation of effects. Like that iron bell, beside the carved bowl of knobbled gourds, engraved with a number 10. But things are usually simpler than you think: the number on a street in France where we once lived and lost ourselves a while. When we ring the bell we find ourselves again.
Stories breathe between these walls. This is where each day, over coffee sweet and strong, another one begins.
Hungry Writer Prompt
Write about getting lost. And getting found.
|Fruit, Coffee by Tony Crosse 2002|