Winds, be still.

sdc12698Everything is chaos.

Battering winds, flying debris,

Blood, bruises, lightning

Deafening crashes – …….

 

Respite. A few seconds

In the eye of the storm, I stand

And brace my soul for the next

Wave – immerged, submerged, drowning.

 

And so the cycles waltz along

As I stagger looking for shelter

In any shape or form,

Pure, distilled, strange or familiar (mixted or dry).

 

Until I’m caught – softly softly

Brought to see the calm & charm

Of these here shores, our own.

 

There’s a half-moon stain

Deep dry red on the table.

In another room a glass

And the unmade bed staring, empty.

 

Echos. All that’s left

Of wine, and chills, and new ways

To fix my wavering will,

Gather the screaming winds

 

And be still.

 

 

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Grief

Grief.
The river Lethe, two sides
Ice cold, still moving.
But there’s no darkness, just a shadow.

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Never again – hospital

What a strange, warped world, where knowing better is just not the way. Being stupid and slow will save you, being sharp and aware just damn you. Whatever protocols keep these walls standing are built from absurdities and flimsy “certitudes”. Where is the wholsesome place we need? We bruised souls unfit for combat. They herd us in, lock the gate and think we’ll heal. Now why do they believe that cut off from life is how to deal? These brutish beds, yellow walls, airless windows…is that the answer? Rather than my cocoon, painstakingly built, feather by feather, plush by plush. That’s where I need to be.

The whole world

Is on its head

Pupils taking care

Of teachers’ kids

The sick taking care

Of the young and free

 

To keep me from the lake

Is cruel torture.

To see it glisten from afar

Watch its waves beckon,

Waver in the weak winter sun

Is it necessary?

 

Leaving me to sing songs

Behind fast glass

Is making my soul weary.

Turn back the pages – March 2013

Time scales superimposed.

These same four walls

Contain an impossible vision –

This should never have happened,

Could never have occured.

The universe is warped, twisted

Glimpses of my self in times,

Ages, galaxies long past.

Yet watch me revel

In the bliss of a stolen life

Stood on tiptoes, leaning in.

Is it me? actions repeated,

Words I said, moves I made.

But them! They’re different

Shape-shifting beings.

Better watch my back.

Lila

My name is Lila. I am Lila. I am she, she is me.

I am a writer, a reader. I am a listener, and a sharer. I collect things, and want to be better. I am a learner, a lover of things, a hoper.

There is a sadness in my heart, I am Melancholy. I am the mind stuck in the past, the overthinker, the forever in love.

Sometimes I paint my nails, and then I let them chip. I wear tight dresses, or give up and let it all go. I want to seduce, but still, always, be one of the boys.

I am Lila. Play of the gods. An entity of pleasure, something of a higher nature.

I’ll tell you my story, and speak it again. Everytime, I am more me, closer to truth, somewhere on this journey.

My name is Lila, I am she, she is me.

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And now I’m 25.

Paroxetine

It’s been six weeks. Seven now. From skin-burning, “I’m dying” sleepless nights to this – better? Chemicals running through me, but still I’m not sure.

I’m on antidepressants.

Is this right? Or could I do this on my own? No. It’s not the gig on Friday, it’s not exams. Not money, not housekeeping, not my love life. So… what? So…I’ve had help, for years, and now it’s come to this. Pills to keep me going, to stay out of the darkest depths and keep the fear in my stomach at bay. For six weeks, now seven, it’s worked. I’ve taken it all in my stride, risen to the challenge and gone back to class. Started discussions, mulled it over and loved my job(s). And things are better, more under control, I feel fine. And happy.

But I’m also tied to them. These pills, if I stop, could give me withdrawals. I depend on them, they keep me going. Or do they? I’d like to think I am whole, on my own. But still…the fear. Like tonight, through all the music, the lights, the fun – that sinking feeling was back. I had to halve the dose and so I’m unsettled again. Shakes, tears, falling, waves of fear. The anxiety is back.

So thank you for bearing with me. For sticking by, for reading me, for hugs and smiles. Thank you for the music, the trust and the love. And let’s talk about it! Our struggles, our pains and fears. Let’s talk about medication and antidepressants and how they work, or don’t. There’s nothing to hide or be ashamed of, it happens – this is the world we’re in. Together I’m stronger. We all are.

Book review – Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Here is the review of my February read, which accompanied me to London for a weekend and is now giving me time to read my second Willoughby Books subscription (Carter’s Nights at the Circus, review to follow!). I chose this book for obvious reasons – and with such reasons come great expectations. Mainly: I’m going to identify with this character more than any other, this had better be worth it. Having picked it up in Waterstones purely for the title, and knowing nothing about the author nor her style, this was a gamble. So in I dove…

At first, the novel keeps you at arm’s length. The stream-of-consciousness style isn’t easy to get into at first and sometimes you feel like you’re missing a trick. You don’t know where you are, when the story is set nor where the drama will lie. What does stand out though is a sense of tragedy. The snatching of a child, the Crash, loneliness…

Lila always remains on the outskirts – of Gilead, of Doane’s group of travellers, of the reader’s understanding. And yet, as you turn the pages, you feel compelled to stay with her, sit, sleep and feel her crippling shame alongside her, right there in the corner of her derelict shack.

And then, before I know how, I am Lila. Her questions, so deep but barely formulated, are mine. Like her I am weary of everyone and we feel the same yearning for just a moment of peace.

Doll feels like all the strong women you’ve known, and her precious shawl is the echo of all the comforters in the world. The reader wishes for a look at her face, to see beyond her mark. As for John Ames, the old man, he is all the lovers no one thought they needed. Tentative yet trusting, devoted (and devout), cautious in offering his heart, home and haven. Never has washing clothes in the babbling brook nearby, or the melting of late fresh snow for a christening felt so vital, so perfect. A bouquet of sunflowers or escaping through scrubbing and cleaning – these are the keys to sanity.

Lila bridges epochs, worlds, faiths and seasons. Reading it out of context of the Gilead trilogy means this is all I know of her – and it stands alone well. To me, it really is a precious, intricately crafted narrative. I’ve come away from it surprised at my initial reticence; the experience turned out beautifully. The great plains of America (which I recognise from my time with Grapes of Wrath) is the greater-scale setting for the infinitely complex innermost workings of my namesake’s mind. A strong, revealing journey.