There is a thick lipped rumble tearing from the clouds above, and I think that I was wrong.
I step outside and stand in the porch, arching my neck and breathing in the close air. Rain paints polkas on the pavement at my feet and I shrug my cardigan closer, wrapping it around me like a straight jacket. Your words and mine are tumbling through my mind at break neck speed, crashing into each other and veering off course until I don’t know who said what. Or why.
To my left I can hear the shouts and excitements of teenage boys, their taut voices springing over the garden wall. They are waiting for the strike, just like me. The strip of blinding light that then ignites the sky brings stark contrast to the world. It is disorientating, to see night in the light of day.
Now for the wind: this is like a well-known performance. The flutes and oboes of the sky let loose and tongue great bursts of violent air at my face. Clothes and hair whip around me and into my mouth; I feel it scratching on my tongue but make no effort to remove it.
I fumble at the door handle and hurry back inside as wind tears at my hair. I am a set of scales, with weighted words clunking from your mouth and on to my heart until I dip under the strain.
The door bangs into its frame with a plastic thump, and all sound dies. My chest heaves.
I am not one of many words this week, partly due to exhaustion but, I think, mainly because I have been using a lot of words recently. For family, for friends, for my partner. I have read for my course and written for this blog…I haven’t yet taken the time to sit down and use some words for me.
‘Candle Flame’ by Zhenia
Using words to soothe or recreate myself is a crucial part of my life. Words can be my anchor and my illumination when I have lost my way.
I can’t envelop myself in words when they are always directed at others – I suppose that makes me quite a selfish author, in some ways. But I don’t see this as a negative thing. I believe that writers pour themselves into their work in all sorts of ways, not always obvious even to them. We reveal our darkest secrets and deepest desires under a cloak of obscurity and clouded worlds. We mutate and twist and create a new us on the page so as to give ourselves a breather from the tangible being sat at the keyboard. It’s a release.
These past few days though…well, I can’t think of many words that I could truly say were mine. And if I’m being honest with you, right now I don’t have anything left in me to share.
So I thought I would borrow words from a favourite author of mine, Aidan Chambers. It is a quote from his novel ‘The Pillowbook of Cordelia Kenn’ and was originally written about love – but in my opinion, it can be equally applied to my relationship with words.