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THE WAVE-RIDER

EVA LINDROOS ———————————————

Belfast Lapwing


THE WAVE-RIDER



EVA LINDROOS



Belfast LAPWING


First Published by Lapwing Publications c/o 1, Ballysillan Drive Belfast BT14 8HQ lapwing.poetry@ntlworld.com www.lapwingpoetry.com Copyright Š Eva Lindroos 2013 All rights reserved The author has asserted her/his right under Section 77 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Since before 1632 The Greig sept of the MacGregor Clan Has been printing and binding books

All Lapwing Publications are Printed and Hand-bound in Belfast Set in Aldine 721 BT at the Winepress

ISBN 978-1-909252-14-1 ii


CONTENTS

......................... HOPEFUL LOVE POEM INTERRUPTED . . . . . . . . . AN UNEXPECTED PLEASURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FLIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIRST LOVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BOTH WORLDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . OUT OF SYNCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FOR THE FIRST TIME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SECRET COMMUNICATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SHARING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NO REGRETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE WAVE-RIDER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIFE MAP 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIFE MAP 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIFE MAP 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I FOUND YOU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NOVEMBER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ALL GONE, ALL GONE… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FRAGMENT OF LONGING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BACKWARDS . . . . . . . . SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES UP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD’S STORY . . . . . . . . . THE TREE WOMAN IS RISING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE HUNGRY HEART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE DANCING TREES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A SONG OF THE HEART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PANDORA OPENS HER BOX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE MOMENT

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This book is a journey and on this journey I have met so many amazing people who I all want to thank for their support, understanding and encouragement. There are some people who I want to name specifically: Tom who encouraged me to write not only for my PhD. Aidan for his patience as I was writing more poetry than PhD. Chris for his enthusiasm and mentorship. Amanda for her unwavering support and friendship. My colleagues in the English Department for their continued support for my work. Mary for her understanding, vision and big, warm heart. Mary and Mary for their kind and generous support for a 'newby' poet. Valerie for making me laugh and not give up. Dennis, my publisher, for giving me a chance. Marianne and Aarno Lindroos for showing me that is never too late to have another chance and the rest of my wonderful family in Sweden for their enduring love and practical help particularly when times were very tough.

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Dedication: To ‘all who are willing to take the risk of growing again’ to Jonah who is growing more and more every day to my family and friends and to C.

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THE MOMENT

I enjoy watching the stars they remind me that at least something will stay the same – whatever happens – and if this is the time to leave. That the stars will shine brightly in the same place in the night sky in any case even if everything else will change. I am afraid of ‘everything else’ and at the same time I long so deeply to own myself again. I am surprised that I have given you so much power over me. So unnecessarily and how afraid I have been and how I didn’t know that my fear wasn’t necessary. I see my mother scurrying fearfully between my father and her children between my father and the life that could have had different choices .

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I see her fear she is seventy-eight years old she is tired after all the years of fearful scurrying and I love her. I now know why I didn’t know for such a long time that there is an alternative to fear and dominance. I also know now why I didn’t know for such a long time what it is like to be found and to find to an other. I will never forget that now. I cry over my own not-knowing over the fact that nobody else stopped for a moment and in that fleeting moment gave me a place – gently and lovingly – to pour my unformed feeling into so that I would know for ever what it is like to be found and held and to know my own form. I will always love you for that moment. 9


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HOPEFUL LOVE POEM INTERRUPTED

I’m sitting on my bed in the evening I’m writing a poem about love. Meanwhile downstairs the Hoover sings its monotonous melody domestic issues pet problems that otherwise would consume me are far away Inside me is peace is knowing is strength. There is life left to live There is love to love and be loved. There are words that comfort and heal. There are stars that shine brightly in the evening and pink morning skies and there is a child calling – Mum, will you read me that story now!

