Like a metaphor

bicycle-1838604__480.jpg

She lived her hard life like a metaphor,
this suffering woman, who made no lists,
and never questioned
which may be the supreme sacrifice
amidst so many stolen freedoms.

Sliding from brief sleeptime at dawn,
she’d rush to complete each arduous and loving chore
of housekeeper, mother and wife, before leaving for work,
nimbly cycling; riding with her head held high,
strong legs taking the long, uphill climb in her stride,
and upon arrival, cooking, serving, feeding dusty factory folk,
washing the dishes, then preparing lunch for one o’clock.

So many hungry men,
so many greasy plates to clean and put away.

A simple sandwich and two cups of tea
seemed to be her main means of survival and revival.
She was cunning and her loved ones were blind;
she kept her tipple hidden.

Back on her bike at the end of each weekday,
she turned left at the gates, and from there
it was downhill all the way,
her slight frame edging woods that hid deep, flooded memories of tin mines.
Past the pub she’d fly,
her eyes skimming familiar places,
her mind skimming some secret blunted dream.
Beyond the sawmill she’d ride, beside the ditch along the side of the lane,
where she would sometimes wobble,
and fall in.

When she dripped home, we only saw the mud that clung to her clothes;
we didn’t guess she was immersed in the mire of addiction.

She hid her tipple well.

Written for The Daily Post #Immerse

©Jane Paterson Basil

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33 thoughts on “Like a metaphor

          1. A very infected uterus. Endometritis. I had my birth control of choice removed. Now, I have to wait and see if I have less pain without the implant. I may not have posted about it. I’m reeling from kid stuff, colds and pain.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hang on in there (as if you have a choice…). I hope you feel better soon.
              Do you ever get that optimistic idea that when the latest crisis is over the rest of your life will flow smoothly? I do, and maybe one day I’ll be right…

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                  1. I hear the birds a lot here. I have to sit at the window to concentrate on their sounds, instead of the dripping faucet, the furnace whine or the clicking of the clock.

                    Sometimes I hum along to the sounds, not the birds. I think the birdsong is healthier. I really love to hear the migrating birds when they congregate in the trees behind my house. It’s like being at the beach. Currents of sound, then they all lift off, then there’s a hush. I try not to stand under the trees though. I’m looking for the good.

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                    1. I did walking meditation for a while, but it was too forced,foreign. It took too much effort. My gardening is meditation. That’s probably why I crave it so much. Weeding is meditation. Find the weed, remove the weed all with nature around me. A creak sounds and it is a tree breathing in the wind.

                      My art is meditation. I am without my art since my health has become my focus. I’ve made collage, but it is not the same as welding, forming copper or torching enamels. I lose time. I feel like me. It has been a long time without me.

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                    2. I’ve never been whole without creativity. In my life I’ve done all sorts of things, but these days I’m so obsessed with writing that everything else has taken a back seat.
                      I know you’re passionate about your metalwork, and that it must be painful to be without it. Do you think you’ll ever be able to get back to it?

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                    3. I’m trying to get a basement art studio put together. Each month I buy a bookshelf on wheels that is taller than my ceiling. When I put it together, I get two sets of shelves. One with wheels, one without. This is moving a bit too slow, but it is moving.

                      I’m trying to keep preoccupied with other things, like gaining weight and trying to squeeze into my clothes. My solution is more sweat pants! I know there is power in positive thinking, so I exercise with a three year old on my legs. She’s like a 38 pound medicine ball. And by exercise I mean rolling around on a yoga ball. My arms are getting better, my stomach not so much.

                      Soon, I will be able to bring my torches out of storage and work outside. I hope. This requires the cooperation, or bribing of one of my boys. Rusted flowers make me smile.
                      My gallery would like for me to make some of my rare flowers. Duh, I need to dive in and make stuff without all the preparation and organization. It never stopped me before. The problem is I’m afraid of falling and getting more injured. So, I plan, sort and box up my stuff to make it more accessible, plus safe for a toddler to be around. My boys were raised in art studios, but since Girlie had lead over exposure caution is warranted. I need to get my therapy team to help me work through this hurdle.

                      Maybe I should schedule a welding day for my team. They seem supportive about my art, though they still don’t know what I do, can do, or used to do…

                      You know Jane, I feel like I should just call you on the phone. Or, friend you on facebook, so we can message back and forth, friend.

                      -metalflowermaker@gmail.com

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                    4. I’m sending this message in the middle of the night, and need to get some sleep. Tomorrow I can give you my FaceBook URL , or you can send me yours and we’ll be able to link up on messenger xx

                      Liked by 1 person

  1. Our dear mother. What an enduring and stoic woman. I never saw this, I just saw the mother I took for granted. This piece of writing is such a sensitive insight. The idea of living like a metaphor immediately puts her into isolation, alone with her achievements, losses and secrets. It’s brilliant. Thanks for letting me see this.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been lucky. My children have forgiven me my faults, but sometimes I feel it would be better if they had berated me a bit first. I’d feel that I’d been justly punished.
        I’ve given your comment a lot of thought, and have come to the conclusion that you and I don’t talk enough.
        Life is too complicated, and too often, in the confusion, things that matter get shelved until it’s too late xxx

        Like

    1. I took her for granted too. Mum found it easier to talk when the focus was not entirely on her words. As I was the one who was expected to help most in the kitchen, she talked to me while I peeled the potatoes. I listened, but if I asked questions she’d change the subject. It took me a long time to know who mum really was. I saw the signs of both her beauty and her problems, but I didn’t take any notice until she was admitted into hospital and dad found the bottles. She was an incredible woman; her friends would testify to that, but her – already low – self-esteem had been dragged into the depths. Her potential was thwarted.
      You know how badly I grieved when she died. I think I was grieving largely for what she never had a chance to do.
      None of us were to blame. We were children. Maybe even dad wasn’t to blame. His sickness was fed by those who treated as a demi-god.

      Liked by 1 person

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