Thursday 3 April 2014


Isn't that a great title? I can't claim it - it is the title of a novel by Andrew Miller. I discovered the book in my brother's library, alongside Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami and Ann Patchett. My brother has eclectic taste; literary and popular fiction in equal measure. I try to work my way through his library when I am in Singapore, but I find my ability to concentrate on any kind of fiction narrows and disappears in the heat and nowness of that alternate universe.
There is always time for Frida, though (not part of my brother's library!)...

I manage to catch a few hours here and there, reading, writing, in cafes around the city. I have discovered, to my horror, that I am an exceptionally slow writer. I seem to build so little progress that I question my existence, my raison d'être, every day. My MA results thrum around the corner. And when I know, then?
I promised I would report on the leopard suit: it was worse than I predicted. Rafa tore into a river of tears. Suddenly he had no hands. He had paws. He had fur in his mouth. And it was no fun at all. He wanted to be a polar bear. I discovered that the paws could be unclasped and his hands freed but by then it was too late. The leopard suit was not for wearing in Singapore heat. Once he was out of it though, he was fine… and the leopard became a game again. Very Calvin and Hobbes.
Today I am on English shores and in my wrist, a cannula. A venflon. A blue butterfly needle. I was in hospital for 12 hours and since I have another infusion tomorrow, the nurse suggested I leave the needle in. There are daffodils springing everywhere and the cherry in our garden has bloomed into puff pastry softness, but I am too tired to do more than nod at them. One morning, like a bird, I flew away from the sun and landing, forgot I had wings. But then I closed my eyes and felt them, folded, beside me.


Anonymous said...

The wings are there. They will always be.
As the old saying goes, a bird does not fall from a tree not because he is holding tight, but because he knows he can fly.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I loved catching up with you here, Shaista. Yes, love those folded wings, waiting quietly beside you. Rest well , my radiant friend. The little man is growing! I smiled at his distress at having paws instead of hands......maybe in time he will try again!

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