Plastic lightbulbs and birthday cake

When breath becomes air

and air becomes still

When chest is frozen in breath’s

last exhale

When heart and lungs take their final bow

And exhale your Life

Then…

Like Cinderella’s carriage at midnight

the magic of life runs out

Life becomes a grey-painted wall

Stars which mapped the secrets of the constellations become plastic lightbulbs

and the Sun which lit the roads which led us to

an opened door,

a deep smile and

hugs smelling of

brylcreem and palmolive,

four layer birthday cake

and menus written on scrap envelopes,

twinkling, patient blue eyes and powdery-soft strong hands.

That sun now a broken car boot sale lamp,

faulty switch and bulb too weak to shine any light.

Did you know you were the sun and stars?

Did you know you were our inspiration, …my very air?

Did you know know KNOW

how much I loved you?

Please say yes.

Please

say

something.

Please…

stop being gone.

Simon Von Booys
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With You

One night last week I just couldn’t sleep, because words to a poem were swirling in my head and I was forced out of bed to capture them and write them down… and so for my birthday party a few days later, instead of making an impromptu speech (to avoid last year’s unplanned but hilarious reference to blow jobs!) I recited this poem for my dear ones:

WITH YOU, I stand warmly blanketed by the rich, thick tapestry of you all,
coloured brightly with different characters and ideas,
different views and learnings…

With You, I laugh at different pitches;
the full musical range of NLB dirty laugh to Natalia giggles,
In your company finding both home and release,
each of your unique lights illuminating a different side of my multi-faceted natalianess.

With You I am both punished and forgiven,
I am made weak and thereby made strong. Because with you I am exposed,
not possibly just by one, but by an all,
I am seen, I am heard,
I am endured, I am adored.

With You, my smile is stretched,
My intellect is fed; my soul is nourished,
my ideas are chiselled, and my being is flourished.

Your friendship tapestry is rich, & reflective,
you hold a mirror to my face and point out my character lines, so they can be refined,
and my beauty, so I can be admired.
With You, I am both humbled, and edified.

Above all.
With you, I am given the gift of…S.P.A.C.E.
For, though small, I am big.
With You I am given space- to flounder, and flap,
and spread my big Natalia wings…
and with you pushing me … I (fucking) fly.

NLB bday 2017

On the floor for Love

Except for in a Hipster office, working on the floor is widely seen as unseemly, lowly, or even dirty-in our culture it’s servant work. And yet as I think back to this day seven years ago what comes to mind is how many of my beloveds *literally* got on their hands & knees to serve & help me. This time seven years ago I was to be married in 24hours and still had 101 small but important things to do. And so my friends and beloveds held us up and got us to the Finish (well the Start!) Line; there was Katie on the floor with her paintbrushes making unique paintings of Ghanaian symbols in our ‘wedding colours’ for decoration; there was Sweet P not only driving me around for my final errands but who had been on the floor while I was laid up unable to walk, helping me wrap gift-bags of hand-decorated Thank You cups to thank our helpful friends; there were Payal & Dilanie on the floor laboriously tacking not one but two layers of cream cloth to make the beautiful aisle for our entrance a few hours away. And all of this floor-work after the dayssss of shopping & faffing & rehearsing! (& I expect lots of private swearing!!😉)

These girls physically *got on the floor* in devoted love & service and so many others did so figuratively-Rachel who designed invitations, became my PA, checked my emails to protect me from unnecessary stress when I had so much of my own, and who listened & comforted as I prayerfully sweared upon receipt of some sad family news; my big brother who flew across the world & then graciously hoovered my house the morning of my wedding, humbly transforming from Brother of the Bride to Janitor (i.e. life saver!) in seconds! There were Nick & Jonny, Rob & Mike, Phil & Alice & James variously catching planes, driving cars & rehearsing songs…and everrrryone carrying tables & chairs, laying tablecloths & petals all before The Day itself! And yet others joined the servant-hearted throng on our Marriage Day, decorating, getting me ready and to church, directing cars, ushering guests, serving Pimms, lighting candles, cutting cake, filming & photoing, doing speeches, doing flips, setting off fireworks, tidying up etc etc etccccccc all in the name of *Love* love LOVE for us.

      

So today I reflect on our seven year medley of joyous experiences; of daily-grind made easier by companionship & support; of challenges faced & survived by carrying the burden on two sets of shoulders; of triumphs achieved growth with mutual support & sacrifice; of personal growth continued & of so much fun had! And yet…today I thank not my unparalleled, *exceptional* husband but our range of generous, considerate friends & family who whether then or now, have served us without (much😉) complaint & who have shown us in various ways what it is to ‘love patiently, kindly & without self-seeking‘.