The Blessing

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Note from the author: I wrote this blessing nearly twenty years ago. I always thought I’d sell it or get it put onto candles or something. Like many ideas, it never got past my rip tide of doubt and distraction. I wrote it on a piece of paper and folded it carefully into someone’s hands in a moment of meaning. I wrote it inside the cover of a hardback book I bought for a guy I wanted to impress. I copied it into a notebook half empty of thoughts and plans. I posted it years ago on this blog, thinking it might spread warmth and meet truth. And now I write it here again, hoping its words will refresh me and remind me of myself.

Go outside. Open your eyes. Breathe.

A blessing for life:

May the rain, invited, wash the sorrows from your soul, leaving glad shadows of battles bravely fought. May it drench you in contentment and seep into the cracks of your heart, softening the ground and quenching your need.

May the Sun tiptoe to you, bringing growth with gentle fingers and in boldness fright away your darkness. May it ripen treasured moments and warm your eyes with care unhastened.

May the wind – a gallant beast – bring your means and needs and nobly cast away your dusty burdens. May it lift your feet and see you wild and gentle to your door.

May the snow whisper to you of truths and comfort; and in its magic, muffle cares and squirrel time. May it caress your beloved land and in its peace, pause the world within.

Choppy seas and orbiting worlds

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I have been thinking a lot about orbits.

The universe is full of bodies spinning around each other. From galaxies to quantum particles, everything revolves. At every scale of existence, there is the push-pull of gravity holding us close and dark energy pushing us away. In our lives on Earth too, there are people who enter our orbit and bonds which feel just as push-pull ambivalent.

I’ve been wondering whether to bring another person into my constellation, and I have been trawling the online dimensions to see what I could catch. There are some lovely men and women out there, and I’m sure I could have a relationship with many of them.

But at what cost to my peaceful transit around the sun?

It is my experience that the need-want black hole of relationships sips from the stability of my orbit until it wobbles and kilters off into the blackness.

I am subject to the needs of gravity pulling us closer and closer until every decision must be discussed and every movement catalogued. I am subject to the wants of dark energy pushing us into each other’s world to sample the things we never chose for ourselves. I am pulled toward the other person and I have to spend my fragile kinetic currency to keep myself and my identity intact. The inevitable imbalance of those two conflicting forces fractures my peace until the shuddering paroxysms are over and my orbit is released explosively into the ether.

And even then, it’s not over. The aftermath of the emotional violence sends shockwaves through the vacuum as I hurtle and drive into the fabric of my life, lost and spinning. I slam into anything in my path and destroy the beautiful balance of my universe with my bitter and wounded, selfish orb. These are the stories of my years.

My dog, Muttley is my moon. He rises in my sky and watches over me, deflecting the asteroids of my little universe. He orbits me and I orbit him. His mass moves my tides and calms my storms.

On my planet there is a boat on choppy seas, and I know now where to stand in balance on its prow. Muttley and I have learned how to share this boat and balance in tandem. Together we look across our seas as we scream through the spacetime before us. We dance together, bound in our love for cuddles and kibble.

Through endless sleepless nights and sofa cuddles, we have taught ourselves to orbit each other as we fall at 30km per second toward the future.

Another person would introduce complex dynamics into our simple little two-body problem.  A new relationship would eclipse Muttley’s view of me, and me of him. The other person would bring his own moons and I would be lost beneath rings of competing noise. I made Muttley a promise when I rescued him and brought him onto my planet. I said that he would never be left alone again. His past would be wiped from his sky. That dog will never compete for my love nor wait for me to turn toward him. He had that in his first few years. No more.

I found myself making plans for a date the other day and I looked across at Muttley and saw the future twinkling in his patient brown eyes. The shutter of a decision gratefully made came down inside me and I severed the connection and came back to the world-verse I know.

Some might say I am being closed to the possibilities. Surely there might be a new type of person out there, just waiting to be caught in my path. A Black Swan might appear on my sea, the stars glinting on his feathers and his beak lifted to feel the canine moonlight. I am prepared for the possibility, but I’m not going to try to create it.

I have my universe, my moon and stars and that’s more than enough for a spacegirl like me.

Locked doors and lost mercury

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I’ve been thinking about losing things.

Sometimes I spend long, empty days feeling as though I have lost something, but unable to remember what it is.

Sometimes I can still feel a connection to something I’ve lost, like a long cord disappearing under a locked door.

I wonder if maybe I’ve lost pieces of myself over the years. Like little drops of mercury scuttling into dark corners and being left behind like notes to a failed alchemist.

In bleak times’ past, I saw through my lovers’ eyes and I became blind with shame. How careless I had been to lose the precious thing at my depth that told me who I was and what I was worth.

In my dreams, I hope that I might lose the cold unscalable walls inside me. Perhaps one day I might lose my fear like an escaped set of keys, or my distrust like a silent phone.

We cling to this spinning world, to each other, to our lives. We build hooks and houses; we hang on.

Because the next loss might be the last.

Trapped in a day job

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How hard and cold

My soul in its harness, with

The wind before me, and

The hounds at my heels.

How barren the future seems:

In tiptoe-d health and hidden pain.

I walk the path, and

It burns, and

Cuts my feet.

Pirates, pain and Superdog

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Yesterday the world escaped me, and I was left on a perch at the edge of time.

