Dreamers

There they are again, my tears
not flowing freely but still there
they don’t engulf me anymore
but leave me saddened, deeply so
another opportunity unanswered
another blow
and all I want is smile at you in silence
feel your arms embracing me
our bitterness unspoken
we both know it all too well
the hope and setbacks and frustration
the inability to just let go
of dreams so deeply nestled in our fabric
the main ingredient of our souls

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A Writer’s Confession

Nothing infects me more than hearing you speak about your work.
Or the silence you express when you review yourself.
Your eyes transfixed onto your art, no interruptions welcome,
no phones, no words.
Your eyes speak so much truth, reveal your love,
conveying what’s going on inside your mind.
Your perception so exceptionally yours,
fuelled by experience and that hunger to be nothing but yourself.
Your dedication visible as you focus with a director’s eye,
the smile that follows sparking mine.

Between the Lines

You remember watching television with your parents as a child. A film, a show, a play – you didn’t specify but you told them, “I can do better than that.” And I listen to your words in the interview room and nod my head. I was exactly the same. Eight years old or nine, convinced that I would tackle a part differently from what I saw on screen, that I had the emotions I saw someone else play right up my sleeve. And yet the difference between you and me? Your parents were actors, they took you seriously. They knew what it takes to get you to audition for a part I longed for but would never play.

So while you started following your heart, I was just thinking what you said out loud, because my family mocked me whenever I expressed my wish to be in front of a camera. And whenever I got frustrated or acted out against the restraints I felt, they would just kid me. “Stop being so dramatic and save that for the stage you claim to crave,” they’d say or, “The circus is in town, maybe the clowns could use your tantrums as inspiration.” No support for my honest wish to be a performer, just words that hardened me as I grew up.

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Home

Wet snow everywhere, below zero, police dogs sniffing for bombs – that’s what I returned to. Needless to say, I miss Paris already. Although it was foggy when I left, damp and cold, I fell in love with the city. It’s just so beautiful. I made new friends, met someone who means the world and now it’s back into the habit at a place that’s never allowed me to be myself. In Paris though, I felt at home. The lights, the food, the language. I flirted wherever I went and it felt so good, that’s all I say. Don’t even try to press me for details. Found new passions and rekindled old ones, saw l’Opéra at night and lost my heart to the architecture of a city that seems composed rather than built, every detail an homage to a culture of elegance and beauty. George Clooney then on a poster at Charles de Gaulle, bidding me farewell with a cup of coffee that barely touched his lips while his smile surely made mine spread. A Maracons shop right next to him, trying to seduce me into spending the last of my money on sweets as colorful as Paris itself.

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How it Begins…

So this is how it starts, my year. Two days of Italian food, French wine and a swift shopping trip to spend the money I don’t have after Christmas. It’s the same every year. Over-indulgence in December, sobering up in January. Only this year I have a hard time cutting back on my spending although I know I’ll make less. But that’s compensation for you, psychology 101: the weather is cold outside and I’ve rarely seen the sun. At least I have my writing, triggered by my muse. I’m surprised she’s still with me though, I rarely sleep these days. I’m glad she isn’t as moody as I tend to be this winter. Hibernating is what I should do or finally book that flight to LA. It’s a lot less chilly there and I miss the place, miss the friends I barely see. But then that requires the kind of money I should safe. Besides, I’ve rarely seen my friends here. So maybe a month off will do me good. Being at home, reading, catching up on shows I’ve missed in recent years. I must admit, I’d prefer doing that in SoCal, where the sun is likely to shine more often than where I am. Where I know I’d go for a walk every day, where I do not bump into police officers frisking people in the metro, patrolling the streets that used to feel safe only a short few years ago. That’s why I’m so feisty, I guess, today. The spectacle of three dark-haired youngsters, surrounded by officers whose hands were glued to their firearms, ready to protect themselves at any minute, it left me strangely affected on the boys’ behalf and ours. My heart was torn as my train left the station, my mind helpless. But it was then that I realized, I’m not yet completely jaded.

2017

You are so fresh
so new, unused
and yet you crippled me
when you made your entrance, were introduced

An unwritten story
you are supposed to be
more like a chapter or a song
not yet composed by you or me

I broke free from chains of self last year
new ones already lurking, always there
reminding me of who I do not want to be
a girl, a misfit or a fantasy

Freedom is what I need most
company, good wine and food
and your innocence to last
until my lessons learned have reached my heart

I am ready now to seek the road
the path I’ve always longed to walk
a route so dark sometimes and lonely
filled with doubt, uncertainty and phonies

I am prepared now for the fear, the grief
and yet I know I’ll never be
I’ll always struggle with myself
my independence and mental wealth

Ghosts of 16 I bid you farewell
asking my muse to finally stay
I need the love her anger stirs
the confidence her words provoke

I need your goodness, too, your light
a sign of hope in unsettled times

Hope

I saw her in my dreams today – her hair was curly and blond, her eyes blue with a touch of petrol green. She was only three and oh so beautiful. I saw my little daughter, felt her name so gentle on my lips, her laughter warm and comfortable in my heart.

I was having tea with my muse who is very real, of flesh and blood, and so alive her smile is bubbling over. In my dream, I visited her home, shared stories with her about our work, our lives, the faith that holds us both together. I listened to her as she told me about her family, of the many changes she has faced in her life. I felt like her grand-daughter for a moment, reminded of the last time I truly felt like coming home – before my grandma had died so many years ago.

I moved my hand over my belly, so round and firm, felt another life growing inside of me while my daughter was running around the coffee table, her laughter bubbly, like my muse’s, when I softly shouted her name.

I woke, moments later, full of hope, humbled, cushioned; my heart bursting over with love and trust. I closed my eyes and saw her again, my little girl, heard the echo of her voice as I chased after her in the backyard of a welcoming home. Too fast for me to catch, she stayed with me in my mind, lively and innocent in the presence of my muse. Together, they smiled at me and I felt whole, blessed to have that image, that afterglow of something real and fresh – it gave me faith again in what comes next.