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AN UNEXPECTED PLEASURE

I meet you unexpectedly on the way to somewhere else I stop in the sunshine with you and the clear blue sky cups itself like two blessing hands around us My happiness grows from inside out and we take this moment like a meal of bread and wine of joy Your hand on my arm and my happiness which opens my heart towards you and I can’t stop smiling my thoughts are rushing ahead the sun is shining on my hair Your presence and your words comfort and reassure me that everything is going to be OK and that it is a pleasure for you too to meet me unexpectedly in the sunshine Somewhere in the distance a cow is bellowing and a mighty river flows silently by and we breathe in and out a moment of eternity and joy!

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FLIGHT

Friendship is a wonderful thing the beginning of one even lovelier So full of promise and hope like those wrinkly new leaves on silver birches in spring sticky from the rising sap like hope and love that have come through a very very long winter. I am all loved up by our growing friendship. I am so happy I am flying and my wings are strong and steady now And you don’t mind my flight and I am comforted and reassured by yours. Spring does follow after winter and broken wings do heal. Friendship is a wonderful thing. 15


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FIRST LOVE

My child has fallen in love the whole world is alive. He is nine years old and she is eleven. They can’t let each other go with their eyes they meet like young swallows practising their flying skills on warm summer evenings. They wind each other up they shriek with laughter at their own jokes and at the water they splashed over the whole yard and at the adult’s moralising instructions alongside their unbounded joy of life. She is as thin as a rake and her face is all smile. My child is flying through the world he is full of confidence and joy. He is so beautiful he is so much in love and he does not yet know of the complications of love. He is happy he lives in the here and now and I delight in his joy.

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BOTH WORLDS

There is something about oak trees that make them seem strong How tender their beginning like all beginnings and how straight and slow their growth the shape of their leaves and the width of their branches. Yet, they are foreign to me In the far north only silver birches and gnarled bog pine trees can withstand the cold An oak tree would not survive those winters and would seem oddly majestic and self-important up there. This poem does not seem to go anywhere now I just know that it was the tenacious silver birches that belonged up there and yet I knew of oak trees and that I am a mixture of both worlds.

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OUT OF SYNCH

It is painful to be out of synch with love. To have loved and given freely and warmly with so much love and not been seen only to… then… not love so much anymore and then to be loved with sudden intention and a will to hold on when… it doesn’t really matter so much anymore. I cry over the not-meeting over the fear that kept the door firmly shut made the wall even thicker, and kept the bridge over the abyss firmly drawn up. I cry now that I am not waiting anymore. I cry over the pain of being out of synch with love.

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FOR THE FIRST TIME

I am not imagining it unfortunately, it is true. This liquid substance does change the chemistry of your brain, and turns you into a different person. Seemingly relaxed yet oddly alert on edge and vicious. First, I’m lulled into being relaxed with you feeling happy and that it is OK after all for me to be with you and then… the vicious attack starts, it seeps through the niceness fabric, and destroys everything in its way. You want intimacy because you want it not because of an emotional connection between us, and you show your disapproval of my unwillingness to be intimate with a stranger, a man I do not know and cannot trust. You turn your back on me and I feel guilty and bad. Tonight I don’t…

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Tonight I’m writing a poem instead, stating to myself – and whoever wants to know – what it is like to live with a man who harbours a darkness and sadness inside him that he doesn’t want to or is not able to know. I don’t blame you for fearing – what it might mean to feel that pain, and deal with it – but I refuse to cave in to the bullying that follows from not owning it and… I refuse to lose myself again.

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SECRET COMMUNICATION

– ‘I love you!’ he whispers into my ear. His strong little three year old body pressed hard against mine. His chunky little arms clamped hard around my neck. His strawberry blonde hair with the scent of sunshine, salt, sweat and sand in my eyes filling my mouth… and I whisper back into his ear – ‘And I love you too!’ We hold a moment of deep understanding between us. The sound of the warm summer wind blowing the waves rolling in on the beach behind us and the midday sun burning on our backs. Then he softly whispers back into my ear again – ‘I know!’ At three he is certain of being loved securely.

