The tangle of knots

imageIt’s cold this morning: a common theme, given that it’s October. Summer has most certainly gone. I feel bereaved, an unwelcome shift my mind is struggling to accommodate. Right now, there are too many changes, too many new elements. The dilution of light, heat. Dawn arriving later. Me, waking in the dark, watching the sun crest the horizon. The field outside shrouded in mist. The grass covered in dew, everything glinting. As for my body: it resents the departure, drawing inwards and tightening. My feet ache like those of an old woman. My shoulder blades are locked. If it wasn’t for the chair and a chance discovery, I wouldn’t be able to move. Who knew the pole of a wooden back could release so much tension, unravel the tangle of knots? It will save me a fortune in physical therapy, although I shall miss my masseur. At any rate, it is a positive to celebrate amongst a bumpy run of events.

September and October have been challenging, forcing much discussion and thought. Plans have been altered, dreams unpicked, goals rewritten to house minor detours and different along-the-way’s. Voices have been raised, too, and toys flung outward, forcing together to separate and complete to come undone. Although maybe that last bit is a little extreme, given that there are other elements at play. Looking back without glasses, there was never that much sun to begin with, not in the inside/outside, story-of-my-life sense.

As I stand at the close of my current adventure, saying goodbye to the last three years – years spent here and years spent elsewhere – making sure I close the box on each separate situation and circumstance I could possibly miss: I struggle to travel ahead. November scares me. A leap into the unknown, I am not yet sure I will be held. I fear that in returning I will be rewinding and all that has been achieved lost.

Attempting to reflect, I pull separate pieces together. As with my art: things that alone mean one thing, together become another one entirely. In moving, I have achieved much and learnt many things. I have also destroyed several fantasies, not least of which are these:

• the past cannot be outrun
• pain cannot be left
• you cannot become another person
• the picture postcard ‘happily ever after’ does not exist,
  not without work and help and burial and resolution

In other words: your suitcase (or caes) WILL follow you, wherever in the world you go.

People, on the otherhand, can be removed. Bad places, too. And attitudes and behaviours can alter slowly, given time. Strength can come from the unlikeliest of allies and a person can grow taller overnight.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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