Monday, October 4, 2010

Sophie's Night Vision

I'm getting that feeling like it's time to start writing again - if I can only remember how...

Sophie wandered around the house, afraid to return to bed, and her dreams. The house remained in the dark. She paced from room to room, willing the very walls to speak to her, to give her the clues that eluded her. In each room she went to the window and peered out, looking for - she knew not what. The figure from her dreams? Her mother? A sinister clue, a glowing hope? The moon was hidden by clouds, but she could see the surrounding yards and there was no figure, sinister or otherwise lurking to worry her.
Finally she went up the stairs to her mother's room. But rather than entering she put her hands gently against the door as though it could perhaps tell her something. She leaned against it, facing first away from the room and then turning towards it, and finally sliding against the door to the floor and placing her ear to the door, listening, always listening. Afraid to enter, and yet afraid to leave it alone.
Sophie tried to clear her head and think only of her breathing in an attempt not to miss any clue, any message, any suggestion that might come to her. As usual, her attempt to clear her head failed and instead she became overwhelmed with all the thoughts from which she tried to escape. Her mothers absence, her own growing powers and her constant, nagging fear that the two were connected.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and tried again to be empty. Six days had elapsed since her mother's disapperance. Six days and nothing to show for it but a few unsettling mind skills. And then, like a flash, a memory hit her, only it was more like a reality that she was surrounded by but unable to influence. Her mother sat on her bed, the same bed, but a different room, a different house, and a much younger mother. Her eyes looked light as though she had not yet encountered trouble. As Sophie looked at her mother, she saw her put one hand on her stomach and hum gently to herself. It was then that Sophie noticed the slight bulge and realised her mother must be pregnant. Her mother suddenly gasped, grabbing her stomach with both hands. She stood quickly up and then just as quickly sat down again as a look of joy lit her face. "You are going to be a wonderful child," she said softly. "My darling Sophie."

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Before moving to London, it was impossible for me to know what sort of challenges I would face here. I assumed, of course, that living in London would not be the same as the Tourist Experience. I knew I would have to find work, pay bills, live the repetitive day to day dullness that life often becomes. I hoped that my life in London would not, of course, demonstrate even a distant knowledge of that kind of dullness. I pictured myself dressed eclectically, trawling markets for vintage items, discovering perfect coffees in tiny cafes, and even, I admit, making foreign men fall in love with me.
In all of my imaginings I discounted one significant factor. Me. The person that I pictured in the markets, the cafes, in the perfect London that has constant sunshine and no rain, is a person bearing no resemblance to me. She is bold, ingenious, even outrageous. Unfortunately intercontinental living has not transformed me into that unconventional diva who I pictured myself being.
Naturally, London is neither as perfect in reality as in my dreams. But reality, although often disappointing, cannot be exchanged for dreams. And maybe I don't really even want to. London, the REAL London is infinitely more interesting than my dreams make it out to be. Crowded, yes. Dirty, sometimes. Wet, often. But also vibrant, diverse and astonishing. I may be dull but London never is. Could I really exchange any of these experiences that have made London so much my own? The Thames, as large as life, flowing under me as I peer at it from atop London Bridge. The Globe Theatre, though merely a replica of the original, still a significant symbol of London's glorious and artistic history, and Anthony Howell standing a few feet from me on it's stage. The daily walk down Uxbridge Road that is bursting with people from Argentina, Egypt, Korea, Germany, and just about every other country I can name.
Rodin said that "the realities of nature surpass our most ambitious dreams". If London were only as limited as my dreams it would perhaps be rather dull. London is altogether more exquisite, frustrating, enormous, overwhelming, thrilling, confusing and marvellous than can possibly be dreamed.