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I am gob-smacked I am delighted… I want to speak to the three year old in me. I have to find her first. She is not certain. My heart retracts with pain she is so open so vulnerable so strong so alone and not always certain. She needs me now more than ever… And I long for the day when she will be able to say to me – ‘I know…now!’

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SHARING

My son gave me two books today. – Mum, I want you to have the happiness of reading these two books he said and looked at me with his lovely blue eyes. My heart melted. My face turned from the-tired-Mummy-having-worked-all-day-face to the I-love-you-my-gorgeous-child-face and all smiles. My heart shifted into a different rhythm a weight that I had carried for such a long time suddenly lifted and I stopped in the middle of all the mundane household chores at the end of a long working day. Just before dinner is cooked the dogs are fed, the rabbits checked, the cat litter changed, the rats have had their treats and I hugged him. This amazing child of mine who wanted to give me happiness and the shared experience of a book that had made his day!

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NO REGRETS

My pain now is not going to take away my love then nor forbid the love that still may be born, like starlight silently burning through the velvety blackness of the long midwinter night. What you have given me freely is still true What I have given you lovingly is still strong My heart I allow you not to stop beating from the pain, not to grow cold with hopelessness, but to stay warm and pulsating with love and compassion for you and me and our humanity. It was only love after all‌

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THE WAVE-RIDER

Living with you is like being an enforced wave-rider who expected a smooth crossing on a steady, slightly boring ship. Naked and out of her depth she battles giant waves out of place and desperately trying to survive and manage and understand, and figure out and please those terrifying waves that throw her over and under and under and over and over again. Lungs full of water. Drowning. Upside down still surviving still breathing somehow exhausted trying to surf those terrifying waves. Standing, for an exhilarating moment thinking, ‘this could be fun if it were not for it not being her element, her way, her skill and just not being a good place for a mother and child.’

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And now she is looking for calmer and kinder waters a beach maybe with a house and kindness and a warm fire and no tension and where her bread and butter is love and could be a happiness not known.

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LIFE MAP 1 Brown spots I look at my arm, little brown spots, marks on a holiday landscape of summers, of sunshine, smooth ageless granite rocks salty skin and cool waters. Hot summers in Germany, and holidays in France. Five star winter sun dreams, and inexplicable nightmares. Days of forgetting the sunscreen, the chickenpox grooves filled with brown, leftover tan stowed away for wet, grey November days. Hot nights of lovemaking and my baby son’s soft bottom, the scent of happiness still lingering on my skin. I look at my arms, with love for all the good memories even if it didn’t quite work out as I expected. The important ingredients are all there love, my child, endless white nights, ecstatic mosquito chants and the mighty river flowing, talking and sharing the life that left marks on my skin, of memories, of sweetness, of pain, of sorrow, of people and places and few regrets and‌ so many kisses for being loved for the right and for the wrong reasons, still being loved and loving and my middle-aged body holds the memories the map of my life well lived and ongoing into the wild and unknown.

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LIFE MAP 2 The Goddess Soft half-moon of my belly carried my son held the pain gave birth folds and cuts sadness and joy my hand cups the curve soft and warm. Smooth skin of me at thirty-five with the body of a Goddess I walk slowly down the street all eyes on me surprised I exist like this tall, blond, and beautiful after all those years of denial the power of my sexuality and my long blond hair sweeping across my face all shame gone all shaming gone and my artist friend paints me over and over again each brush stroke a caress naked, wild and beautiful our bodies meet in celebration of the here and now

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I appear on thirty-two paintings they hang somewhere in somebody’s living room on somebody’s wall somewhere in Germany in a museum and I laugh out loud at the thought knowing that was me as well as this is me now at fifty-three looking at my middle-aged goddess body in the mirror a few lumps and bumps in unexpected places folds and sweet, soft white flesh still smooth and shapely though and full of life it is not over it is not over the fog is not a place to be and I do not have to stay there I chose to come out of the cold mist – my safety at times though – with my head held high I am valuable I am precious I am capable I am ok I am me and nobody is going to take that away from me ever again. 39


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LIFE MAP 3 The Dressing Table I look at my dressing table face cream day serum night cream. Perfume, Eau de Toilette and perfumed body lotion to go with it…. I count at least seven different bottles higgledy piggledy my dressing table is full to the brim literally. I hold the bottle of perfume that has followed me – soft and sensual – since I discovered myself as a woman and not an enforced neutral a long time ago in Germany. The woman in the Perfumery who kept scouring the shelves for the right perfume for me, and the right shade of pink lipstick for blondes for the woman who had only just discovered herself. Did she know this, the woman who took so much care and time to search and choose for her? She holds her breath watching the kindness… incredulously.

