Monday, October 3, 2011

lost for words

i love it how you find things when you're supposed to, ya know, without realizing it.

i haven't written anything because it's all been too much. the pressure. what have i got to say? what about this? what about that? lord no. usually when you don't know what to say, you talk about the weather. at least, i do. and i have a genuine love obsession with the weather, just in case y'all were wonderin'. i've given up guessing the weather 'round these parts, though. mountains generally mess with weather. it's always a surprise. or insufferable. either way, it keeps you on yer toes. i like it that way. generally, i like life that way.

it rained on saturday night. i thought i'd burst from my skin with sheer relief and happiness.
glorious squalls raced and slashed the hill. from no where. i had walked over to Tati's for dinner with the italians. i love sitting listening to their words like music, with a sort of don't worry about me i can understand what you're saying stupid smile on my face, even going to the disturbing extreme of periodically nodding my head. i don't speak italian, she shamefully confesses, even after having spent a small fortune on a box set of How To Speak Italian. i got to ordering a cappuccino and some fresh orange juice per favore and not much further. must try harder. oh wait. i can say la ragazza del collina con spina (the girl of the hill with thorns) much to my secret glowing satisfaction.

whenever i walk the hills at night, i always stop to look at the sky and the mountain. i narrow my eyes and strain them to see if i can trace her great jagged outline in the flickering darkness. i always can. on saturday night i could easily. there were great stars twinklin' above and lightening flickered far across the steppes. the moon was ever so beautifully sliced. i could smell the rain far far away and i thought "well. at least it's somewhere nearby. it's around, you know? be pleased. be pleased." and i was. and took a deep breath - a dusty breath sprinkled with little rain smells. a deep breath of flickerin' sky and moon and stars. it felt so good. things stir inside. i laughed the entire slippery way home, rain in my face and francesca sloshin' and a slippin' in the mud behind me with lots of gloriously stormy mama mia's and cazzo's.

i fell asleep with my hair wet and snaky like medusa's on the pillow and a smile on my face. and when i got up in the morning it stayed like that. my hair. i had a head of snake hair which not even the wind could pacify. this coupled with a terrible pale faced panic at having to treat my injured horse, did not make a pretty picture. working with horses is deliciously dirty. i rummaged around for an old pair of cut off levis in the old green suitcase which always has forgotten things in it. i found the shorts and remembered why i had chucked 'em in there a few years back....the zip had bust. must fix it, i reminded myself, as i chucked 'em unhesitatingly back where they obviously belonged....when suddenly i spied something wickedly emerald under the ethiopian caftan...i rummaged, inundated with a frantic curiousity. i tugged at green plastic and found an old folder, filled with writings i had forgotten about. piles of writings.

"And you raised your eyebrows and smilingly waited for more of my marvelous fantastic bullshit," i had written. "life was meant to be fun, apparently," i continued and then an entire exam pad of absolute Rubbish, codswollop i can't believe i wrote that shit Rubbish.
the only bit i liked was " I walked the hills today. I found a moth with golden spots. And burnt orange. Sitting on a new tree and rubbing its wings, scattering moth gold dust on the world. And two barbets. And seven aloes. Which I shall steal in the morning."

even so. it was a good as opposed to a bored feeling, to find words i had forgotten about. and stories, marvelously shite stories. the folder is not going back into the old green suitcase (circa 1979) but into my newly acquire senegalese wooden trunk (circa 19 bladdy voetsek i reckon by the price i paid for it) which stores all my other writings and paints and brushes and bits of pretty sea glass.

"She savoured it like when you steal the last chocolate, the last swig of the tin of condensed milk. Chocolate and condensed milk are, by nature, communal."

i wrote something.

so there.

kitchen board be damned.

toodely toot, y'all and baci X.X.X. remembered ones x j


Amanda said...

i know that feeling of coming across some old writing and wondering how one could have written such crap. makes me wonder why we are so unkind to our younger, naive selves. it's like looking at a foto of yourself from an ugly style decade and wondering how you could have allowed yourself to go outside looking like that.

our italian is on par. i can say 'the dog is under the table'.

Bill said...

Occasionally I unearth my old stories and poems ... it's gotten easier feeding them into the paper shredder.

For me, writing has always been associated with purpose. The simplest purpose was, and still is, is to amuse myself. A long ago purpose was to wind myself into the hearts of girlfriends. For awhile I dabbled with creative writing because I thought I had something to say. However, once those creative words are written, what do you do with them?

During my career I found purpose with writing because it produced income. I found it rather easy to write when motivated by money.

tut-tut said...

I love the way you write! you conjure up so many lovely surprising images and emotions.

JoeinVegas said...

But how was the horse?

Janelle said...

heh he amanda..i love your analogy...indeed! those beautiful 1980's photographs hey? x j

why thank you tut tut! x j

yes bill. must remember that. i love writing. so want to do it more. good mantra! x j

oh joe! he is much better thank you! he kicked his back leg through the stable wall (made of wood) and got it stuck! the askari had to knock the plank out with a had to clean the wounds and hope there wasn't any internal damage to the leg. was really worried for a day and a night. x j

Angela said...

I liked the image of your snake hair and getting all dirty while fussing with your horse. We had horses, too, and I know how it feels, how GOOD, actually, along with the smell and the warm horse and how they relax when you can help them. I hope he is better.
Ah, rain!
Did you see Val`s pictures of her hail storm? AND the lions in her yard, watching them? Your lives sure sound incredible, you Arfican guys.

francisca said...

Dear Janelle,
Just to tell you that I love your blog and that you are on my blogroll
Enjoy your day and send news if you have time,

Janelle said...

geli indeed i did see val's pictures of the storm..beautiful! x j

francisca! thanks for leaving your comment...your blog and site are truly gorgeous. you're on my bloggie roll now! yay! thanks! x j

karen said...

Glad to hear that you had some rain, and that the horse is better.. Whenever I have found old writings of mine, I have ripped them up or burnt them in horror!!

elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you rediscovered your old writings, my darling.
Treasures there to be sure.
A wonderful now time essay too!
How did I manage to miss these last two posts?silly me!

family Affairs said...

I too have boxes full of utter shite that I have written - got a whole blog full of it too!! It's a little bit scary when I think about it.....Lx

toomuchaugust said...

it says a lot, this green suitcase, with the broken-zipper-shorts. i keep in the back of my closet a few such things just for the touch of fabric, or the smooth rub of stone. and those journals? i thought i'd been here before, and now those journals are living proof. glad you keep yours.


Karen said...

So here I am a million days later and not even sure you'll see this to say: whatever you want to write is great, and if you don't want to write it's okay. And maybe whatever you did write way back when had to be written then, even though it's not what you'd write now.

(Last semester pretty much torpedoed not only my blog writing but also my blog reading, so I am just now picking up bits here and there as a new semester begins.)

And I wanted to say that I think it would be a privilege to just sit in witness with you; you don't have to "produce" anything amazing, or even anything, and I'll still think you're awesome.