Posted by: Louise | October 18, 2012

playing with Laura

…Agony goes
I was born to adore you
As a baby in the blind
I was born to represent you
To carry your head into the sun…

The Crying Light
Antony and the Johnsons

My head is an Antony and the Johnsons mush, a beautiful lyrical haunting mush, but a mush. My own words are floating around in the mush, difficult to catch and order and cohere. I want to catch them. I want to…

…lyrical, haunting mush…

The “when I was in my egg” conversation bubbled to the surface again the other day with the boys. Little of it remains with me now save for the realisation that I was born with all my eggs, a part of me. Therefore I was born with what were to become my children nestled within me. I was born with the cells that would grow to become Giraffe Princess, Astro Boy, the Boy Racer and Laura. Laura was physically with me all my life until she wasn’t anymore.

And I thought – that is why it hurts so much. It wasn’t just a few months and then gone when Laura died. It was all my life and then gone. A physical part of me all my life and then gone.

I was born to adore you.

…lyrical, haunting mush…

The sun shone on us today. We were a gathering of women, clad in vintage, creamy, floaty lacy layers and wellies at the side of the river in the early morning sunshine. Antony drifted above the call of the birds as we warmed up in unison in the park at the side of the river.

Now I cry for daylight
Daylight and the sun
Now I cry for daylight
Daylight everyone

We followed our directions. The moves had been rehearsed for weeks. For weeks now we had flown like gulls, swooping and diving as day turned to night, as summer turned to autumn in the sports complex on top of the hill.

For weeks we had imagined the trees, our shelter and our support as we keened, yearned, dreamed and played in our imagined special places. We had laughed and cried. I had laughed and cried. Those moments as we walked purposefully across the dance floor, conjuring scenarios of delight, those were my moments. I was playing with Laura, lifting her high in the air, feeling her weight in my arms. Oh, to find words to capture the poignancy and delight of those moments?

And now on this day we had our trees to hold, to support us, to hide us as we swayed and pleaded and lost ourselves to the movement, the moment, the company… All of us together, bonded, but lost in our own blissful moment, and a camera rolled.

Daylight in my heart
Daylight in the trees
Daylight kissing everything
She can see

Imagine you are in a nest. This is your space, yours alone. What are you doing in this space?

My arms move. I am cradling my baby, holding her close, cradling her head in my two hands and looking at the length of her, resting weighty on my fore arms. Imagining her there, feeling my heart swell with mother love and pride. I am lifting her gently under her shoulders and swooping her up, flying. My hands widen a little to accommodate my growing child and simultaneously, unstoppably the tears begin to roll down my cheeks. I sink down in my nest, curl up on the floor of the sports complex on top of the hill. My empty arms curled in around my chest.

So much grief carried in my body, my keening, yearning body that has found a way to keep on keeping on until a simple physical action…

…lyrical haunting mush…

Ooh your dream
Here on the water
Warm the sand
The seagulls calling
Kissed by kindness

On this day, as we completed filming, our dance teacher held a few of us back and we walked further along the path by the river until we came to a spot that looked through a gap in some trees across the river to a small town. We wandered through the gap as the camera rolled and following her instructions, we each found ourselves a nest in amongst the trees. The music played. Antony’s voice rose again over the trees and the call of the gulls, and I imagined Laura.

Together in amongst the trees we played, Laura and I, now held in my arms, now swooping and smiling and the camera found us and we played on.

You gave me this
Your fire becomes a kiss

The filming ended and we gathered ourselves (my arms empty once again), preparing to head back along the path. I turned to my teacher (who knew exactly what I was doing in my nest) and said – Do you know where Laura is buried?

She could have chosen anywhere in Ireland to locate her film. I had no say in this. She shook her head. I looked back over my shoulder and pointed through the gap in the trees to the small town on the other side of the river, a small town with an old, old church and a victorian graveyard and a beautiful baby who doesn’t grow.

I was born to adore you…
I was born to represent you
To carry your head into the sun…

Lyrical haunting mush



  1. God, this is so beautiful. xo

    • Thank you, Angie. A hard one to write. xo

  2. Oh Louise. I’ve been reading and re-reading and just can’t summon up anything remotely adequate. But here goes.

    I do often think about the ‘in my egg’ conversation and how what will become our children is carried with us from birth. But I never put two and two together, I’ve always thought of it in the context of all my little Georgina’s children dying with her and all my grandchildren already nestled inside J. For some reason, I never thought about how they were all with me, always. And it was a minor revelation. That she had always been with me and no wonder I am still so absolutely devastated that she is gone.

    Maybe also because I saw all of my children long before I should have. Jessica and Georgina because they were born before they should have been and Reuben I saw as an egg or the remains of where he egg had been (I had a medical procedure the cycle he was conceived) I do find that fascinating. Sometimes I whisper to him that I saw him in his egg. Probably doing irreparable damage.

    The photographs, the song, the description of you and Laura in the nest are just so beautiful and painful. Cradled in your arms, held up under her shoulders. And anybody who knew me a little would know exactly what was in my nest too.

    Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I imagine that I am holding a very tiny baby. Who is still breathing and moving.

    “I was born to adore you . . . . ‘ it’s haunting me now too. Perhaps it always did.

    Thank you for writing this Louise. It’s lovely. Thinking of you and your Laura.

    • Love to you, Catherine. Thank you for your words.

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