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Leggings and short skirts mini mini skirts and soft round breasts tucked into soft tight tops and long blonde hair and long slender legs and a slender waist! Modelling and the admiration of my gay male friends who adored me without wanting to consume me a safe place to be for a while. And the warmth of my female friends. Yes, you are one of us Come and be one of us Come and enjoy your womanhood your femininity, your beauty Come and laugh and be happy with us… And my boyfriend’s soft brown eyes watching me, not owning and crushing me but seeing me into my life as a woman and painting me just one more brush stroke, love and the charcoal scrapes the paper swiftly and firmly softly and decidedly. Oh, yes I do exist…. I look at myself in the mirror my eyes are still blue my face is still mine a few wrinkles here and there – the day serum will take care of them for now. 42


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And my mother’s voice from the shadows of the past Don’t tell her that she is pretty, it might go to her head and who knows what might happen then! And the voices of the women who had to cut themselves off to survive She must know what she is doing all that sexual energy needs to be cut, cut, cut.… And the woman in the Perfumery who found the right perfume for me and the right shade of pink lipstick for me..... And the Witch who journeyed back with me back into life and being protected no more cutting off from the self, allowed loving, loving, loving me back into life and tears streaming down my face. And I look at myself in the mirror. My face lived in and more comfortable now wrinkles from crying wrinkles from worrying wrinkles from thinking wrinkles from laughing wrinkles from creating. And my own voice stating: It is ok to be you It is ok to be me It is ok to be a woman It is ok to be this woman and I am not alone anymore. 43


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I FOUND YOU

I look at myself in the mirror I found you – I say, and smile reassuringly – and I’m not letting you go anymore! She looks at me. Her eyes wondering. Her face full of her life’s experiences no deep furrows just laughter-wrinkles like a network of hope. She looks out and into the world. So this is what it is like to be found, she says and climbs out of the frame releasing herself from the restrictions. She saunters into the life she always wanted to live. She stretches her hand out and I take it, it is warm I hold it, gently determined not to lose her again and I realise that she needs me as much as I need her to be whole and life can only get better again and again. Like eating cake and not just crumbs and not settling for less, anymore.

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NOVEMBER

November gropes me with its grey fingers I pull my coat tighter determined not to be raped numb by its grey voice grey breath and grey, icy hands. I cry tears of hot, steaming defiance and yet still… I’m frozen to the bone. I lean against the wind relishing its resistance my body fights battles screams NO not now not now not now you are not having my last little bit of hope you are not having my soul you are not having my body you are not having me! I am alive I am hoping I am and I will get through.

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My heart, continue beating to the rhythm of life I am choosing you life with all your misery with all your being with all your pain with all the ups and downs because you are my life my only little life in this world and I am planning‌ to hang on and to enjoy being alive in spite of it all. The buds of the Cherry Tree are ready for spring already in November they are just waiting, you see‌.

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ALL GONE, ALL GONE…

I watch the sycamore tree in my garden, watch the leaves falling off one by one, seemingly, then all at once. Like my life with you over the past years one leaf after the other of slow realisation not wanting those leaves to leave the tree of my dreams. Yet they did fall, inevitably, in spite of me desperately seeking to gather them all up and somehow painfully slowly stick them back on again… All for the dream of happiness and love finally… But no one night they were all gone at once. Shivering in the wind I hold those leaves in my arms they rustle as if whispering to me – tears streaming down my face – desperately trying to soften what had withered, dried out and turned. No cheerful autumn colours to make it all nice and hopeful again, only shrivelled, broken, brown leaves and the realisation that it wasn’t working that the love was gone for me.

