Letters


She dropped the unopened mail on a stack of old newspapers with a sigh and turned to leave. There was still so much to do and she just didn’t have time for this. The ruffled envelope on top of the pile beckoned her again, and again she refused to give into it. Distracting herself she glanced in the big mirror over the dresser, tucking a stray lock of hazel hair behind her ear and stood for a long moment just looking at her own reflection. Sometimes the woman she saw in that mirror was nothing like the woman she thought herself to be.

Feeling like her thoughts were drifting a little too close to something she most definitely didn’t want to get into now, she gave up and turned her attention back to the letters in front of her. She knew what most of them contained and brushed them aside with disinterest… all except for the one in the ruffled envelope. That one she wasn’t expecting. So, its presence worried her. And that was probably why she now felt this reluctance to open it. If only it would be…

The paper felt unimpressive between her finger tips, and yet they trembled a little as they started to break open the seal. Twice, she had to stop to dispel foolishly hopeful notions from her mind of what it might be. There was a time when she would have torn it open in breathless anticipation… her eyes too eager and impatient to wait to read the lines held within it to allow her hands any kind of restraint or delicacy in freeing the message. But those times did not exist anymore. Perhaps, neither did those letters. At least, not for her…

I started writing this and then realised I didn’t want to continue… I think I know what I wanted to say, but I am not sure that I actually wanted to say it.

She dropped the unopened mail on a stack of old newspapers with a sigh and turned to leave. There was still so much to do and she just didn’t have time for this. The ruffled envelope on top of the pile beckoned her again, and again she refused to give into it. Distracting herself she glanced in the big mirror over the dresser, tucking a stray lock of hazel hair behind her ear and stood for a long moment just looking at her own reflection. Sometimes the woman she saw in that mirror was nothing like the woman she thought herself to be.

Feeling like her thoughts were drifting a little too close to something she most definitely didn’t want to get into now, she gave up and turned her attention back to the letters in front of her. She knew what most of them contained and brushed them aside with disinterest… all except for the one in the ruffled envelope. That one she wasn’t expecting. So, its presence worried her. And that was probably why she now felt this reluctance to open it. If only it would be…

The paper felt unimpressive between her finger tips, and yet they trembled a little as they started to break open the seal. Twice, she had to stop to dispel foolishly hopeful notions from her mind of what it might be. There was a time when she would have torn it open in breathless anticipation… her eyes too eager and impatient to wait to read the lines held within it to allow her hands any kind of restraint or delicacy in freeing the message. But those times did not exist anymore. Perhaps, neither did those letters. At least, not for her…

The Weeping Woman


There stood a woman on the empty boardwalk. Her eyes drifting somewhere between here and the horizon. The tears had stopped falling but her hands still cupped her face as if to hide emotions no longer expressing themselves. Long chestnut coloured swirls caught the kiss of the sun and fluttered around the nape of her neck and shoulders, making her at once appear fragile and defiant. I couldn’t help but watch.

Stories like that can be so easy to spot, and hers was as elusive as it was obvious. My presence alone violated its course, and I probably should have left right then and there. But, of course, I didn’t. Intrusion or not, some beauty just has to be touched… or almost touched… if for no other reason then simply because it is as close as one will ever get to that sense of belonging in great romantic novels.

So, I remained… hoping I was tucked well enough out of sight from my vantage point on the beach not to disturb the image. Overhead seagulls cried out and effortlessly floated between her world and mine and more than once I envied them the chance of a better look.

Even from this distance her features looked soft and compelling, and I kidded myself into believing I could see the expression in her eyes. Was it sorrow? No, not quite. How I could be that certain, I don’t know… she gave away so little….

There are times when images have so much life, even in their static form, that they impose their stories upon me regardless of whether I really listen or not. This image is one such. There is so much more to it than I have been able to put into words here… but I am still exploring it, tentatively… grey embers are still hot enough to singe the careless…

Running


It made her want to run.

Run without goal or aim.

Just run.

It spread through her like a trail of vibrant warmth, urging her to her feet.

Exhilaration pumped in her veins.

Like a ray of light whipping through dark tunnels, illuminating them with streaks of white and red, instantaneously bringing life and colour to everything it passed.

She closed her eyes and saw her feet beat rapidly against the dark tarmac. They knew where they were going. They knew why.

Through puddles reflecting the pale shine of unimpressed street lamps.

She felt the wind against her face and in her hair as she let its gusts carry her further and further.

Away. Forward. Onto whatever comes next.

No rush. No haste. No need.

Just sheer force.

Unstoppable.

Strength.

Clarity.

Running was never simpler…

… nor more purposeful

Freestyle doodling to a piece of instrumental music by Safri Duo


Fragments of dread and why I like them


With the last tinge of night still hanging in the air she slumped to her knees in the long tall grass. Somewhere on the far horizon dawn was stretching towards the sky, still littered with fading stars, and really it was quite a beautiful sight. Too beautiful it seemed…

There shouldn’t be a morning like this. And yet there was. And though it made her cringe and feel sick to her stomach, she was relieved. It had to be done, she told herself.

Around her lay the tangled bodies and broken swords and banners. Had there really been that many? Where had they all come from? She stared at them in disbelief and shook her head quietly, as she looked down and saw her own hands, smeared with dirt and blood.

They came creeping along the shadow clad walls, the whispers,…  scurrying like rats under the floor boards seemingly everywhere near, yet nowhere to be seen. She wanted to shriek and clasped her hands over her ears, frantically trying to block out these haunting echoes. They weren’t real. They couldn’t be.

Sometimes writing can be a conduite to releasing or working through problems. In the past I’ve had some people worry over the imagery I’ve created in order to do this. Some even going as far as to take it personal or so close to literally that it caused new problems. I don’t know that any amount of reassurance on my part could ever do away with those concerns entirely, but truly… writing isn’t like that for me. I am not a troubled teen, locked in my room, writing poems about death and vampires. I am far too pragmatic for such an approach.

These visuals are very often tools I use to make things tangible. Things are never quite as bad as they might seem once they have been given a face. So, I ‘portray’ feelings in disjointed contexts, pitting them against one another in order to separate and expose each of them individually. It’s not meant to be a pretty picture. It’s not meant to be politically correct. It’s not meant to make sense. It’s meant to provoke and call bluffs. It’s meant to give me perspective… and it does. Like the old saying… “you only ever have to fear Fear itself”.

Sounds of Silence


For at time there were too many voices in my life. Too many views confusing my eyes. Too many roads that demanded I follow them.

It stopped me dead in my tracks and left me standing, staring like a village idiot, gawking at the crossroads. I didn’t know what to do. Had I held a mirror up before me then I doubt I would have known the face staring back at me. Had I spoken, I doubt I would have heard – much less understood – my own voice.

I cannot think of a time in my life when this has not been an apt observation. It seems forever something that I need to keep reminding myself of, so even if this was actually written years ago it will be dated today.

She stood there…


… an image of delicacy, with her hands demurely held out before her. Whatever else there might be between them, in this moment, clarity only had one face.

I have no clue what this is or what it wanted to be. It would have been quite interesting to see where it would have gone off to. Maybe someday.