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September 11, 2017 § 10 Comments

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On the shortest day the rain came – flinging itself at the valley and blackening the earth. Water seeped up the brick path into her garden and last year’s grasses waved aimless as old paddy fields. Her breathing came too quick, too thin. Worms drifted, torpid and white, bees floated on their backs spinning dizzy like coracles. The violence quietened her spirit, and giving in, she turned in on herself and ceased to see.

Her energy stripped bare, her body slowed. She grew the thick fur of a dormouse. Taking blankets, she made a nest and surrounded herself with books and warming soup. Lighting a fire in the hearth, she began to dream. Taking a pen, she wrote of things that no longer mattered – remembering 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 might swallow her, her trees poking out like sentinels, roots holding their breath for a sun almost forgotten. Rats swam mindless of the farmer’s gun, and swans gathered in loose. No streets, no paths to roam. Only silence.

There was no one to explain, so she used her ears. Climbing the stairs to open 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.

Inspired by ‘The Being Of Nothing’. Samuel Beckett

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