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Who wants to compete with the attention of an inanimate object cold and hard yet filled with what numbs pain? The wind blows through my garden the leaves rustle and turn my sycamore stretches its branches towards the endless brittle November sky: I breathe, carefully, in case anything else might fall apart and crumble‌.

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FRAGMENT OF LONGING

You the other the one who sees longing who sees the bird in the cage and opens the door. Thank you for opening that door! The teacher in you. The person inside you. And again your presence inside me like an echo so that I can hear my own longing. What is life without longing? What is life without hope? But Why did you wake my longing again and again? And Why does it hurt so much to long? So that I know that I can love, feel, cry, fear long and live again with the pain in pain? Can you please hold your own pain so that I can differentiate between yours and mine, so that I can wake up to living again without being blinded by your pain but feel my own and know the difference? Being close and different‌. The past will let you go if you want. I chose joy in the middle of my sorrow. I grieve and I forgive myself for things not turning out as I would have wanted them to. I chose to engage with what and who gives me and my child joy and hope, not more pain and sorrow. It is enough.

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BACKWARDS

No happy end Beauty lives in the house of Beast for ever the spell is not broken by loving more. There is no redemption no writing on the wall no dialogue. Beast rules in his non-presence Beauty is alone lost for words. Sacrifice yourself to save your father’s face the man who offered his daughter to a stranger. Sacrifice your self to fill the emptiness in Beast’s heart sacrifice your self and don’t cry sacrifice your self and don’t threaten mother sacrifice yourself to break somebody else’s spell sacrifice your self.... NO – she struggles for words – NOT the child A child deserves better my child should not have to sacrifice his self. We run away together from Beast’s house. No writing on the walls – they are white. No silent beast in the house – it is full of promise. No secret code to break – it is for real.

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Our space our safe space and the sea with dolphins swimming up and down playing freely in the bay. We walk and talk. We slowly find our way of being in spite of the pain with the pain in spite of the loss, with the loss. We grow each differently Mother and Child a small family growing back into life and Beast is lonely in his house again waiting, for the spell to be broken by somebody else‌.

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SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES UP

Sleeping Beauty wakes up the prince is gone, he is not a prince. Who is he and why did he kiss her? Or did he? In the dream he declared his love. In the dream she declared hers. In the dream a dream was dreamt about a future together but Sleeping Beauty woke up and the prince was gone. She searches. She cries. She writes letters. She reaches out. She goes out and finds him finally. Asks him questions, tells him her story, offers him her heart. He listens. He is real. Or is he? His eyes are black with sorrow. She sees this and does not know why. She is still full of hope.

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She has learnt that things can be different that princes do kiss that princes do give something back and receive that princes can see and hear her and keep the connection – lightly! Sleeping Beauty is awake in her dream She knows that she can’t go back. That nothing will be the same again that she cannot stay asleep. Sleeping Beauty rises from her sleep. It was very long more than a hundred years. No thorns, just mist and cobwebs, treacherous territory, no sunshine yet, and the Prince is gone for real. He wasn’t hers never was, or was he? The Prince is silent and absent. The Sleepy Beauty steps into life, it is terrifying. In her sleep there was no pain. In her sleep there was no fear. In her sleep she stayed innocent, helpless and injured in every way. She moves slowly like in a dream but it is for real every step a challenge every move is unknown of its consequences.

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She reaches out into nothing. She touches her pain and screams the pain is immense it has no words it freezes her brain, and robs her sleep. The Sleepless Beauty tosses and turns frets and worries. Slowly, she connects with her body her steps, one at a time her language, one word at a time her thoughts, moments of clarity. She does not know if this will hold. If this is life is it worth it? Sleepless Beauty decides to find out just in case it really could be different very different unfamiliar new strengths developed old strengths rediscovered. The spell is broken for good this time. She carries the memory of the kiss with caution a crumb of hope just in case there is cake and not just sleeping pills after all‌.

