Death and Picnics
For Rachel, Julie (the ones I belly laugh with always) and my other dear loves.
Ever so delicate, complex and tricky, yet so surprisingly strong when it matters - giant steel beams under the arch of a bridge, supporting millions of cars and buses and trucks and ex-boyfriends and bad hair days; unhappy careers and motherhood guilt; fears and depression. Death and picnics and everything in between.
Messy and magic and connected, forever connected.
Time stopping still sometimes for languid, late afternoon conversations; speeding on through like a freight train at others, turning crushes and high heels and favourite songs into wrinkles, prams, washing and knowledge. So much wisdom bursting out of us, together..always together.
The complexities of the female friendship.
Nothing has ever given me so much angst, so much confusion, so much comfort.
A completely intricate connection, a long beam of light flicking and snapping – that we try our hardest to hold on to, never really understanding the rules and navigation. Never knowing the course and the words and the speed in which some things must happen.
Never knowing if up is down and down is up.
It's a tricky thing to be a girl.
It's an even trickier thing to love one.
Sometimes a girl; a friend, can sucker punch you. Deciding to play with you, toy with you and spin you around. Sometimes they don't even mean to. Nobody is perfect and everybody is flawed, in wisdom.
Sometimes though to be friends with a girl you can't work out if it is a game you need to be better at; if you should speak, yell and point until you turn purple. Or bottle everything up inside and smile as you pour another glass, simply smile and decide to choose the battles - from heels and prams to battles so swiftly.
So many girls and their smiles.
Smiles all around a table. A table that is always set so pretty and polite. Smiles that hide it all. The hurt, the egos and jealousy. The anger and resentment and fear and constant questioning of connections. So worried, about pleasing the smiles and what drink to order next, as you pour another glass.
Then there are the real smiles. Smiles that turn into belly laughs.
Belly laughs that have your sides splitting and your head hurting and your breath lost. Lost in a moment of loveliness, feeling truly alive and happy with blood pumping and sunbeams shooting out of you.
Glowing in the warmth of a female friendship and all of its beautiful fractured intentions.
Glowing because in that moment, the smiles hide nothing but more smiles.
With such complexity, there is simplicity too. Turning up when it matters. Birthdays, and I do's, gatherings and merry moments. Truly wonderful snippets of love to share.
Beaming and loving and sharing and dancing and fairy lights, always wrapping it up in a blanket of fairy lights.
Showing up for the heartache and misery too, when you are needed as a lighthouse keeper the most.
It all goes by in the blink of an eye, and so to hold another's hand as you jump into it all, is simply magical.
Singing as loudly as you can. All piled into a car on a road trip with no destination.
Squealing as you step off, jumping into the water together, sailing through the air before you hit the surface.
Squeezing a hand as tight as you can, as your whole body aches in grief.
Swooping in, to pick someone up from the floor because their whole world is topsy-turvy and they don't know day from night. Growling at whoever dares try to hurt them while so vulnerable.
Water fights, cocktail mixes, walking a scorching summer time path with bare feet. Sunning bodies on beaches, all golden and warm and loved.
So many sides to spin around, never knowing what you might get.
A click of the shoe and a beat of the heart, constantly moving together between life and laughs and death and picnics.
Standing still on top of it all looking up and wishing on stars that you had the power to make it all better, to give what was needed and not to ever make things worse than they are.
To not ever fuck up. To not ever wish bad things in anger. To only want what they want.
If I fall to pieces, I know it will be many soft, loving hands with rings and bracelets who rest on me first and stand me back up.
Girlfriends, female friendships. So terribly complicated, tricky and delicate.
Hot chocolate with 3 marshmallows and a Ryan Gosling movie, though, usually does the trick.
So does scoffing at a complete shit, who tries to hurt any of them.
Emma Kate xoxo