October 21, 2015 § 13 Comments


On the shortest day the rain came. It flung itself at the valley and blackened the earth. The old woman watched the river burst and seep up the brick path into her garden – her breathing too quick, too thin. Worms drifted, torpid and white, bees floated on their backs spinning dizzy like coracles. The violence mocked and hid the sun, numbing her senses like a mantra. She saw she was trapped, so her spirit quietened, and giving in, she turned in on herself and ceased to see.

Her energy stripped bare, her body slowed. Taking blankets, she made a nest upstairs and surrounded herself with books and warming soup. She imagined she was wearing the thick fur of a dormouse. Lighting a fire in the hearth, she began to dream. Taking a pen, she wrote of things that no longer mattered – remembered events that could not possibly have taken place. Her consciousness became continuous: day and night fusing seamless. Nothing stopped, and no thing remembered to begin.

There was no brightness to touch or gather on those short grey days. Clouds hung heavy and full, pressing down on her like an unwanted lover. The river meadows became bogs that could swallow her whole, the trees poked out like sentinels, roots holding their breath for a sun forgotten. Rats swam mindless of the farmer’s gun, and swans gathered in loose clumps, wondering. There were no streets, no paths to roam. Only silence.

There was no one to explain, so the woman used her ears and eyes. Opening the long thin window that faced the river, she cocked her head, holding her breath tight in her chest. No birdsong to justify, no swish of wind to condone, no sense of coming or going. Sounds that had always been there – telling all yet demanding nothing – were gone.

And as the waters stirred, she became indifferent, and her being grew light.


Fanciful words inspired by ‘The Being Of Nothing’, Samuel Beckett.

Image courtesy the late Edward Seago (1910-1974)

Reblogged from a while back (revised).


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