Late Afternoons

Spring is here. I can feel it seeping into my skin, crawling up my bones, a warm tingle spreading from once cold fingers.

I am a winter person, or autumn, to be more accurate but I’ll deal with extremes. What I mean is that given the choice to live my last day in either excessive heat or cold I’d choose the second. For heat is stifling. Spring means summer is on the way and that reality leaves me conflicted. Eyes looking constantly forward are bound to be disappointed.

So to make a cringe-worthy metaphor, to find positivity, to spring to a spring cliche, I can pluck a small flower of optimism and let words like renew and re-birth cloud my formerly pessimistic vision.

Eyes wide open.

This change of season and late afternoons spent outside in the fading light. The buzz of insects and the rumbling purrs of my cat and the smell of grass and growing humidity lets me breathe a little deeper, a little longer.

Change is in the air.

Exhale hope.

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Over a Bridge

Confused, conflicted, what’s another word that begins with C? Alliteration is more effective when it comes in threes.

I’ll ponder that for a moment.

Today felt like a dream. Not a nice dream though, not dreamy, but not a nightmare either. Rather, it was a slow, sluggish daze. Today was hazy and heavy, like that moment when you wake up from a deep sleep, only partially conscious, your head like a cement brick.

I drifted from each class and through each hour. I didn’t notice much. I was terribly unfocused though I managed to go through the motions; contributing to seminars, taking notes, raising a point or two about postmodern literature, etc. But nothing really stuck, nothing landed, solidified in my mind. I felt, in one word, disconnected.

I’m in a fog. And it goes on for as I can see, as far as I can look ahead. Which, albeit, at this stage, is not very far at all. I figure if I was not outwardly present then maybe I was too inward, too internally focused.

Regardless of my ‘haze’, I walked home in the chilly September wind, happy that summer hasn’t made an early appearance just yet. I wrapped myself in a long scarf, looping it around twice before tossing it over my left shoulder. It blew in the wind, flailing behind me as I walked across the bridge, over the Torrens, which, surprisingly, didn’t smell too bad today. Earlier I walked over another bridge where couples, people, people in love had inscribed, initialled, engraved, fastened locks and assumedly, thrown away the key.

Thinking about bridges I should probably get over it.

Perhaps alliteration is overrated.

 

Captive.

Directionless

Forwards, backwards, two steps to the right and back again. The weight of the world does not rest on my shoulders alone. It’s weighing us down together.

That morning, I decided to go for a walk. A slow walk, not at my usual hurried, gangly pace. I slowed and noticed. I noticed the clichèd sounds of wind rustling through trees as my feet sank with every step, disappearing into the mud.

I had laid awake, listening to that 2 am rain. 

I watched tiny birds hop over puddles and absently wondered if they’d forgotten their wings. I walked on, sure of my direction, yawning and squinting into beams of early morning light. Shadows crept into view. 

I strayed off the quote unquote Beaten Track. I was drawn into the wild shrubbery, taken in by the allure of the moss covered rocks, twisted, fallen branches and gum trees that seemed to be giving up. Further and further from man made suburbia I strayed. Away from the distant views of empty driveways and laced kitchen windows I ventured.

I am lucky to live where I live until living becomes a conscious effort. The physical place does little to make up for a mental space that’s becoming smaller and smaller. Lucky is now a synonym for acceptance, an expected social nicety and empty consolation. It even sounds hollow, clicking on the edge of my tongue.

The outdoors is nice. Beautiful. Even though I’ve dressed it up in manufactured subtext by romanticising the trees, moss rocks and birds, and needlessly describing the squelching of hiking boots.

Do I ever just walk?

Doubt

It eats at the back of your mind, making those loud chewing noises I detest so much. 

Today I decided that I’m going to be braver. Not in the sense that I’m going to go skydiving, or rock climbing or learn parkour. I mean braver in that deep philosophical sense. I’m going to be myself, pure, unedited. I will embrace the fact that I am the human equivalent of a rushed draft that someone pulled together at the last minute, fuelled by caffeine and desperation. Continue reading Doubt