Till We Meet Again

The reason you so often in literature have a naked woman
walk out of her house that way, usually older, in her front garden
or on the sidewalk, oblivious, is because of exactly how I feel right now.

You tend to hear about how it felt to come upon such a mythical beast,
the naked woman on the street, the naked man in a tree, and that makes
sense because it is wonderful to take the naked woman by the hand

And know that you will remember that moment for the rest of your life
because of what it means, the desperation, the cataclysm of what it takes
to leave your house naked or to take off your clothes in the tree.

It feels good to get the naked man to come down from there by a series
of gentle commands and take him by the elbow or her by the hand and
lead him to his home like you would care for a bird or a human heart.

Still if you want instead, for once, to hear about how the person came to be
standing there, naked, outside, you should talk to me right now, quickly,
before I forget the details of this way that I feel. I feel like walking out.

Jennifer Michael Hecht

Last week I did something I have never done before here on Brocantehome. I took a post down that had gone live on the site only half an hour before. Perhaps you saw it. Perhaps it is still there hiding in the busy corridors of your RSS feed.

It was a rant. A whinge and wine. It was about my Uncle dying and my tumble dryer going kaput.  About not being able to differentiate between human life and domestic machinery, because my head is currently unable to establish a hierarchy of catastrophe and all- the big and the little, the human and the mechanical seem equally disastrous.

I took it down because it was a diary entry, not a blog post. Subdued hysteria disguised as something meaningful. I took it down because the inner workings of my exhausted mind don’t have to become the kind of public property that by their very nature demand sympathy, empathy and surely irritation? I took it down because I am almost forty-one years old and angst, should not be my default mode as a  writer.

Bowing out for a while…

Today even before I opened my eyes I knew what had to be done. Everyday this week I have turned up in front of this computer and tried to write something that would stir your souls or inspire your housekeepers heart and some words have spilled out and other whole sentences, entire paragraphs have stuck so tight in my gullet I was choking trying to spill them out and so, on at least three of these days I gave up and went shopping instead. Wandering around staring at lots of things I don’t need. Wanting to turn to the other women I saw hovering in aisles full of plastic beakers and toilet bleach and say tell me what you are running away from. Tell me what to buy to fix this gaping void.

I need to stop. 

The next six weeks will finally bring to an end the nineteen months of trauma I have endured since my world came crashing down in September 2011. It is almost over. But it has also reached the kind of emotional crisis point I can barely endure and certainly cannot allow to seep into my writing here and that is, I fear, what will happen if I try to pretend that everything is ok. That I am ok.  Because I am not good at pretending and you know me too well now not to try to read between every line I write.  So I am going to bow out for a little while, in order to strengthen the emotional, physical and financial roots Finley and I need if we are going to step into a more secure future.

Am I depressed?

No. And yes. Certainly my doctor has been trying to force-feed me anti-depressants whenever I am in his vicinity and a kind of low-grade depression has dogged me all my adult life. But twelve months of counselling during 2012 showed me that what I feel is merely the most human instinctive reaction to what happened: to something distressing that happened to me. That as my Mum has long argued, it is hard to label persistent, foreboding anxiety as depression when it has a very specific cause, specifically something not in our power to manipulate.

What am I going to do?

I am going to write, just for myself for a while. Work my head out on paper. Work on my book. Make a few more of my existing downloads available on the Kindle. Scrub the house from top to bottom. Sit on a bench in the park and watch my son scoot around it’s circumference. Answer the glut of emails I have found lurking behind filters in my email account. Try to shake off feelings of guilt and obligation. Watch every episode of Girls back to back. Drink coffee with Kath and Diane and when we can both get our acts together, Rachel from Tales From the Village. Get my wayward eyebrows plucked. Try to let people who care about me in. Eat things that sooth my bloated self. Get to grips with Finn’s new diet.  Go to bed early. Read poetry like this and this and this. Scrawl lines from my favorites into the margins of my journal. Remember how it feels to have a pencil in my hand. Wait this hell out with an empty stomach and a heart full of hope.

