A Seasoned Writer

Melbourne

Autumn is a season I remember being prettier in my memory. He had told me it was his favourite. But the idea of it is better than the reality. The same excuse he had used to break my heart again.

The clouds above me threaten rain later, daring me to continue on my morning walk to the public gardens. No, it won’t rain just yet. The idea of Autumn seems pretty. Trees shed their own leafy curvatures haplessly over the pavement in reds, yellows and greens. I notice the colours are more vibrant than before because I am looking for an excuse to be hopeful. The fallen leaves in yellow, of a tree I cannot name, shaped in petit sailboats gather beneath my feet, walking over the sun ray coloured leaves I see how they have created a mulch of forest floor over hard black tarmac. The fallen compatriots of my sailboat leaves are brown mush under my sneakers. They litter the walkway with sludge. Snow likes to give you the same impression when it is taken in a snapshot moment for a postcard to be sent home. It’s all very pristine until some ugly shoes stomp it to dirty sluice pigeon grey. So I look upwards towards the sun and the trees and their leaves and not below to the effigies they have shed because that would give me an excuse to be hopeless.

Spring is the season of hope, traditionally. It is edging closer towards us reminding the locked down world that things change regardless of whether we burr our feet into earth. The axis of this planet spins without care of our wants and we are thrust into movement. I am always in gentle momentum, I tell myself, fearing I am lying, fearing the feeling that lays dormant,  that I carry, whispering, cajoling, enticing me, to always run. To stop, is to think, is to die.

And so my adoring fans, I emerge. Full to the brain of words. I have been reading, obsessively, like everything I do- either with gusto or apathy. I digested Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse” and caught her ethereal thoughts. Thoughts that roam so freely in the mind are elusive to paper. I have begun trying to catch mine in ink by writing a diary. But left with emotion and thought and no bridge, or not enough means to transmute them into the physical world of existence, the exercise of diary keeping makes me feel performative, disconnected and afraid. It is worse than writing an anonymous blog for my legion of fans- ie. Three people. To write without audience is to indulge deeper into a lack of self-consciousness. To write, to write to write. I have to in order to escape. Escape what? Life? No, not life. Virgina Woolf kept a diary to observe her thoughts, a science experiement, a personal plea for help, I am not sure. She also killed herself. Out a window, she went. Another bi-polar (suspected not confirmed- it didn’t exist when she lived, no, she had a case of “nerves”). I have learned that my thoughts on my part, are conversations with others, a stage show of alternate realities and negotiations of feelings I navigate with those in my world. This cannot be captured by the humble diary. The humble diary soaks up questions, existential, self pitying, earnest. It sucks and soaks and I can’t bear to re-read it. What will they do when I am dead and famous? I will request they burn all the journals, I couldn’t bear the intrusion. Poor Anne Frank.

I used to dream of myself at sea. There, there would be no sailboat leaves to fall over the blue terrain. Trees can’t grow in the middle of the ocean. It’s a pity, if they landed on water they wouldn’t turn to decay so quickly. They would float and sail into secret dreams.

xx SJ

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