The Crumbling Veneer

Whoever said that keeping a journal was a good idea, apparently didn’t factor in the reality of the pitfalls of re-reading it.

Every time I go back and read through the torrid thoughts of late teenage Emma I face something different. Something I didn’t catch last time. A less than flattering angle to myself that is now revealed.

I guess it is a part of doing the work. Facing the facts that the stories you told about yourself in the moment weren’t necessarily the most truthful ones. Stories that help you save face, move on, ones that obscure your own faults.

Then there are the parts of you that you realise you discarded along the way. Swallowed whole by the demands of motherhood, a melody grown dim through disuse.

I discover threads that were always there, waiting to be seen and woven. Problems that reappear, lessons half-learned.

Facing the truth can be destabilising. Empires crumble, foundations fade. And yet, building on false narratives lends a sense of security that blinks precariously, a facade that obscures glorious brokenness.

I am flawed, messy, single-minded. Passionate, musical, creative. The disparate realities converge to create my humanity. It is forever my lot.

This post is inspired by the Five Minute Friday writing challenge. Each week I join with this talented group of writers, free writing for five minutes in accordance with a prompt (though I have sadly missed a few weeks recently). Today’s prompt is ‘discover’. 

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Unfiltered

I hid from my weaknesses for a long time. Pouring myself into another mould – one that I could be proud of, control, contain. When the cracks began to fracture I looked away, then realised resistance would only lead to pain. My selfless helping, what I had hoped was an […]

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Motif

We are the sum of our reactions and responses to the people around us, or so I recently heard it said. Often it is easy to take for granted the ways that we are supported, held up by those who love us. Or how the earth rises to meet our […]

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The List

It was a brisk, chilly evening. I wore a coat of peacock blue. We strolled along the lane slowly, the aroma of meatballs, pizza, Italian coffee drifting out across the way. When we sat down at the rickety table under the stars I pulled out a yellow legal pad and […]

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Burrowing

Dave banished me from the house today. ‘Take the day to just be’, he said, ‘and don’t even think about coming back before 4:30pm. I’ve got this!’ I was equal parts terrified and excited as I set out, after attending a meeting in the morning. It felt a little foreign […]

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Virtual Reality

Have you ever experienced the sudden almost imperceptible shift of story? How everything seemed to be going smoothly and life seemed straightforward – enjoyable even – and then seemingly out of nowhere the very same place becomes stifling, depressing, seething with hidden traps? Place is such a strange concept, we […]

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Portals and Passageways

Do you ever notice the way that certain scents, movements, actions can transport you back in time to a particular place or memory? I’m transported vividly back to the ornate mustard-hued apartment in a Palazzo in Venice whenever I inhale Ralph by Ralph Lauren, certain yoga poses have somehow become […]

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Fire and Ice

I have this theory about self-awareness. It comes in waves. Circumstances suddenly arrange to reveal to us an angle to ourselves or a revelation that had henceforth been hidden. That feeling of intense discomfort and shame (the messy middle, to coin a Brene Brown term) can be so unnerving as […]

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Holding Steady

With one foot  I rock back and forth calm and bright a steady pace  for silvery sleep … With a loaded cart I steer  through crowded aisles and car parks Re-stocking shelves stirring pots refilling endlessly  empty bellies … With frenzied fingers I type Spilling words, wishes and realisations Finding the […]

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The Impossible Price

Life A collection, completion Moment upon moment Minutes that stretch  into years … Arrival is impossible intangible, elusive And yet we strive, for something, someone anything that will take us forward … Breath and beauty shadow and pain achingly combine Knitted together  seamlessly … What is a moment  worth? When I am […]

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