Will I be back?

Of course. We have been here before haven’t we? I always come back for this is my spiritual home. You are my on-line family. The reason why I have to go away like this from time to time, is because  the very process of blogging requires the tug of my audience always at the hem of my dress and sometime I fear disappointing you so much I have to retreat to a place where I can be naked again. Where I can wait for the part of me that has gone a-wandering to come home again. So I can be myself for all of us again. The fun me, not the angsty me. I’m tired, that’s all. I guess I just need a long nap…

What About You?

I hope in my absence you will do your own Seasonal Scrub, because nothing in this life feels better than hugging your house to happiness.  I hope you will read through my archives and find among the chaff, the kind of wheat that heartens your soul. (For it is there. I am sure it is there). I hope you will sign up to my mailing list so I can let you know when I am whole again. Ready to let my heart spill open. And I hope you will throw open every window in the house and tell Spring you are ready for all the little joys, this, the most gorgeous season of the year always brings.


I don’t want you to worry. I am ok and no matter what happens in the next few months, I will be ok. I just need time to heal. To sleep. And to think straight. Please know that these are not the tortured ramblings of a drama queen, but the very real, subdued distress of an ordinary woman like you, living through something I cannot explain (for it is not mine to explain) but wouldn’t wish on a passing dog;  and further know how very grateful I am to you for supporting me, and loving me, and for always coming back here to pick me up and carry me in your apron pockets.  To Gena, and Gayla and Mimi and all  those of you who have taken the time to email me, send me a care-package or a simple line or two telling me what a difference Brocantehome has made to your lives, I thank-you. I am so glad to be able to make a difference and this is nothing but a hiatus in my mission to make all our lives lovelier.

Housekeeping Superstardom is still yours for the taking and I will continue to work behind the scenes on making it wonderful. Please take this opportunity to pay whatever you can for anything you want in the download store and email me if you have any problems.

I will be back soon. In the meantime, hold my hand tight won’t you?x

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41 comments on “Till We Meet Again

  1. Karla Neese on said:

    You are a wise woman to know just when this is necessary. I’m proud of you for recognizing that you need time away. Sending prayers your way for strength, rest, renewal, hope and so much more!

    Be blessed dear lady.

    • I’m experiencing something very similar, although I am taking the medication. Tons of rest, space, quiet and love will really help. Praying for you.

  2. chrissie on said:

    Take your time – you are far more wise than I and I salute you. Will miss you though. XX

  3. Sally Hacknet on said:

    I’ll miss you. Please take care of yourself and have a fun Spring! See you soon.

  4. Katherine on said:

    Take care, Alison.

  5. Brunette on said:

    Three Shadows
    by Dante Gabriel Rosetti

    I looked and saw your eyes
    In the shadow of your hair,
    As a traveller sees the stream
    In the shadow of the wood;
    And I said, “My faint heart sighs,
    Ah me! to linger there,
    To drink deep and to dream
    In that sweet solitude.”

    I looked and saw your heart
    In the shadow of your eyes,
    As a seeker sees the gold
    In the shadow of the stream;
    And I said, “Ah me! what art
    Should win the immortal prize,
    Whose want must make life cold
    And Heaven a hollow dream?”

    I looked and saw your love
    In the shadow of your heart,
    As a diver sees the pearl
    In the shadow of the sea;
    And I murmured, not above
    My breath, but all apart,—
    “Ah! you can love, true girl,
    And is your love for me?”

  6. Jennifer on said:


  7. Brunette on said:

    Break, Break, Break
    by Lord Tennyson

    Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
    And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.

    O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
    That he shouts with his sister at play!
    O, well for the sailor lad,
    That he sings in his boat on the bay!

    And the stately ships go on
    To their haven under the hill;
    But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
    And the sound of a voice that is still!

    Break, break, break
    At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
    But the tender grace of a day that is dead
    Will never come back to me.

