The definition of love begins with talking and self-improvement. Man constructs the women in his life and not the other way round. The narrative speaks to the embodiment of the feminine, that action speaks louder than words in relationships, the rapture of love and the sexual transaction. Father constructs mother in this novel tangled in hope, in breathless anticipatory nostalgia, in the fullness and magnitude of her own destiny instruction and correction swims out into a forest of self engulfing her depression and everything in its wake. It doesn’t even begin to rival her mother’s beauty. Everything is overwhelming. Detail, the eye, the rival, shadows and mirrors, the shallows keep on flowing up to her to meet her until the inheritance of their dance gather up inside of her. She should have loved more when she had the chance. Now worlds are inside of her and she doesn’t know how to let go. There’s a picture of them together in the archives of memory and desire. Father and mother. Inside her heart is nightfall and the wildflowers are growing in the museum of her soul but the characters are also playing a kind of imitation game. They cannot tell the difference between summer or winter. The protagonist is like a forgotten city. She tells herself that poetry is an art and it teaches her the mapping out of survival and waiting it out in a microclimate of upheaval. There is a game that she plays with herself. Poetry and melancholy are to be found in the art of that seduction. Her background is that of interloper. She is wise and innocent to the modus operandi of the men in her life. She finds her purpose and calling in searching for happiness in the relationships found in her environment. Hers is the voice that praises the day found in the life of a tiger, a bird, a metaphor, lines found in a black Croxley notebook, the phenomenon of gold and unstoppable survival. The self-actualization, the love of family that moves the sun and other stars rule in this book. She is an autumn poet, with a winter kind of face and has witnessed storms and there’s summer in her laughter, in her kindness towards others, in the heart and matter and energies of her soul.
New age wisdom is what with the surge of technology in today’s society we are becoming accustomed to. I am invisible and although my future is uncertain I have acquired the knowledge of the nervous breakdown, the anxiety pangs and sore feelings of carbo loading. My body has lost its youthful athletic endurance. Sometimes I dance to Tina Turner, cry when I watch documentaries that remind me of the man’s pale hands, his eyes, the crinkles at the corners of his eyes, the bridge of his nose, how he asked me to meet his friends, did I want to go somewhere to eat? I don’t do pilates or yoga anymore. I did it for the man. I motivated myself to have a thin body. I experience pain and suffering now that you are no longer here Virgil. You will always have my heart. Tender is depression, falling into daylight, covered by the moonlight, eating an apple, sucking on a lemon slice and pulling a face. I cook canned fish just the way I like it with parboiled white rice. The man is synonymous with war. It is a war that will never leave my glands and membranes, tissues and organs, lungs, liver and pancreas. I hold it down to the face and sensibility of each ventricle.
The following is a story about daughter warriors. Miriam Gelhor is a thirty-nine year old aspiring novelist. She is working on a book. She looks back on her life through a series of interweaving narratives in poetic prose on the various types of men and women who influenced her in her life and decision-making as well as life-transforming incidents that shaped her reasoning, mind and clarity of vision. There is the English teacher who taught her in Manzini, Swaziland, the man who asked her to marry him and then who disappeared never to return and make an honest woman out of her by placing a ring on her finger. Her father has a substantial hold on her. She doesn’t know how to let go. How to deal with the fact that he is growing older and weaker by the day.
The men establish themselves as stakeholders to a certain extent in her life. The women in her life seem to keep her at a distance all her life. Some women shock Miriam like the well-groomed and perfectly coiffed lesbians in the park that she “meets”. Stories coalesce. Miriam only comes into the picture in the third and final part of the book when you discover she writes about herself in a way where she kind of puts herself down and that one of the women in the park makes fun of Miriam’s ‘poodle’ hair and that she thinks she’s better off being heterosexual.
In the end she is in control of the life choices she makes. She is an adept individual of sound mind and good character with a squeaky clean reputation. She sends her novel away and waits to hear back from a publisher.
It is an urgent clause when it comes to the end of a relationship. Both to have acceptance and closure. I am Miriam Gelhor. I am the writer of books, narratives, the levels and stratagems of war. I allocate every picture with a word. Sometimes an essay of them. Seated on the couch I felt my spirit was transparent to the man. He would kiss and hug me but I had no knowledge of his desire, need and want of me. Nobody had told me that they loved me before, that we had so much in common. When he wasn’t busy he would text me emojis and message me. I took all of this for granted. Technology brought us together daily during lockdown. He broke up with me via text message and then he blocked me on all the social platforms we had been in contact with before. I began to have nightmares, imagine walking past him in the street. I went to a book fair and imagined again that he was sitting in the back row. He was my soulmate. In his presence my emotional life shimmered with mystery. I worshiped him, the empire of his mind but all it took was the better part of the year and the love affair was over. I watched Charlie Rose, the Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, Dr Mike Murdock and videos of Robert Greene on YouTube and Hallmark Christmas movies. It made me lose touch with the reality that the man, Virgil the poet, was no longer in my life. He had by this time found someone much more suitable. I still needed love. I was aware of that but loneliness kept calling even after long hot baths and a good night’s rest. I never had the three children we dreamed up. I entered menopause. Therapy was always found on the page whether I was writing or reading. My heart was still lonely. Perhaps, I told myself if I was not bipolar things would have worked out in time. I am “she” and “her”. I am incomparable yet competent and capable of many beauties. I turned to meditation and prayer. I sought solace in having a spiritual perspective yet I was still lonely. I was in need of a companion my father told me but that did not sway my inner turmoil and depression. I came to terms with the fact that as long as I did not have the man I would be lonely. This would be my lot in life. Flying solo everlasting. Calling male and female friends that I cherish my “intellectual eagles”.