Monday, 27 May 2013

Speaking of Normalcy...

I couldn't resist taking a cheeky snap of this mug when I saw it in a shop window.
I'm on holiday in Cornwall; land of smugglers and sea shanties and shipwrecks and ancient tales of hidden pirates' plunder. It's now home to thousands of artists (on account of the beautiful, flat light and the sheer sense of SPACE). 
Cobbled streets, winding lanes, laid back locals and sun soaked flora. The essence of Cornwall. Pints of real ale, Cornish pasties, and fish and chips fresher than any you'd ever find. The streets here are lined with gift shops galore; the type that you bump around, stroking pretty wooden shapes, painted in low tone shades - willow green, dusky pink, dirt track yellow...
It's as far South West as you get in the UK, and the sun sets here last. Days feel long and it's endlessly beautiful. 

I'm on a family holiday. The first for years.

I think we're past thinking we're a nice normal family. With two anorexics, an anxiety disordered mother, a control freak dad and another sister who, believe me, has her own scarring, we're hardly 'normal'. I'm glad we can (sort of) admit it (bar my mother). I'm glad we can (sometimes) laugh about it (almost). But, I remember a time when we couldn't. 
Many years ago, when the values were set differently, when the pride was stronger and the pain - rawer; we were  bound and gagged for fear that someone might see we weren't the "nice, normal family" that popped up, smiling and glossy and beautifully 'normal'.
You might ask the question, 'what is normal?'in an attempt to deny that there's any such thing. 
In my experience, those who deny 'normal' (mother), are either defending their hidden non-normalcy, or, they're just not weird enough. 
If the family is a piece of wood, pain is a plane, relentless at task with which it's charged. And the shape we're in now comes from years of scraping and turning and sanding and smoothing. And we're still very much a rough hewn hunk of wood, but at least we're not still in the denial phase of 'normal'. 
To attempt comparison is ridiculous... yet in some strange way, it's more painful to be at that end of the process. I still bear scars from smothering hands that insisted that we were 'normal'.


  1. Hi and Happy Memorial Day. Normal? Ummmmmmmmmmm??

    I call myself, or my stsae and/or ever changing 'being' 'my abnormal normal', right?
    Love to you keep on keeping on.
    Love Gail

  2. Hey Gail.
    Thanks so much for your response. Abnormal normal... Yeah. That's a pretty good way of putting it!
    Hope your doing okay. x

  3. The way I see it, normal sucks

  4. Poetic soul - Thanks so much for dropping by. Hope things are going okay...
    Go to say, if Avril Lavingne is to be believed... then yes! 'ordinary' is very much an over rated concept... and I can see her point...
    (here comes the 'but')
    But, having been to such extremes, and been immersed in a 'crazy normal', I think I'd give anything just for a bit of balance.
    So, whilst understanding your sentiment, I have to say that for me, I just want a big, fat slice of 'normal'.
    There's a cake I'd eat!