Black Swan

A black swan cuts a singular path through the blue air… I turn my eyes upward for just a moment, surveying the apparent dome of the summer sky. Unusual cloud formations, seemingly motionless despite the welcome breeze, give the scene a surreal sense of pause… turning back the swan has disappeared from sight. A lone gull crosses my field of vision, black-tipped wings rising and falling rhythmically and unhurried; sun glinting on its pure-white body.

A yacht moves out into the bay, so slowly it could be imagined to be drifting, or even shrinking. Departing at a diagonal from me, its sail has already risen above the horizon, where fifteen minutes ago it had looked close enough to touch… now its mast is barely perceptible where sea meets sky; cobalt touching pale-blue serenity. Continue reading

I dreamed of you and when I dreamed of you you circled me, as you always do

You were there but absent, your presence present, as it always is,

your scent and your shape,

in the corner of my field of vision, as you always are

And you chased me down… hot pursuit, relentless… like you always did…

slipping away, retreating somewhere I can’t follow, as you always have

And I tried to reach you but you were gone, had to say I loved you but you’d passed on, couldn’t breathe without you and I couldn’t scream, eight weeks straight of crying

It was just a dream.

My breath comes fast and shallow; your image on the screen,

standing in a valley dressed in khaki green,

preaching noble conquest but it’s just obscene

It was just a dream

Need to tell you I love you, need to just come clean

Tell you I forgive you… for what it means

Still long to hold you for all that it would mean

Still scared to know you,

Still scared to show you my heart beating

It was just a dream

Seashell

They told us if we held it to our ear we would hear the sea and I did. I heard its familiar rush of ebb and flow across the pebble-beach, casting down and pulling back. It startled me and left me awestruck; not having thought such a claim could prove true. There, in that pearly shell daubed with peachy tones, sitting unassumingly on the nature-table, lay a whole ocean, invisible and mysterious.

I placed it against my ear and immersed myself in the waves of sound and the wonder of it. It soothed and captivated me. My small hands relished the unfamiliar texture of its surface; rough exterior and silky smooth within. My eyes drank in its exquisite colour palette and my young mind marveled at  its extraordinary form and nature; struggling to reconcile its other-worldliness with this place and time. It had a quality that set it in some other place I could not imagine, like a clue to some other world or existence. Within it lay the sea.

Hayya ‘ala-l- falah

I remember waking in the still-dark early morning… becoming aware of its melodious pull as consciousness slowly resumed. I smiled involuntarily in the sleepy warmth of the unlit room as the stirring call reverberated in the hollow of my chest.

Even now the memory evokes the same glad euphoria that washed over me and ran through every inch of every cell of my body… a blissful awakening… an unexplained elation and gratitude at having woken to it once again.

It called me and I felt it.

Something deep inside me recognised it, though I didn’t know it then… though I neither understood nor sought to understand its message or the significance of those unfamiliar syllables … of those poignant beckonings, which resonated with that force that lives within… with that self, submerged and subdued by life, physicality and the wandering lostness of the thinking mind.

It called me home… called me, though I knew it not, to my life’s purpose…

It called me from sleep and to success.

Homecoming

Homecoming; not as straightforward as I envisioned, no seamless re-entry to this place… to this existence, which I once fled. Fleeting glimpses of the person I was prior to setting out give me reassurance and hope…

The grey waves break on the grey shore and the skyline, shrouded by grey mist, makes this familiar place seem otherworldly…The journey itself seems surreal; dreamlike, and the people encountered seem remote; almost as remote as those to whom I now return… return, changed yet somewhere deep inside no different.

The sense of reawakening is strong, overwhelming at times… a reconnection to the innate self, lost sight of along the way… seeing myself in those friends of old, in long-buried memories that startle me out of the blue; unsure of how to reconcile that self I once was, transformed if not entirely altered… the need to reconnect with that youthful authenticity and to somehow merge with it without jeopardizing who I have become…

The simplicity of the past and the lessons of the journey and the metamorphosis have left me akin to two beings; one naïve, uncertain, optimistic and seeking something unknown, one a traveller wearied by the road yet restless still.

Return… the meeting of an old self and old friends… grown serious.

The struggle to reconnect with who I was, without slipping back into how it was… when I longed for adventure… the disquiet and the lurking fear of settling and mediocrity pushing me on… propelling me forwards inwardly, striving to amalgamate these disparate aspects of self… striving for wholeness and to be centered… to let go… to relinquish the heavy excess baggage and retain the truths I now know… not to be swept back into the tide of mindless, complacent conformity.

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Risk