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Conflicted

Every morning, every single morning, I practice some Yoga asana. Now, I read the literature and this is, apparently, not a good thing. In fact it may even endanger physical health. The danger lies in the repetition, day in and day out. In my favour, I do vary the asana although there are three or four postures that I do every, single, day. Sometimes I put in more effort and other days I’m more relaxed.

So, where’s the conflict? Do I carry on as I have for the past two or three decades or do I cease forthwith? I am used to doing this daily practice and I enjoy the physical and mental stimulation.

I tend to believe a lot of what I read on the Internet and that is probably my downfall. Maybe I’m just a silly old woman in need of some different interests. Retirement is not all it is made out to be.

[155 words]

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Biscuit

Like a Marie biscuit divided in half. That’s how I described the moon to myself the other night.

Even though it was the big half, I did think my little phrase bordered on the maudlin.

And then I became so, as I imagined a world without Marie biscuits, and only the big half of one to look at every now and then when the night sky is bright.

©2019 Allison Wright
[89 words]

 

BEING SEEN

My family sees me as anti social.   They are probably right, but in my defence I have realised that at the family gatherings, like the lunch yesterday for 16 of us, I am invisible.   People talk over me and around me.  No one appears interested in what I have to say.   I try to ask a question, join in the conversation, and  my comments are ignored, or seem to fall on deaf ears.   I can shrug it off – I do.   However, avoid these occasions like the plague, and leave as soon as I possibly can without giving a justification, which would be a waste of time, there would be rolled eyes and shrugs of shoulders… ‘here goes Mummy again’   So, shall continue to be ‘anti social’ in situations like this and enjoy my encounters and long conversations with my like-minded intelligent friends!

Was für mich Glück ist

Sonntagmorgen 9 Uhr 30
Meine Katze leckt mir sanft
Den Schlafsand aus den Augen

Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard

Blank, but moving

I am writing an article. Not for me, but ghostlike, behind the scenes.

The Intro. That is where I start.

Some, I have heard — the other ghosts — bash out the middle bits quick-sticks, then tag an intro and a conclusion on the ends, like slices of bread around bacon, lettuce and tomato.

BLT ghosts. They are silent like me, for the most part.

I caught myself staring, half blankly, not at the screen, but at the glowy space between my head and the white wall, some one metre distant.

The small voice – the one in charge of the time and its alarm, neatly dividing what remains of my deadline into quarter-hours, as if oranges, starts thrumming, sotto voce, then booms, crescendo.

You must go on. Continue, stop dreaming.

I am not, replies the Thought. Wait.

And then they come, the keys on the keyboard stutter out aloud, like the rhythm of a fado from my long-ago heart: the perfect words. They’re here.

They stand astonished on the page, and look at their new neighbours, then settle into the space allotted. They agree: We like it here, they say. We’re staying.

©2019 Allison Wright
[192 words]

P.S. In this fado, Barco Negro, sung by the famous Amália Rodrigues, there is a rhythmical, short sequence of notes that helped lend form to the half-sentence that started out life as a blank stare.

Marry me, Mrs Johnson

“Will you marry, me, Mrs Johnson? ” Ted asked, putting two milk bottles through the kitchen window, always ajar, one gold top and one silver top. He asked this every morning as he delivered the milk. My mother gave him a tired little smile and said what she always said “Oh Ted, I’m already married, you know.” Ted nodded at the customary  answer and walked away with his head down, back to the milk van, his sadness palpable.  I think he really wanted a wife. Ted was a “mongol” as we called a person with Down’s syndrome in the sixties. At eight,  I wondered at the word. He lived alone with his mother and we never knew who his dad was, or cared. Ted was as much part of the village as the vast oak tree on the green, Mrs Hurley in the village shop, or the village vicar. He was always immaculately dressed in a clean, pressed checked shirt, a home knitted grey tank top and twill trousers. He had a job on the milk-round and everyone knew him. He commanded his own respect and only got angry if anyone was unkind to him. Ted and his mother taught me what Care in the Community should be.

Mrs Rouault’s kitchen window

The image of a painting by Sally Swain was hard to track down online, but no matter. In the end, I photographed the image I have.

I have often thought of the wife of Fauvist artist Georges Henri Rouault and my sister while washing the dishes. Let the record reflect that her name was Marthe Le Sidaner. My new abode has the perfect window when engaged in this activity.

The colours are frequently as bright. The colours are either in the glorious sunrises or in my imagination. Sometimes it is a touch of both.

Artist Sally Swain published a book called Great Housewives of Art. The image here is of the greeting card my sister sent me thirty years ago, full of the news of her adventures as a young woman in London.

Alternative caption: Allison does not wash windows, but thinks about it while washing the dishes.

Oh, the dishes I have washed in my life! Oh, the colours I have had the enormous privilege of seeing! The ink of the letter has faded; the colours in my mind’s eye do not.

©2019 Allison Wright
[172 words]