She felt as if she needed to pace.
Pace around the large square patch of shaded grass that she called her front yard.
She needed to walk heel to toe barefoot and feel the sea breeze wafting onto her skin.
She wanted it to blow away the old tapes in her head: fill them with salt until they could no longer wind but instead rust and fall.
She wanted the pacing to steady her heartbeat but not as much as she wanted it to fix something.
That something was too big and perhaps the problem was that she’d been pacing far too long.
She needed to run.
She needed to run so fast that the fear in her shadow would be lost in her tracks, kicked up in the dust.
She needed to run so fast that the goal couldn’t escape her or be at the edge of her fingertips.
It needed to be in her hand.
She needed to hold its tangible proof of her worthy existence.
She stopped pacing.
Looking out toward an ocean that made the world seem far too big for someone so small.
Yet it whispered on white wash, that in fact the world was too small for someone who wants to be so big.
Some days, most actually, you just can’t predict them.
You can’t predict they’ll finally eat a breakfast you’ve suggested and even ask for a second serve, politely.
You can’t predict they’ll believe your lies about there being no lollipops in the cupboard, the ones that magically appear after lunchtime.
You try to suppress the shock and excitement when they think sitting in the trolley for the entire grocery shop is a good idea and when they actually stay asleep from the car to the bed.
The daily grind isn’t always dressed in four walls and a desk. For some, it’s dressed in tiny clothes and waves around a cheeky grin.
I’ll take every unpredictable pleasure I can get.
It wasn’t that she necessarily missed wine; the coursing of red and white courage poising through her blood stream, making waves of excited energy or smoothing her out like a saxophone player with three day growth and a cheeky grin.
No. She’d hardly thought about it all really.
There have been moments in my life where writing has been as simple as breathing. An inhalation of a spontaneous idea has exhaled through my pencil and onto paper in the form of words. It is those moments, while often far and few between, which propel me forward. When the darkness befalls, dressed in fear, taunting me that skill, talent or even perseverance are all just make believe and that I’ve no right to move or be moved by the power of the written word; I breathe. I breathe in the memories of a poem I wrote that hangs on my mothers’ wall or a simple sample of words that captured a friends feelings and I remember that perhaps there is no skill or talent, but there is absolutely perseverance.
Some days, the act of breathing alone is conjured purely by perseverance.
She walked through halls of paintings leaning against walls. The casualty of their placement gave her permission to run her fingers along the canvas, feel the lumps of paint, the strokes of another person’s vision. Pausing to circle images with her fingertips and stare into the eyes of the muse, she relaxed her shoulders and thought perhaps she too should try leaning against the wall, rather than hanging herself.
Her pages had been empty of late, left in a drawer under sharpened pencils. Dust was settling around ornaments of inspiration, clock ticking around her motivation. Excuses piled up, leaking on to the floor like dishwater.
It was not a reflection of her ability, but of her effort.
She rose on the East: glowing through the slits of clouds and shaping the world like a shattered Easter egg. She bowed to the moon and turned the light on in every room. Gently she whispered to the world its morning blessing. The world would wake once again and we would each be given another opportunity to live.