Tuesday 21 October 2014

The Bookcase

The books were organized in alphabetical order, lined up perfectly against the edge of each shelf. There were hundreds of them, each acquired by either content or beauty. The special ones, those bound in leather and printed well before the modern day press, were tucked away in a glass cabinet. Some dated back 10 years, some 300 years but all possessed the same magic of being able to transport the soul to another time, another place. 

These were her most prized possessions and price could never be placed on any. Each of these stories touched her in a way that could never be described through her words alone. It was the feeling they brought her, that tiny bit of excitement that begins to swell inside the pit of her stomach when she begins to be drawn in to a story that has the possibility of taking her anywhere. She was free inside the covers, reading to fly across the Atlantic to meet her lover who waited for her on foreign soil. Her love, the one who held her hand as they manoevered through dark and dirty streets, running from the evils that lurked in the shadows. A lover who made her pulse quicken as he slowly unbuttoned her blouse, revealing alabaster skin under a black lace brassiere. 

She ensured that these cases were looked after with the same care a mother uses with her child. Not a speck of dirt could be found. It was immaculate. Dust jackets were in impeccable shape, each protecting and holding it's body close. Often, she would stand in awe before them, running her finger along the spines, remembering the journey she took with it. Minutes would turn into hours as she became further entrenched in her reverie, whisked away to a distant place.

Photo by A.Bresar
The Bookcase
Photo by Audrey Bresar

These cases held the many lives she lived. It pained her when asked if one could be borrowed.  Pieces of her soul inhabited the pages and the possibility of having it lost or damaged caused her a great deal of turmoil.  Just the thought of sharing her treasures gave her palpitations, her palms became clammy and her vision blurred. She could not bear to part with any even for a brief moment. In her mind, it was absurd to share something so personal with the masses. The solace, the intrigue, the love that she found in the chapters was hers and hers alone.

The bookcases that housed these pieces of her sat in plain view for her to enjoy, flanked along side a crimson divan which acted as the vessel that would prepare her for these escapes. The velvet cushion of the sofa enveloped her like warm arms that held on tight. An oasis, her very own Shangri-La, an hegira amid the hustle and bustle of her daily life. 

Shangri-La Photo by A. Bresar
Photo by Audrey Bresar

Talk to me! Do books have the same effect on you?

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Behind the Smile Live Some Tears

Much to some people's belief, I am not always smiles and positivity.  In fact, there was a time where I cried. A lot. More than a lot. In fact, it was daily. I felt defeated, torn down. Alone. Like I made a mess of everything that was ever bestowed upon me. I began to second guess my worth. Fleeting moments of insecurity evolved into minutes, hours, days and weeks. My self esteem had been beaten and battered past the point of recognition. So it really irks me when people say I have a "charmed and easy life". 

Here is the reality. Yes, I work at a job in an industry that I love. I work hard, putting pressure on myself to succeed because the fear of not being able to provide my children with a roof over their head or food on the table scares the hell out of me. The fact is I was not working when we became a family of three. I was home with two babies making sure they were happy and healthy and trying to save my marriage. I knew I didn't want to go back to teaching but what could I do? It took three months for me to figure that out and I have been working hard to get to a place where the worry can subside a bit.

I don't have anyone I am accountable to. Is that positive? For married friends and family, the answer is yes. The truth? It sucks. I have been married twice but I still seem to have eluded true love. This is heartbreaking for a hopeless romantic like myself. But I have not given up. The weight of all my decisions is on my shoulders, there is no one with whom I can discuss things. When the kids want to go out for an afternoon all my household duties are put on hold which results in a frenzy that is arguably the most stressful part of keeping it all together. At the end of the day, when the kids are in bed, there is no one to share stories with. I go to bed alone, void of the warmth of someone beside me. No arms are there to hold me, no warm breath on my neck or soothing words to lull me to sleep. 

My life is what I make of it and the bumps and bruises along the way didn't scar me or push me into a corner. It was these things that made me look at life differently. I couldn't fit a square peg into a round hole so I adjusted. I changed the way I looked at life, fixed the way I carried myself, decided that my attitude could make or break me. There are still hurdles to jump and obstacles to avoid which means there will still be tears, frustration and upset. 

BUT....for the most part, my day is all smiles, interrupted by the occasional tear that flows freely during times of uncertainty or loneliness.

In the end, I live the life that was given to me, not a bad life, not an easy life but a blessed one. 

TALK TO ME! What do you hide behind your smile?