  8. Brunette on said:




    She is all so slight
    And tender and white
    As a May morning.
    She walks without hood
    At dusk. It is good
    To hear her sing.
    It is God’s will
    That I shall love her still
    As He loves Mary.
    And night and day
    I will go forth to pray
    That she love me.
    She is as gold
    Lovely, and far more cold.
    Do thou pray with me,
    For if I win grace
    To kiss twice her face
    God has done well to me.

  9. Brunette on said:

    I hope there’s something in there that will comfort your heart with it’s beauty. <3

  10. Oh, honey,

    Of course. Do whatever it takes to feel good again. The plans you are making sound wonderful, hopeful, and healing. I hope to hear from you any time, and if I do not, be sure I understand. My beautiful Irish author, gone too soon… He is a good healer of hearts although his soul tends to rub the spirit a bit as he heals it… I will miss you SO much.

    John O’Donohue’s blessing~

    When the light around you lessens
    And your thoughts darken until
    Your body feels fear turn
    Cold as a stone inside.
    When you find yourself bereft
    Of any belief in yourself
    And all you unknowingly
    Leaned on has fallen.
    When one voice commands
    Your whole heart,
    And it is raven dark,
    Steady yourself and see
    That it is your own thinking
    That darkens your world…
    Know that you are not alone
    And that this darkness has purpose;
    Gradually it will school your eyes
    To find the one gift your life requires
    Hidden within this night corner…
    A new confidence will come alive
    To urge you towards higher ground
    Where your imagination
    Will learn to engage difficulty
    As its most rewarding threshold!

    I believe you will love this poem as I do. Isn’t it truth on paper? Hugs… Big hugs!

  11. You are wise and wonderful. Take care.

  12. Holding tight, dear Alison. We all need to “get our feathers smooth” at times in our lives. It is good you are able to see it and act upon it. Remember this passage from Enchanted April?

    “…her dream of thirty restful, silent days,
    lying unmolested in the sun, getting her feathers smooth again, not
    being spoken to, not waited on, not grabbed at and monopolized, but
    just recovering from the fatigue, the deep and melancholy fatigue, of
    the too much.”

    It sounds as tho’ you have definitely struggled through the “too much” for too long and I am wishing you so well with your own version of restoration.


  13. Barbara on said:

    Take care. Well done. Be strong.
    Love Barbara

  14. Take care and take as long as you need- we will always be here when you get back. Sophie H xxxxx

  15. Take care of yourself and your lovely boy, Alison. Xo

  16. My heart aches for you, dear girl. You have brought such joy into my life, I hope you can find some for yourself again soon. Do what you have to do. We will all be here, holding good thoughts for you, and ready to welcome you back with open arms whenever you are ready. Hugs to you.

  17. Its all going to be fine my Darling,this too shall pass and we are all holding your hand until it does,time out is a great idea,it is time to just be.You know where I am if you need anything xxx

  18. Shall miss you, but will be waiting here when you return. Take care of yourself and Finn.

  19. Just this

    Always wear your invisible crown Alison – see you later xxxx

  20. I will miss you Alison. Thanks so much for everything you give so freely. Hurry back!! Love to you and to Fin xx

  21. see you later alligator! take care, we’ll be waiting when you are ready xx

  22. I will be thinking of you……blessings to you both…..I so appreciate your blog…you make me smile whenever I see you have a new post…


  23. Oh, how I understand. Sometimes we have to take time to care deeply for ourselves, to love ourselves back to healthiness and peace. Take good care, Alison dear. We will be here for you. {hug}

  24. Oh sweetheart, I am so glad you are taking a little time for yourself. You give us so, so much. I always miss you when you are not here, but it helps me to learn to trust, to know that you will come back again. I know you have been through so much recently – and just know that I am thinking about you and Finn and sending love to you.

  25. Alison, thank you for giving so much to us. Blessings to you as you recover and replenish yourself.

  26. You know what they say “don’t rely on a Prince. Save yourself”. I look forward to seeing you on the flipside sweet lady.

