Page A Day – Day Five

Get it out of the way. Done. Over. So I can feel like a good girl. I’ve done my job, my duty, my requirement, my penance, my practice, my promise.  Two lines. A sigh. The sound of small paws, padding on the hardwood floor. Padding up and down, up and down. Trying to find, what? Release? Fun? Escape? Something. Anything. Other than this. Padding again, a slanty-eyed glance my way and then disappearing down the corridor. A call from the distance. Nothing will do, not today. Nothing will fill the gap, the need, for what? Why is it so very difficult to simply feel alright? To simply be okay with this moment, right here? Each day a step towards the night, and only then a feeling I can allow myself to let go, to read a little and then to face the long night, during which I must continue to pad up and down, up and down, for when I wake I am more tired than when I went to sleep. The wind has blown a seed tray across the gravel. It’s a good seed tray, one my mother lent me. I should go out and put it somewhere safe, where the wind cannot find it. The dark, underneath a chair, behind the throw, tassles for bars. That’s where my cat settles, sometimes, to calm himself. In small enclosed, dark space. Perhaps this is what I should do, find myself such a space and curl up. I made a wish list today. It was hard to wish, it’s not as if there are too many things I wish for really. I wish for a wish list, perhaps. There is something a little disturbing about too much freedom, too much choice. And now that I have a cat I can fret about my freedom. Perhaps this will help me choose my list of wishes a little more wisely, more carefully. There is no simply running away now, for who will take care of the cat? Who will take care of me? What a question. My herbalist asked it of me a while back. Was it possible my illness had something to do with me wanting to be taken care of? After having taken care of another to a such an extreme degree I was brought me to my knees, the same knees that went searching for the shattered pieces of myself, of him, only this time I knelt in hollow prayer, Help me, I prayed, help me. Help came, in forms unexpected, a friend, a guru or two, a man with brown eyes and unbroken heart. And here I am, still kneeling, less distraught, not distraught at all, just asking.

About Sandra Jensen

I am a writer. I was born in South Africa and have British and Canadian citizenship. I have over 40 short story and flash fiction publications, including in: World Literature Today, The Irish Times, Descant, AGNI, The Fiddlehead and others. My work has received a number of awards including winning the 2012 bosque Fiction Competition and the 2011 J.G. Farrell award for best novel-in-progress. I have been awarded Professional Writer’s Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts Council of Ireland and Arts Council England. The novel I have recently completed, Ten Virtuous Acts, is a literary adventure set in Sri Lanka during the civil war. I was a guest writer and panellist at the 12th and 13th International Conference on the Short Story (Little Rock, Arkansas and Austria); an invited participant at The Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in 2011 and a six-time participant of the Sirenland Writer’s Conference in Positano, Italy. I attended The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio in 2011/2012. I administer the In Memory of Vučko and AWABosnia websites, raising awareness and funds to stop animal suffering in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I live with my partner, David Crean and my foundling cat, Rónán.
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