I have been taking a lot of pictures on my phone. I walk around, phone in hand, it’s an extension of my body, just like the theory I studied during Communication and New Technology at university. I am always on the lookout – everything is a story. I focus up close, making acute observations, looking at the detail. These small things really do make the world brighter.
Look at the seeds in these strawberries! The plumpness, the light and shade, the richness of the red. They were the sweetest strawberries of the summer.
Look at this fleeting rainbow! Look! It existed, right there on a flight of stairs. I marvel at the rainbows created by the sunshine and glass, reflecting onto the concrete jungle. I love that I’ll only see them in the early morning, when the warmth of the sun is delicious, and there’s the prospect of a great day ahead of me. Sometimes when it’s grey, the rainbows aren’t there at all. We are lucky to catch them, even luckier they’ll let themselves be photographed.
I’ve been enjoying this summer more than usual, and I think it’s because I am noticing the small things, having fun and being thankful. I guess these photos represent this summer so far, and especially the night I just had. Up close, delicate and fleeting.
I was invited to do some reading at a Midsumma event this week. It was at a performance art show called Quippings, a regular event in the disability community, held at Hares and Hyenas in Fitzroy. Some extremely talented people spoke and played music. I love the diversity in the room. It was inspiring, moving me to write more and get up and read. I saw some old friends there, and made new ones too. I was told I saved their bacon, agreeing to read at last minute, and so unprepared I was, I chose to read two pieces from my blog. Untouched and Our disabilities do not inconvenience you. I’m glad I had no time to prepare.
I used to read poetry at readings around the city. I’d stand in front of strangers, telling them my inner most thoughts in rhyming, alliterative verse. Now I tell strangers around the world my thoughts. You, my readers, don’t see me when I write, and I don’t see how you react, at least not your facial expressions and gestures only your comments if you choose to leave them. It felt strange to be so openly vulnerable, so vocally sincere. The buffer of a screen disappears. The audience was able to hear my voice soar and waiver, maybe even see me thinking back to the time when I wrote it. I could ad-lib anecdotes. Strangely, and thankfully, I didn’t think of him when I read Untouched.
It felt good to receive such an instant positive response from the audience. In this new media world where instant validation is encouraging and ego boosting, and harsh comments can make you question your worth, I do recommend reading your writing out aloud at least once in your life.
I bared my soul by reading my blog posts aloud to an audience of mostly strangers. So different to writing silently. Exhilarating in a different way. I feel appreciated. I received hugs. They saw me up close, delicate yet strong, and the recital was fleeting.
A boy kissed me at the end that night. It was fumbly, friendly, quick, on the run. Permission sought. Twice. I guess it was in response to my vulnerability of my blog post (but I don’t want to be a pity kiss). His stubble scratched my face. He apologised. I told him it’s ok, I like stubble.
I kept on waking up at intervals through the night to feel whether his kiss really happened. And my lips bled gently in the morning. It confirmed just how sensitive to the touch I am. And so I wrote a poem. That doesn’t happen so much now. I like that it happened. I still haven’t asked what it was, and truthfully, I don’t want to.
i can feel the pins of your bristles throb on my lips,
leftovers from our fumbled kiss
I smiled as it happened, I’m smiling now,
it’s nothing and it’s everything,
and you stay on my lips for hours more than seconds,
bloody beautiful memory in the morning,
a reminder that you were there.