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LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD’S STORY

Little Red Riding Hood runs through the woods her heart is pounding. The house is burning. Little Red Riding Hood gets help she is a big girl now. Mother’s voice calls her back to save her brothers from the burning house. Mother must stay behind surrounded by flames and smoke, the children run through the snow. The fire is crackling the smoke is billowing. Little Red Riding Hood gets help a big strong man, slowly he flies through the falling snow to help mother put the fire out. Little Red Riding Hood watches through the window her heart is pounding: will her room burn will her bed burn will her books burn will her mother burn to cinders? Little Red Riding Hood does not know how the day will end. When the fire is out the house still stands Mother laughs at the near disaster.

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Nothing happened, darling and as long as Father is all right about it everything is fine! says Mother and looks exhausted and frightened. Little Red Riding Hood gets another job, Mother’s Little Helper, minds the brothers at night in the house that went on fire only a few hours ago. Little Red Riding Hood’s heart is ablaze with terror with fear with loneliness. Where is Mother when I need her most? she cries and comforts her screaming brothers her crying brothers her heart is pounding. Is the house still on fire? Is that crackling from the cold night or invisible flames eating away at the house? Little Red Riding Hood’s heart is still pounding: is that smell from the fire before or now? Is that fire still burning? that fire is going to burn us in our sleep never to waken up again? Little Red Riding Hood shakes from the cold or from fear: she does not know.

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Little Red Riding Hood searches for mother. Where is she? Nobody knows. Having tea to relax after the terrifying day? The children are fine, she says, Mother’s Little Helper looks after them just fine, just fine….’ Little Red Riding Hood gets help again the kind neighbour’s voice over the phone: she promises to find Mother now! Little Red Riding Hood’s heart is still pounding her voice cracking with fear and her brothers are still crying. She is resourceful that one always comes up with a solution, that one… says Mother and misses the terror the fear the loneliness the resourcefulness the heroic acts of a nine-year old all day who saved her brothers got the help looked after Mother who looked after Father cared for her brothers kept an eye on the house that had been on fire only a few hours ago!

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Keep an eye on that house the Fireman said, it is old and dry and would burn like paper! the Fireman said to Mother. And the nine-year old listens, carries the burden carries the responsibility like Little Red Riding Hood…. And the Big Bad Wolf of Fire consumes her with blinding numbing terror and she is being missed not seen not heard not held not comforted And the Big Bad Wolf of Fire consumes her brain her feelings and leaves her burnt black burnt out in an abyss of terror a captive of the experience. And then she was blamed by Mother for not coping for being a troublemaker for frightening her brothers for being a whistle-blower (what is that asks the nine-year old…) for exposing Mother’s thoughtlessness…

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A good enough Mother does not leave her children in a house that has just been on fire! A good enough Mother does not miss her child’s, her children’s trauma… Or does she unless she was terrified and traumatised herself of course…. Little Red Riding Hood’s heart is pounding, it was my fault. I should have coped even better I should have cared even more and not been afraid of the Big Bad Wolf of Fire oh dear oh dear oh dear Little Red Riding Hood you should have tried harder…. For many years Little Red Riding Hood is lost in the Forest of Fear she roams endlessly, nobody can find her in her terror and she believes it is as it is lost, for ever confused and forever roaming the Bad One to be blamed for not having tried harder for not having been a good enough mother to Mother….

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Until one day somebody – it was me actually – sees her believes her finds her holds her and says to her It is true, it was true all that did happen and it wasn’t your fault! And I will never let you go unseen again unheld again and I believe you, believe in you and the Big Bad Wolf of Fire is slain and you and I can finally get on with life and living again…. Please let me hold you and never let you go again Little Red Riding Hood. And she cries for the first time in many years over the mess of it all and her tears put the fire out that still was ablaze in her heart in her mind in her body forever consuming her abilities taking them away from herself.

