Directions of work still to do


I’m exhausted today: no energy, no strength. After a morning in denial, I actually went back to bed – me, the obsessive taskmaster who never lets slip, the iron-fisted diplomaterian who demands and expects certain results, felled by external forces involuntarily imbibed. I’m learning, obviously: gradually developing the ability to be more personally kind, to allow what’s needed a space to rest; listening, sensing, feeling after so long in denial. And it felt nice, curling up with my dog: we shared energy, my hand on her side, her paws around my arm.

As I napped, drifting in and out, the past passed through my mind and my body reacted, various twitches and tremors lifting this, shaking that… Observing was a kind of story: directions of work still to do; each separate inner and outer part tugging me back to an event, an unresolved memory.

A friend suggested TRE (trauma release exercises), which resonated. And now I realise that this is why my back, arms, neck, shoulders, legs, hands and feet ache. It fits: so much has happened, not only in the last few years but also over the course of my life. The only question, and it’s always been the burning one, is will I have time to lift it in order to travel my mind, body and soul to the destination I desire?

The clock ticks…
 
Click here to read about my experience with TRE.

by Rebecca L. Atherton
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Yellow rose petals


I dream of school and find myself in a classroom, attempting to recall a language I used to know. Later, I stub my toe and although it is not hard enough to break it, it is enough to turn it black.

I don’t leave the flat and spend the morning being gentle – dusting, sweeping, tidying… and in-between I get more done than I have in months of going out.

If I were a bird, I would spread my wings and fly away. Human, I try to unpack my suitcase – endeavouring, at least for now, to embrace the place where I am stuck.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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The underside of seldom-swept things

image
Visiting the underside of seldom-swept things,
I discover a toy soldier and a ball of yarn.
On the opposite side of the room,
there is a doll without legs and a forgotten sock.

A drawer reveals sellotape, blue tack and glue.
A cupboard: scissors and paper.
I sketch a house with two floors;
am told to add a basement and a loft.

While a woman makes dinner in the kitchen,
a man mows the lawn out back,
and although there are no children,
there is birdsong and plant-life.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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A fog shroud

I’m so tired I can’t think and speaking is laborious. Navigating my way around town is challenging: my legs dragging hard against my feet, my inner compass spinning; everything the wrong way around. It’s not just the landscape that’s different: the streets themselves have changed, shifting before my eyes.

Trying to walk to Regent Street, I end up on Shaftesbury Avenue: China Town dead ahead, Compton Street behind. Spinning…, turning…, I attempt to reacquaint myself, calling on instincts that have fled. Eventually, accepting futility, I slip into a café. People huddle together, hunched over tables that are too small for adults; sipping tepid drinks that cost twice what they should, what they do outside of London. Noses glowing, eyes streaming: they are full of germs.

I wait in-line and order a latte. Cold and flat (I don’t get this obsession with luke-warm coffee, especially in winter), we’re a perfect match. Shedding my coat, I take out my iPad. My only friend, it’s screen offers me access to a world I no longer inhabit and may never visit again. This is sad: the leaving and the isolation. Lowering my head, I try to fight the loneliness.

Do I miss it: the place, the climate, the lifestyle, the people? I’m not sure. Bits and pieces, yes. But the entirety? My emotions are so tangled, my body so tired: I can’t tell left from right, right from wrong.

Forward-facing, fast-pacing: backwards has become a blur, a sinking horizon concealed beneath a fog shroud.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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Uphill crumbling

image1.
Dead on my feet,
can’t speak:
uphill crumbling.

Dragging my toes,
dabbing my nose;
slipping, stumbling.

2.
Confused,
stressed;
under-dressed.

Eyes weeping,
difficulty sleeping.

Feeling cold,
growing old.

3.
A sprained ankle,
a twisted wrist;

falling

arse over tit:
“shit!”

4.
Admin,
paperwork:

d
r
o
w
n
i
n
g.

5.
Email,
phone:

LEAVE ME ALONE!

6.
Peace is golden.
Children should be invisible.
Why..?

7.
Trying,
failing.

Making,
breaking.

Far too strong,
always wrong;
never good enough.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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• View or buy my work at my online portfolio
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Learn more about my work and the inspiration that guides it
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