My face froze as the last warm beat of my heart faded into the fog. My eyes drew down and my arms became heavy with presentiment and pain.

I felt gravity pulling me, my claws digging in out of a reflex that I wouldn’t have credited could still be in me. The past became a future torrent while I hobbled in a present that no longer mattered.

I was neither me, nor not me.

Muttley did his job when the spell cracked me open and I fell to the floor and sobbed. He jumped and pawed and nuzzled me. He licked my hands. He bought me toys. He didn’t leave me until my breathing calmed.

And then, when I started crying again, he began again.

He worked on me like a baker working on bread, a sculptor on clay. The touch of his fur became a fixed experience that I could pivot on. His patient, insistent nose gave me turbulence. This gave me motion and eventually got me off the floor.

I don’t know what dark pirate stole my will yesterday. Today, all around me are streamers of longing and loss, sarcasm and despair. I batter them away with my arms and try to shout my resistance. All I manage is the touch of fur and a cold nose which reminds me I am here.

The King and my Shame

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I am accustomed to suddenly being afraid.

It happens when a stray emotion floats down from a movie, or out of the eyes of a friend. The bubble bites me, and then connections are made which leave me breathless and terrified.

Sometimes I see fear in the soft warm glow of an orange sun as it tiptoes quietly from a room. Sometimes it’s in the warm fuzzy feel of a balloon’s taut skin.

Tonight I heard the voice of a person who wants to be in my heart, and all I heard was shame and cruelty. I felt small and unfit. His voice reminded me of someone long ago. Maybe it was from the black-hole time that I can’t remember. Maybe that’s what He sounded like, I don’t know. Maybe it was one of the men of my past who took in my games and show-dog pain and gave out absorption and indifference. Maybe it was one of those who pinned me down and took my soul, telling me they loved me.

I can’t identify the voice. I can only react. My shame has exploded out of me and I don’t want to be me any more. I’m so tired. Can’t I be someone else for tonight?

I’m reminded suddenly of my father. He had a deep, rich voice that sounded like firelight and whiskey, and when he said “Hello, A—-“ it felt like I was being received by a benevolent King. He thought I was worthy. If only I could think the same.

Squid, drawbridges and stardust

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I’ve been thinking about how we let people into our lives.

It’s an engineering problem, I guess – how to raise a drawbridge – but I think it’s also about reality and dreams.

When I was younger, I voyaged with my sails up and I created my reality with courage and hope. Reality was a living and evolving idea that existed all around me. I swam through it like a squid: alternately reaching then yielding as I glided through its waters.

Now, reality is a concrete pillbox that I wear around my neck. It is a fixed embodiment of my life’s experience and the template against which all further adventures are judged.

Instead of creating reality out of the energy and stardust of our lives, we move through our tiny lives actually constrained by our reality.

It is the cage into which our dreams must fit.

So, what does that mean for a new relationship?

Instead of experiencing him like a child experiences Christmas morning, I am assessing whether he could live within my cramped and haunted reality. Could he give himself to a girl who lives in a ghostly palace of childhood emptiness, teenage confusion, and adult loss?

Would he ever be able to give me enough kindness, friendship and love to break the locks on the structures of my truth? To shatter the lessons that I learnt. To tear down this broken, inflexible monument and free me to create a new reality out of possibilities.

My disfigured reality is fearsome and immutable in the face of all but the most heroic.

And who can find a hero in this world?

Presence

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Loneliness is a void without edges, and in its hollow cup a lifetime squats unseen.

I am more encompassing in my dull thoughts than the brightest reach of the furthest star.

But in my solitary life, I collapse within a weighted space.

Waiting for a journeyman to see me.

Hold fast in this moment and dance with me till dark.

Heavy fog and a blanket of strings

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Depression isn’t dark or veiled in clouds and foggy drama. There are no strings or swelling synthesisers to play a stirring background score. I don’t even cry anymore.

It feels like I’m being stalked. I am a dumb sentinel waiting placidly as the void approaches. Let it come. I am already there.

It is the quiet that I notice most. The air hums and buzzes like thick wool, muffling my mind and warping the noises of the world. Everything seems to slow. There is an orphaned song behind my eyes.

When I speak, it feels too loud. I feel a tickle of fear that maybe I have burst the fragile bubble-blanket which protects me.

My muscles get loose and are pinned by gravity. My throat relaxes too far into my words, leaving them shipwrecked behind my tongue. My face feels heavy and I don’t recognise myself in the mirror.

I would signal to you and tell you I’m afraid, but I cannot lift my arms.

Time, custard and bed

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I’ve been thinking a lot about time.

It’s like custard and we swim through it, holding our heads high until – neck muscles screaming and feet numb – we sink under and float to the floor of the world’s eye.

It’s like a trail of sweets laid out before our questing, greedy hands. We cram them into our mouths and waddle on, trying not to miss any and helpless to resist the forward pull of fear and wanting.

It’s like a strong wind that pushes brusquely past us; the illusion of forward motion accompliced by our senses and dreams. The parallax deceives us and we open our arms to welcome the past as it streams through our hair, knocking aside the little loose pieces of our soul.

I shower in the dark and imagine hot time washing over me, cleaning away my sins and memories until I’m ready for a fresh sleep in a bed called Tomorrow.