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A lost nine-year old in a grown woman’s body each needing each other but the connection was severed and they were both lost in different ways for a very long time‌ until now. And the Big Bad Wolf of Fire what happened to him? He is asleep on her bed nowadays curled up like a cat black, scary and beautiful like a black Panther reminding her of her true self and of her strength which is not used against her anymore. He is fast asleep but in his sleep the tail swishes at times, reminding her that it was trusting her instinct that saved her in the end.

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THE TREE WOMAN IS RISING

The tree woman is rising from her long sleep. It was a long sleep a long rest a long mourning. Each leaf that fell a loss needing to be mourned. So much mourning until the branches were stripped bare of all that was non-essential. Her tears fell like rain. Soft days of sea mist days of heavy showers and days of raging winter storms. Loss is not pretty loss is pain loss is raging at the unfairness of it all the promises not kept the compassion not felt and the not being seen and heard. And then one day miraculously it is calm and still. The sun is tentatively warm and the tree woman’s eyes open

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carefully squinting against the sharp spring light the light that reveals all her mourning done for now. Carefully the tree woman rises slowly she stretches her branches towards the sky of blue lightness softly her heart is beating again She thought it had maybe stopped from the pain and when her tears fell no more. The tree woman feels the rhythm of the earth deep down in the soft darkness of her roots her heart is beating again first softly and tentatively then strongly and steadily. The madness was not hers it was mad-making and immensely sad excruciatingly painful and lonely but the madness was not hers. Steadily she gathers her strength knowing that spring is a gift not only to her but to all who are willing to take the risk of growing again. 71


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Who have the courage and the connection to the inner resources that are necessary to allow the sap to rise again against all the odds. And the tree woman whispers to the hesitantly bursting buds and the sticky wrinkly luminously green first leaves that spring is yet another growing season another chance and that the tears will ease her eyes will smile one day and the sadness will lift again. The tree woman rises shakes her branches stretches her body towards the light and takes a few steps towards the light and dances in spite of it all like only trees can do to the rhythm of life again.

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THE HUNGRY HEART

Ariadne lays down her thread she has done her job for the last time. Yet anther prince is rescued and the Minotaur roars again in the labyrinth. Old familiar sounds. Again and again the same thing happens she rescues him and he leaves her without thanks. She is exhausted She is fed up She is angry She is empty void and tired. No more rescue operations No more emergencies in other people’s lives to attend to at her own cost. She leaves at dawn when the sails are set. Her known life waning like an old tired moon.

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On the island she falls asleep the sand is her pillow still warm from the sun the roaring waves her lullaby. When she wakes up to a dark star-strewn sky they are gone. The ship set sail without her they didn’t find her she is safe to start a new life. Her own life where the panther finally belongs to her again. On soft black paws he treads around her brushing his soft coat against her body his yellow eyes glimmering silently in the dark. She sighs with relief and breathes freely again. Who knows pain and that pain is not the end? Who knows sadness and the salty after taste of nights of grieving? Who knows loneliness endured to be whole again? Who also left to meet themselves and reclaim their own being?

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She reaches out and is met. The beach is silent the waves gentle, the harvest moon dangles softly from a single cloud on the horizon. In the soft golden moon light she opens her generous hungry heart knowing that it is never too late to have another chance.

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THE DANCING TREES

One night I saw the trees dancing in my garden. They lifted their roots gracefully Stretched their branches out beautifully all connected they danced silently in my garden. It was four in the morning the hour between sleep and worry dreams and watchfulness ‘to-do’ lists for the coming day money worries and new responsibilities. I wasn’t sure I was supposed to see their dance I peered out carefully behind the curtain and watched their lightness their dance of no sorrows and concerns for tomorrow. They danced floatingly dreamingly determinedly resolved to stay rooted and light at the same time.

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I lifted my foot and took a few steps in my own moonlit kitchen silently and smilingly practicing my own dance of being rooted deeply earthed and light in my connection at the same time. Then I saw them carefully bending down peering in at me through my kitchen window dancing in the moonlight amongst my pots and pans of everyday matters nodding approvingly You are one of us dance your dreams dance your sorrows dance what your heart is full of dance and know that you are connected you are life you are living you are loving you are not alone you are your own and together at the same time you are connected you are part of life again.

