It wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t always full-to-the-brim with life-changing ideas flowing one after another like a multi-coloured rainbow of potential, and lying together in the early morning watching dappled sunshine on rustic century-old walls or playing each other at long distance scrabble and dancing around the kitchen making lemon tarts that make your mouth pucker up in bitter delight while singing along to the Beach Boys and dancing like your body has taken control and you have no idea how to get it back. It wasn’t all talking by fires into the night and standing on hillsides in the arms of a man with an artist’s soul while the wind whipped wild and cleansing through us.
It has been a long time coming.
There have been other times. Time of dark and misery and desperation when I have struggled to swim through the overwhelming waves of loss, that at times threatened to engulf me. I have found myself at times in the raging darkness that roared so loud that it rendered me nearly immobile until my reaction to getting up, getting out, to doing and being and life was to curl up, foetus-like, reaching for a blanket in the dark and say ‘No more, please God, no’ because the thought of one more weight upon my shoulders would have crushed me.
There have been times of loneliness. There have been nights of sitting one one side of a bed and feeling more painfully alone than I ever have on my own, watching the rhythmic breathing of a man whose idea of love was pathological destruction and how I yearned for something good and solid and real in the light of the chaos of my life that I overlooked the horror until it overtook me and forced me to look it in the eyes and fight for my sanity or break in a way that time wouldn’t be able to heal.
There have been the times since then where the cracked shell of the egg I hatched and ran like crazy away from look vague and menacing in my memory and the serrated edges of the seemingly innocuous eggshell seems to hang over me like my own sword of Damocles. The fear of them drives me crazy until I become almost feral in my fight against shadows of memory that cling determinedly to my mind, like barnacles that are only half-real.
There have been times, year after year, of frustration that has risen up, geyser-like at my position: primary colour in a grey landscape until I explode, scattering trails of bold colour after me as I follow the pathways of my life. There has been boredom so ripe that I have been forced to eat my way through the gingerbread walls that held me prisoner.
Perhaps it is all of those things that have brought me to here, to joy and finally to the beginnings of a future. I don’t know but there is one thing in which I find myself steadfast and certain. My outlook, my vision was always my choice. Perhaps it was that that got me here.
But now the shadows are in the past. They dapple my heart but they are only contrast and depth, not pain. But for now, there is art and joy and love and a future that’s winking at me and inviting me to come on in.