Miscellaneous


 
A bent pin,
rainbow thread,
burnt umber:
stitching today.

A fly bothering me.
Cleaning my whiskers.
Remembering that men can be kind.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


To keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

Collateral Damage

 

Clouds hug the buildings above her head, oppressive in their proximity. Smoke permeates the air from a shop that has caught fire across the street.

Yesterday it rained hard enough for branches to fall from the trees and washing that had dried to become wet.

Today the sun is out and even though it hasn’t yet escaped the clouds, there is the promise of heat.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

To keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

Rhyme or reason


 
The season swells and bodies used to winter turn pink then red, taking over streets that were previously empty. I learn to avoid the old town and it’s narrow alleyways, the parade of shops, the line of restaurants and cafés. Life changes; my routine evolves and I embrace summer as I could not those colder months, when my body tight and defensive.

And then my cacti die, deserting me suddenly at a time when I need more than anything to feel like a mother. And even though I switch my attention to candles and crystals, which can only melt or crack, they do not fill the gap that life has created.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

To keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

Bleeding from new places

image
 
Leaving Europe was a bad idea, no matter how you looked at it – from above and from below, from in front and from behind, from the far left and the far right… There was simply this mess, this pile of broken promises, tainted and chipped: the story of a country unravelling.

Inside, her heart ached, bleeding from new places. Disappointment clouded her vision. She was in shock: at how people were suddenly behaving towards one another, towards other people’s children. There was violence on the streets, shouting in the schools, hate all over the newspapers and television. She couldn’t bare to look. She didn’t. She only knew what other people told her, and simply sitting in their energy as it span itself onto the floor was enough.

Nausea dogged her every step. Having only just dragged her head out of the darkness of the recent past, a past she preferred not to talk about too much, she now let it slump back, electing to wear her country’s apology on their behalf, hoping to balance out the deficit.

Yet how could she, not when it went on and on and when everyone in charge who was supposed to know what to do seemed to be absconding, upping sticks and setting sail in order to escape the consequences of what they had, only a week earlier, had both hands comfortably immersed in.

She watched as the pound plummeted and the price of everyday things like rent and food rose. She watched as the value of her house fell. She watched as her savings lost value and the pitiful amount of interest they earned stopped so that her bank account was reduced to no more than a convenient holding box with no further purpose beyond that.

She wondered if the country would ever truly recover and what would happen to Europe and the rest of the world. She wondered how it would effect relations amongst people. She wondered how she and those she loved would fare and where they would all end up.

It was hard to shun darkness, to seek to walk only in the light, when all around you there was chaos and madness and people being given far too much. It was hard to forgive when even those in your inner circle were idiots.

Her heart full of compassion, her head full of tears, her stomach soaking up all that she could, she walked the streets with open palms, sending out love.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

An indeterminate or undefined place or state

Something strange is happening. When I am quiet, I feel it: a slight discomfort in my solar plexus, a hollow dent in my heart; distant rumblings from a far off place: a place I once lived in, perhaps..? And it’s a gift – this strange something happening, this happening of something strange – requiring thought and introspection, time and space, permission, surrender, effort, work… I yawn: already I am tired. I also wonder… “will I pass; will I be good enough or brave or strong enough?” Expectation sends me inward – head over foot, arms tightly wrapped around. It’s like time has sped up or continued to move without me, creating worlds in my absence, deleting countries in my sleep, causing things that were small and insignificant to grow ripe carrying things that were old and no longer significant along with them in order for them too to be changed.

And now there is this new life growing inside of this old life, this already mostly grown life that to me has always remained the same, forcing me to accommodate shifts in accepting and seeing, trusting and believing, feeling and making, baking, creating… along with an awareness that in a not-so-very-far-off ‘away’, there will be this arrival of this presence that was not and now is, transforming everything that then happens in thousands of ways.

Spreading its essence like the roots of a tree; touching and growing into pieces of her and pieces of me, pieces of them and pieces of us… it will become interweaved, one of the same, and from that moment on there will be no separation – no it without her, her without it – and the person I knew and spent time with, still occasionally spend time with, will be indelibly tied and chained, never to be seen as an alone or an independent separate self again.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

The things that stare at me

Huddled amongst dust bunnies and cobwebs, I claw at the things that stare at me and shy away from those that bite. It’s cold and I wish that there were others: spirits, perhaps; and fairies and angels. But the part of me that believed, that believes, is struggling to reach out, bereft of clarity and energy. Behind closed eyes lights dance, colours come and go and I know it won’t be long now until I am ready.

The days pass and October dwindles. Soon it will be November and then the end – of fast, of angry, of sad, of lonely, of cold and damp and grey and black… of disrespected and disconnected and struggling to keep up… of tension tight in my neck and belly and not being able to relax… of constant traffic and constant people always rushing past… of feet above and feet below never letting up… of grimy windows and oily floors, slamming doors… of pushing and shoving and phones that swallow, umbrellas in the way… and tomorrow a carbon copy of today.

The page grows heavy, the uncomfortable inside climbing out. A hand finds my arm, a head my neck, thighs grip my abdomen and press. The baby in my belly complains. As usual it is unhappy.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

Yellow rose petals


I dream of school and find myself in a classroom, attempting to recall a language I used to know. Later, I stub my toe and although it is not hard enough to break it, it is enough to turn it black.

I don’t leave the flat and spend the morning being gentle – dusting, sweeping, tidying… and in-between I get more done than I have in months of going out.

If I were a bird, I would spread my wings and fly away. Human, I try to unpack my suitcase – endeavouring, at least for now, to embrace the place where I am stuck.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

Within our reach: Joy

image
“I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.”

by Fra Giovanni Giocondo

imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

The underside of seldom-swept things

image
Visiting the underside of seldom-swept things,
I discover a toy soldier and a ball of yarn.
On the opposite side of the room,
there is a doll without legs and a forgotten sock.

A drawer reveals sellotape, blue tack and glue.
A cupboard: scissors and paper.
I sketch a house with two floors;
am told to add a basement and a loft.

While a woman makes dinner in the kitchen,
a man mows the lawn out back,
and although there are no children,
there is birdsong and plant-life.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter

The clouds float north while I travel south

image
I survived but I’m scathed: different, somehow, from when I set out. Two days on and I’m finding it hard to stop and sit; impossible to achieve my usual level of calm. Inside there is this space: something that was there absent. And whether the thing removed ought still to be there or is better off where it is, it’s not a comfortable position to be stuck within.

Looking to the horizon but unable to see beyond my own two feet, I find it hard to have much faith in the future. Walking a straight line, I travel in circles: revisiting old ground, recovering people, places… When the shine fades, I turn to my knees, searching for something I have lost standing up. Washing in puddles, eating from bins, I gain a fresh perspective, readopting forgotten things.

by Rebecca L. Atherton
imageTo keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter, send me your email address.

• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
• Save 30% and buy from me direct
Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
• Keep up to date with my progress and receive a copy of my newsletter