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A SONG OF THE HEART

My heart will sing a song even as we are finding our way a way through these difficult times. A song of being loved and loving of being met and meeting of being seen and heard. My heart will sing a song even as we are staying with this part of the journey exploring the way ahead. A song of trying of being present and here of being aware of the fragility of our being and the triumph of this song. My heart will sing a song even as we decide to continue on this journey together for the sake of trying because it is all we have for the sake of loving because it is a choice for the sake of connecting because it is life’s precious moments for the sake of our desire to make love work. My heart will sing a song even one day at the final parting from this world for the sake of having lived a life well lived my life your life our children’s lives 81


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and all the people we meet and whose paths we cross and who are doing the same thing living loving thinking choosing laughing crying …and dancing. My heart will sing its song because it is a choice to continue singing humming searching for the tune the tunes of our lives together and each uniquely their own singing singing singing …and dancing.

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PANDORA OPENS HER BOX

Pandora opens her box never to be closed again nothing will ever be the same again. Riddled by anxiety sleepless and worried she tries to order her world again after the outpour but it is not possible it is all new it is frightening it is all different. If there was hope somewhere in that box she can’t find it. She cries, weeps, sobs She is lost She is lonely. Was it worth it? She does not know. The step from innocence to knowing is big too big, she wonders – and she clutches the empty box in her arms.

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The container does not contain her anymore. The container is too small, she outgrew it and she grieves for the familiar even if constricted space. She couldn’t stop growing she couldn’t go back to sleep she couldn’t forget that this was the box that she had once chosen to be enough for her self. She looks at it with her heart her vision is blurred by tears she sees it it was what she thought was best for her self at the time. Now she knows that settling for less is not enough and that she cannot stop being and becoming who she is even if other people do this to themselves all the time. The people who tell her to get back into the box and close the lid firmly are not her friends anymore she misses them anyway at least they were there companions for part of the journey. 85


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But she outgrew the box opened it and climbed out! Is there something wrong with her? She is standing there she is here she is taking the first steps on shaky legs very wobbly very frightened she struggles to remember who she is and that she is ok then she does remember both. She is alone and she is not alone at the same time, nobody else can live her life but she herself. That is the magic that is the terrifying part that is how she gets on with it. She carries the box with her still clutching it in her arms in order not to forget where she came from and what it feels like to want to continue to grow‌ Then she puts the box down and silently spreads her soft, strong wings endlessly‌ into the unknown‌

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L A P W I N G PUB L I C A T I O N S

EVA LINDROOS

Eva Lindroos is a Dramatherapist with a background in the Performing Arts and Education. She is the Subject Leader for Dramatherapy and Course- Co-Ordinator for the Dramatherapy MA Programme at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth since March 2009. Previously she was a Senior Lecturer at the Dramatherapy MA Programme at Roehampton University, London for five years where she also undertook her training as a Dramatherapist. She qualified in 2000. Her clinical Dramatherapy experience includes ten years of working with various client groups mainly in Adult Mental Health for the NHS in the UK and for the HSE in Ireland. She is a Dramatherapy Supervisor and has supervised colleagues, practicing Dramatherapists, trainee Dramatherapists and other Arts Therapists. She also holds a Masters Degree in German, English and Scandinavian Literature and Languages from the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet in Frankfurt/M, Germany. She specialized in the field of Children and Young People’s Literature and Theatre. Her theatre background includes experience both as a performer and a Theatre director in several European and African countries including her own country of origin which is Sweden. She is currently working on her PhD in Dramatherapy in the department of Education at NUI Maynooth. Her research interest is the education and training of Dramatherapists in an academic environment.

The Lapwing is a bird, in Irish lore - so it has been written indicative of hope. Printed by Kestrel Print Hand-bound at the Winepress,Ireland

ISBN 978-1-909252-14-1 ÂŁ10.00


The Wave-Rider