Cold, dead and dark.


 
I sew with limited visibility, trusting that my thread will be led the old-fashioned way by the abundance of natural flame dancing before me in an old jar, long shadows flickering across the table’s surface like spiders legs and winter branches or ageing crone feet.

Icy, cold: it makes for poor physical company, channelling chills into my palms and fingers, up my arms and into my head and neck each time I let my limbs connect. Like my mother with her carefully painted face and colour-coded outfits, it’s all for show. Behind the veil, inside… it’s a different story; cold, dead and dark.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


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Like my dog, I like to hide inside blankets…


 
If I wasn’t afraid, I would run home now, pack a modest bag, grab my passport and head for the airport. Scanning the boards, I would pick a hemisphere, a climate, a culture, then confidently stride up to the information desk and push across my savings, knowing, as I did, I was making a commitment and honouring a contract.

But I am afraid: so my desire to travel is suppressed, along with my yearning for learning and adventure.

Playing it safe, my life curls into a ball: minimum challenge, limited contact. And while it doesn’t alarm me overly much, it doesn’t really excite me either.

Waking from a nightmare last night, I am full of agitation. Abandoned by my friends, left alone in a strange location which they, when they were here, trashed, my day is haunted by flashbacks. I feel nervous and scared too, too scared even to dig for the message my inner me wishes me to know.

All around me there are signs. Every day I am presented with options and choices of things I might do if I were brave enough and every day I shy away, fearing the consequences of standing up. And while I speak my truth and honour my feelings, never withholding even when speaking out might at times appear unkind: it is not enough.

I was born with an inner yearning to not be here. On earth I have never felt at home and I long for the peace that I know I used to have. In meditation and sleep I find it but like a drug the effects are short-lived. So I hang out with people who will leave me, seeking others who will let me down, knowing that because this is a repeating pattern, they will take everything I have.

by Rebecca L. Atherton


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• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
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