Compass spinning

The need I seem to have to be grounded firmly in a home
does not diminish with each move around the globe
and the perpetual struggle to find my balance in the shifting and
constant identity establishment gets more intricate with each move,
yet I do not find myself wishing this away.

In order to catch my breath on the internal slopes of tension I find myself slung between,
I sit in a coffee shop and watch the world clip by on corporate heels.

I pad along book store aisles and handle the pages reverently, running my hands over ruffled pages and beautiful imagery on the covers that sends me to
faraway places in my head.

Then I jolt with remembrance that I already live in faraway places.

This sends me in search of dusty antique shops filled with Chinese heritage,
statues of warriors and bronze gongs,
wedding baskets and rice measures,
ming vases and curved table legs,
ornate doors from Rajasthan
and teak kitchen cabinets from dynasties past.

I explore organic shops with potions and lotions
and rug shops stacked with Persian carpets.

Narrow shophouses are smoky with incense
and the aroma of bartering.

I admire a tiny 70 year old Chinese stool and
watch school girls giggle under the precise tip of the henna brush.

And then, after walking through this life I am living,
like the pages of some strange novel,
I return home
and the gates clang loudly behind me.

I walk in barefoot on cool marble,

Open the doors wide and quietly watch drifting reflections in the warm breath of a breeze.

I turn to the familiar,
the spaces that nourish and mend.
I whisk, melt and beat,
from the pages of historically splattered recipes.

I am standing mentally in my childhood kitchens when I do this.
I am making my aunt's cakes and grandmother's cookies,
my mother's desserts, my father's curries, my friend's dough.

And as I mix my present into the past,
folding the whipped whites
through the heavy batter,
I realise both are needed to make it rise.
To allow it to be soft and edible.

And in order to live
the nourishing way I intend,
I am convinced I need to stand softly and
relish the ordinary
in order to create a home from it.

Yet, I have noticed that
the extra-ordinary begs an audience too.

My word for the year is
I want to embrace with two arms,
one from west, one from east.
Past and present.
Light and shadow.
Salt and oil.
Rain and sun.

There is much for me to learn.

But now it is my pleasure to do something I have been looking forward to for years.

One of my friends has begun to blog - whispering to the keyboard some of the insights and depth she possesses. This woman is not only extremely intelligent and articulate, she has inspired me in real life on numerous occasions, with her gift of analysis and perception. She has structured her life intentionally, and although is in that challenging flux of motherhood, she has not stopped learning and making this role one that deserves the best of her planning and energy.

One of her most valuable assets is that she is steady and strong. Her laughter comes quickly and her heart and home are open to those who need anything. I am profoundly blessed to know her as a friend that speaks into my life, but even more than this, she is family - married to my brother.

Please, make her welcome.

Meghan at MNM's  – (March 4, 2011 at 7:51 PM)  

Wow, this is some beautiful writing...I found myself wanting to read it over and over. To hear the lyrical way the words so lovingly sit together. Salt and oil. Rain and sun. You have such a beautiful way with words...

And what a lovely introduction for the wonderful Penny. It's funny I had seen you friends on Facebook and following each other's blogs but hadn't worked out the very close connection - ah it all makes sense now!!!

Penny is a friend from The Rock church and I have been avidly following along with her rediscovering her love for her blog. Agree wholeheartedly with all you have said. I really look forward to each post :-)

Sandra@White Kitchen Cabinets  – (March 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM)  

What a beautiful way to describe your past life...!!!

Penny  – (March 4, 2011 at 9:30 PM)  

WOW! she does not sound like the person I see in the mirror each day "blush"


Gail  – (March 6, 2011 at 10:19 PM)  

Lovely hon. I've had that same word "embrace" in fact before Mark left this week I told him to see only through embracing eyes.

I love how you create "home" in new places... combining the old with the new. Even though we are leaving for a short time, I have a few things planned to take that will bring home and create home where we are!!

You really are a most beautiful, talented writer. Write more!


Sarah of 'Catching the Magic'  – (March 13, 2011 at 8:24 PM)  

Such beautiful words and images combined! Like Meghan I want to read your lyrical brilliance and savour it like a good tasting wine. You write so beautifully.

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