31 12 2013 – 39w + 2

Today is its last day. A sense of relief. I only need to last one more day and I am out of 2013. My new baby needs to belong to 2014. A new beginning, a new potential. Would it be ok to have an apocalyptic baby on the last day of the year? There would be something inevitable about it.

I am home alone. Again. I love being home alone. It’s turned out sunny after all. There is such a sense of space and energy in being alone. Doing this, doing that: reading, cleaning, checking things, being bored, switching between books, writing, wondering does it all matter at all? Writing emails to old friends, to new friends, comments on Facebook. A cup of tea. I’ve had my lunch of toasted white bread with cheese and ham. Lots of butter.

I write my diary for remembrance, for recording of the events. I know that I most enjoy reading about past events, things I did. As we recently moved, I found an old diary and I spent some time reading about things I did at 16. Everything is so much clearer now. This guy actually fancied me, he loved me, that guy, my boyfriend at the time, actually used me and disrespected me. I don’t event need to read between lines; it is so obvious. Why did I pick the wrong one? It might have had to do with vanity and having a boyfriend who is older and has a car. Such sweet sixteen nonsense, but yet it matters massively later on. It molds you in a certain way. I performed 1994 solo performance in 2013. A piece on Kurt Cobain and my teenage experience of the Balkan War – a list of boys I kissed, teenage growing up in the USA high school for a couple of years, lost youth, lovers I never had, lives I never lived. No regrets, only melancholia. A sense of obsession about Kurt Cobain, so familiar, so dead.

I had a miscarriage in January 2013. I wrote about it, its violence and its shock. Now I am glad to have had it. I’ve grown with it. I’ve become more aware of loss after having tasted death. Sadness of the couch and a week long illness. No, not illness, but a kind of retreat. It was warm with purple blanket over me and some snow. It felt so empty and vast. Some friends came, some friends wrote, some friends helped by covering my classes at work. No questions asked. It felt it would all never end, and yet, here I am, about to give birth in January 2014.

We moved house in 2013, from Everton to Anfield. We bought our first house, a new build, a Tudor. It’s tall and full of stairs and new carpets and it’s incredibly clean… well, it’s still clean. I worry. I emailed Eco Cleaning Fairies yesterday. Maybe it’s time to let someone do the cleaning, to understand it as a wage and pay for it. No more excuses for not recognizing domestic labour. But am I just running away from the inevitable: messy house. How long can I keep it up, this suburban gloss? Both new house and new neighbourhood are fine. I never regret any move. Neal is happy with his bus ride to school. Gabriel will be joining him in September. Sid will be starting Year 3 at Four Oaks brand new primary school which is just a block away, all in September. Gary and I have both grown up in new estates. We are the children of the generation who moved into new build, utopian estates. Gary longed for a Victorian house for a while. I can’t be bothered with the aesthetics of the Victorian architecture, as long as it is warm inside… Never finished, never finished. I can’t give in into the English romance with Victorian housing. They are always so cold.

My favourite time of the year was the Easter in Dubrovnik. Kids and I. I was drinking again, post Lent. I smoked a few Marlboro Lights. I transgressed. I took the kids all around Dubrovnik, sightseeing. I went out with friends. I hoped to run into some old faces from the past. Nothing new. It seems I have been so so sober in 2013. One night which I remember is when Gary and I broke the Lent on Saturday just before Palm Sunday and drank crisp white wine from New Zealand. Oh, the joy. He spent his Easter with his ill mother in cold Scotland. I ran away with the kids to the sunny Mediterranean coast. I was thin. I was on a diet and swaying pink. I looked good. I had my hair cut.

I got pregnant in mid April. I found out on the 30th. I was at the Bluecoat rehearsal studio LIC when I saw the results of the test. I was only 9 days post ovulation. It was faint, but clear. I longed for a girl. I belonged to my virtual company of pink swayers. It will be in late September at 25 week 3D scan that I will know I am having a baby boy number 4. I am content now. I threw away all my brochures on pre-implantation gender screening clinics. I am forgetting about Cyprus and MicroSort method. End of the maternal line will be with me. It would have been too hard anyway, to be a mother to a daughter. I turned 39 this year.

The Christmas tree is dying, its branches are dropping. I guess we need to keep it up till the 6th of January, the arrival of the three kings. I doubt the children will see the nativity this year. Last Christmas we went to Elgin. We were staying with Gary’s Mum near Aberlour. We bothered. Why do I feel so bitter this year? I am instantly exhausted. I feel some pain. I am uncomfortable. Are these the beginnings of contractions? No, I am yet to finish my two books. I am on the last chapter for them both.

2013 detail

I am excited. It’s coming. The experience. Maybe I am not scared that much this time. All seems so full. So potent. So inevitable. The passage. The darkness. The opening. The pain. The slow movement. Sweat. Push. Breathe. Pain. Water? Maybe it’s time for the birthing pool with this little one. Oh how magical and terrifying and sweet it will all be.

About Lena Simic

Lena Simic, performance practitioner and pedagogue, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, living in Liverpool, UK. Co-organizer of The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative run from her family home. Lena’s autobiographical performance practice is informed b…Read more

Website: http://www.lenasimic.org

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2 Responses to “Looking Back at 2013”

  1. Helen Sargeant

    I loved reading your beautiful reflective words. Here is to a wonderful 2014. Helen x

  2. Frances Earnshaw

    Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you for lifting my heart and plunging me into reflection!


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