Life looks lovely and a little frosted-over from my windowsill. The top of the Shard is disappearing into the fog outside, and inside, Joni Mitchell has been spinning on the record player on repeat. A couple candles, a cone of lavender incense, and a steaming cup of coffee look as mesmerizingly twisted as Joni sounds, and become nearly as foggy as London town. But in a warm way.
By the time the record gets to ‘River’, I’m far away in my head, walking along the Thames. And when I get outside into the Christmas-fluster, and down to the Thames, I’m singing along, quietly, then loudly, in my head. I wish I had a river…
Stereotypically enough, it’s been freezing here. Inside, that is. I’ll sit in my room and watch the cloud of my breath as I exhale. I’ll get out of bed but not leave my duvet behind for fear of turning blue (not Blue). Regardless, we survive. Endless cups of tea, coffee, and mulled wine. Blankets of wool and of friends. And we dance. We dance, we forget to feel cold.
It’s all in the spirit of Christmas. The shops are one big jingle and ugly Christmas sweaters keep popping up. It’s all a happy excuse to watch too many festive films and eat too much chocolate, and to spend too much time making everything look as sparkly and pretty as possible. Today I’ll be coming home for Christmas; hopping on a plane up North. All the bright lights, gift giving, and the moment I spied a gentleman on the street giving a warm meal and surprise package to a homeless man – all these things are making me swell up with a sort of glowing feeling, excited to be with family.
Perhaps what I’ll miss most in my London home is this windowsill. It’s supported me, it’s got my back through many dark and cold days. It’s inspired many songs and stories. It’s offered me a place in-between: between inside and outside, between two different worlds I exist in.
So here I am perched, tracing the drops of condensation on the window. I’ve listened to the record enough times to move on to this cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czd5w7IGYIQ and am continuing to devour my book of choice for the day, Brief Lives by Anita Brookner.
“One must be authentic if one is to be anything at all.” –Brief Lives
Wishing you warm and merry,