The sun comes in through the curtains because the curtains are cheese cloth maybe, or canvas, or trousers my mother wore to a wedding once.
The sun comes in and I pull the cover over my eyes. It is morning and I like the morning an awful lot, but that first light is sometimes vulgar, don’t you think.
I wake up a minute or two before my alarm because I have trained my body to wake up then, and when it goes off it is fine but it does feel like a punch. I jump from the bed because my yoga teacher says that jumping disturbs the cells and it makes you feel alive and I believe my yoga teacher because she has a kind face and she tucks her hair behind her ears in such a way that makes it seem like I should trust her.
And then you turn because somehow you are always facing away from me, and with your eyes closed you grab at my pillow and pull yourself over to the warm side of the bed where I was just laying and you shuffle a little like a puppy would and settle again. I like it when you do that because it is like a meditation and meditation is a nice way to start the morning.
Sometimes I can hear birds, but more often than not it is just the trees and the slow, soft sound of your breath against the pillow. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. In.
I’m exhausted but I’m here. It’s everything I wanted it to be; my room is surrounded by olive trees.
A tiny corner of the garden is mine. No one can see me sunbathing there. It’s not that I mind people seeing me, but isn’t it nice knowing that they can’t? Do you know that feeling?
I’ve already found myself explaining that I planned this trip with a friend, who had to cancel at the last moment.
“I thought about cancelling too but how could I possibly have missed out on all of this?”
I’m lying in the garden at six o’clock in the evening and I can hear Carly Simon playing from another room.
I dip my finger into a glass of wine. And then my whole hand.
-From ‘Memphis’, a series of short stories by John Murray
Thom and John do a little arts newsletter called Celebrate the Mountains. The stories above came from their 54th edition “Small Gestures”.
“Celebrate the Mountains is an arts newsletter; we’ll send you poems, essays, visual art and more. There aren’t a great many things we can influence in the world today without facing major obstacles. And we’re not saying that we shouldn’t try, but if you’re feeling a little defeated and like you don’t know how to improve the space around you (let alone beyond), then start small.
Write a little poem and send it someone. Buy a little piece of art from an independent seller and hang it in your room. Support a friend when they sing at their next pub gig. Do a little creative thing. Whatever you want. Sometimes that’s the best way to get the energy to make bigger changes…
Please e-mail us if you’d like to submit for future editions, we would love to hear from you. You can send anything you like; writing of any kind, art work, photographs, songs….anything! So get cracking…
To ‘celebrate the mountains’ means to recognise and celebrate your own achievements, no matter how big or small. Make sure you do it, every day.”