Catch myself unawares
tears streaking wrinkled face
all that bravado
it doesn’t matter
be happy for others’ family reunions
unwrapping presents from under the tree
stuffing themselves with turkey and booze
a jolly good knees up
for she’s a jolly good fellow and so say all of us
I know drowning in self pity ain’t gonna do a damn thing
but rationalising ain’t working either
can’t seem to talk myself out of the hurt
buried so deep under piles of shit
strata upon strata upon strata
loss upon loss upon loss
not just losing your favouite earring
but those on the top of the list of the stress scale
this year of course there is the loss of Mama
the wave of grief suddenly has knocked me off balance
I am nostalgic for that family any family
yet reality smacks me in the face
what family get real stop day dreaming
just another day in paradise
now i know why the suicide rate shoots up
over the festive season
all this jollyness family bliss
kinda rubs it in huh if you are the Matchstick Girl
gazing enviously through the window
left out in the cold
what can you do
had to wipe away the tears
put on the game face
smile and carry on
what is the alternative
I am loving the low key run up to Christmas here; some token decorations and more glitzy ones in the posh shopping malls but apart from that there is no frenzy, mad rush round the supermarket for last minute supplies for a perfect day. Not a turkey in sight, thank God. Only the super rich in gated communities or living in mansions in the Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island possess the luxury item of an oven. To be honest the cold weather lasts only a couple of months and trust me in the summer it feels like an oven anyway.
I used to hate shopping in Tesco days before Christmas; it felt like we were in a war and being rationed. People were grabbing and aggressively racing their trolley towards the last bag of spuds or carton of milk. The shops are only closed for one day, Christmas Day, newsflash, the day before is not a Public Holiday, the day after is when the sales begin. With all that food and drink we are stuffing our face with you think we could last one day. Why the frenzy and mad rush as if our lives depended on it?
I am going to be a party pooper and admit I have never got terribly excited over Christmas or any other festival really. Not even my own birthday, I looked forward to receiving presents but that is it, even when I was a child. Only when the kid came along did we bother to put up the Christmas tree and decorations and put treats in the Advent Calendar. I mean you are really a bad mother if you don’t.
I am looking forward to a quiet Christmas on my own. Please no comments of sympathy and poor you. You know the children’s book, ‘Peace at last’? That is how I feel.
The other day it suddenly occurred to me that I am loving my fifties, the kid is grown the husband gone and finally I am free to work on me, get my physical health back, work on being more centred and calm, more resilient to external forces and pressures and figuring out what I really want to do with the rest of my life. If I live to be as old as Mama I still have over thirty years to go, quite a significant chunk of time to do something meaningful.
I just came across a very sad post about a young talented author who had committed suicide and couldn’t overcome his own demons, the black dog of depression. In his happier times when asked why he became a writer, he replied that he wanted to do something that would outlive him. Those words made me think, especially as he is no longer with us.
Maybe The Grateful Man is right, in spite of the overwhelming evil in the world, we can spread a little light and kindness in our tiny corner of the globe. Surely it is better than being a bystander.