    Ali x

  27. BIG love, gorgeouspie. I’m here, anytime. Come round here and marvel at the chaos, I’ll make lunch and listen. Or you can listen. We can have radio 4 on in the background and we can be gloriously scruffy and we don’t have to make an effort to be perfectly glam because sometimes being in a muddle is okay. Huge big kiss.

  28. The only way around it, is through it – Good luck Alison, you can do this.

  29. I admire so much about you, and this is one of those things. You are well aware and recognize when you can go no further without taking time to step back, heal and regroup. Please pamper yourself. You’ve earned it.

  30. I will miss you girl. First thing is first, take care of yourself and the love of your life, Finley. We will hear from you soon and you both are in my prayers. ♥

  31. You will be missed! I have read your posts since forever and wish you all the best!

  32. Kathleen on said:

    Traveling mercies, my friend! I hope your journey is fruitful and restores your soul. You will be missed!

  33. Wishing the best to you and Finn. Thank you for being there. I’ve appreciated every post since my very first day of being a stay at home mom over 8 years ago…you were my first and best teacher!

  34. There’s a song that has helped me through some broken-ness. I don’t know if you’ll be able to view the video (sometimes that international thing interferes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xzaivDbu9c It’s called The Hurt and The Healer by Mercy Me. The broken pieces we have in the wake of great loss can last a long time. But a long time isn’t forever and I promise that you will heal. Lean on God, even if you aren’t sure that He exists. Talk to Him. Say the words. Have it out. He won’t be offended. And when you have talked and talked, He will still be there and will prove Himself to you. I’m so sorry for your hurt because I know that hurt. I have felt a kindred-ness with you ever since that first heartbreak. I promise I wouldn’t tell you to lean on Him if I didn’t think it would help. After all this time, even since the first heartbreak, still I feel that God will be the one that doesn’t leave, loves you as you are, wants only good for you and Finn, yearns for a relationship with you and is willing to wait as long as you need. I’m sure it’s not the type encouragement that you want to hear but, Alison, I hope you know that I care and wouldn’t waste words saying what doesn’t matter. I only know of one real way of helping and this is it. I’ll be praying and watching for your return. Many ((hugs)). Blessings… Polly

  35. karen mary on said:

    Very warmest wishes to you and Finn. You provide such wonderful sustenance to others; I hope that you’re able to find similar comfort and inspiration during your break.

  36. Love you Hon…albeit from a very vast distance.
    Sending you love in the breeze, and hope it comes to you in the sunshine.
    Kali xo

  37. Alison,
    Take care of yourself and your beloved son. We will be waiting for your return, refreshed and rejuvenated. I think I understand what you are talking about, as I think if I read this right, you are at the opposite end of a journey that I have just started on. Know that in starting that journey, it was to Brocante Home that I turned. And my Puttery Treat to myself is to read the daily Puttery Treat, and where possible, to put it in to action. That Trash It or Treasure It is my guide as I move towards a happier, healthier me, a cleaner, tidier home. It is your writing that helps me through the days, that helps to give me the strength to get through each day.

    Take care, and heal, and plan and just be.

  38. thank you. I needed to see the naked vulnerable woman of myself reflected in you. Holding space for each other to heal and grow this Spring.

  39. delores (joe's grandma ) on said:

    you are so deserving of this rest ,much love and warmest wishes to you and your darling finn ,hugs and blessings Jai Guru Dev

  40. Sharon on said:

    Dear Alison

    I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling a bit knocked about by life at the moment and I hope you are back to your usual self (and my very favorite blog) before you know it. I am so going to miss my daily dose of puttery goodness! Come back soon – it is a rare thing in this cold hard world to find a place that sees the value and importance in caring for a home and a family. I am not the greatest housewife by a long stretch of the imagination and I have come to rely on your writing to keep me going when everything feels blah if you know what I mean. Hugs to you and your lovely Finn 🙂 Things will get better – I promise.