NEARING THE END, A REFLECTION ON 2017

Blog, Uncategorized

2017 has been the most tumultuous year of my existence, and has marched forward with such a pace that I’ve had to force myself to reflect upon these rushing days, and how they have fluctuated so wildly between the macabre and the wonderful.

The year began with a slither of hope; having left university due to various circumstances, I was ready to embrace January for its metaphorical clean slate, and set about trying to organise my life. After a rather chance conversation with my best friend, I suddenly found myself booking all of September off to travel around Europe, which, if I’m being honest, flooded my veins with an unshakeable feeling of dread and fear. I was concerned that I would be unable to get through it without the shadow of my anxiety swallowing me whole, and the image of me experiencing that panicky, illogical mindset somewhere in the middle of Prague wasn’t going a long way in regards to calming me down.

With that in the pipeline, I thought it best to revert from my usual reaction to such worries, and fought against the urge to shut myself up in my room, eat unhealthily, and refrain from human interaction as much as possible. I went out for daily walks with my camera, met up with friends as often as I could, and went on a beautiful trip to Pisa with my girlfriend. The latter was actually an event more significant than I originally thought; I had planned and actually enjoyed a trip abroad without any major incident, and besides from one little episode prior to the flight over there, it showed me that my month long trip would be nothing to worry about, and I let positivity control my brain for once. Upon our return, I worked part-time, and found that to be great too – I was interacting with strangers all day, and enjoying it, and I suddenly found myself free from my burdens.

However, I was pulled back down to reality rather quickly when we realised my grandmother was dying. I know a lot of my friends aren’t that close with their grandparents, yet Grandma was, ultimately, my best friend. Throughout my childhood, I had spent 5-6 days a week at her house, talking extensively about pretty much anything we could, and forming my life-long love affairs with cooking, literature, music, and cinema. She was an outrageously funny, incredibly fashionable, independent lady with a seemingly bottomless wealth of knowledge, and I am blessed to have even known her let alone be related, but that made it all much harder at the end. Watching such an energetic individual slip into their illness, unaware of anything around them, and ultimately become dreadfully frustrated with a life they can no longer enjoy, was possibly the most traumatising thing I have ever witnessed. I think a small portion of myself died with her that day.

The aftermath of the funeral was not great. By my own admission, I am pretty terrible at facing such things, yet I think I was more concerned with my mother to think too much about anything else; in a way, I count myself lucky that I was with Grandma in her final weeks, right up to the very end, as it enabled me to mourn in a gradual wave, rather than experience what others in the family had to. I just felt that everything was becoming a little bit too much, and that I had to get away.

Luckily, Europe was closing in. Before I knew it, Jacob and I were boarding our train for Paris and the journey had begun. I don’t know why, and perhaps I never will, but I did not experience one iota of anxiety throughout the entire trip (which you can see the photos from on my travel page – here). I think it was the relief of being somewhere so excitingly new that left me no time to dwell on anything from home, other than my girlfriend, but she was beginning her own adventure at university. It was, without a doubt, the most enjoyable month of my life, and I think I’ll be able to dwell on the inspiration for my writing for many years to come. More importantly, by the end of it, I was so glad to see Derbyshire, and be back in familiar territory that no longer felt like it was suffocating me. 

On the day I arrived home, however, my dog passed away. It was weird to leave a trip and return from it surrounded by elements of death, but Truffle was extremely old and frail and had given us so much love throughout the years that it felt strangely right she had gone; dare I say it, I was weirdly relieved. The next few weeks were spent writing and roaming around, visiting my girlfriend in York and reading good books on slow trains, and then I had one fateful weekend that has twisted the road of my future once more.

After attending an interview for what I thought was a two-week volunteering position, I accidentally left the room with an internship and, looking forward, the prospect of a full time job in something that enables me to work with the terminally ill, conduct creative writing groups, and work within PR and marketing. This should all start in January, and because of all that has happened this year, I don’t think my anxiety is going to fuck this one up. I am much stronger, happier, and healthier than I was this time last year, and I can’t thank the people around me enough. 

Let me know in the comments how your year has been – what were the ups and downs, what affect do you think it has had on you?

Anyway, here’s to another metaphorical clean slate, may it forever be chalked with positivity. 

Fred x

 

LAUGHING AT ROSES – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

February, in bitter cold

we found ourselves

staring upon shelves

upon shelves;

glaring rows of roses,

roads of crimson cut with white.

 

Your hand tore away

from the cuff of mine,

you laughed, howled at

the inadequacy of thorns,

fingered the blade and

mocked its rust;

you saw no beauty in the blunt,

no mirror for your trust.

 

Pulling past pallets, stacked

and packed in plastic wrap,

suffocating them all,

we hid in the glass house,

bathed in the warmth;

cacti, ugly leather staring

from the eyes of needles, fine.

 

Stood in grainy earth, dry

desert, clumsy cucumber length,

you couldn’t resist

the itch to test the spines;

a drop of blood, blushing

on your finger, now in mine,

I want one

I could hear you think

I know it can survive.

DIVORCE – A POEM

Writing

The bed grows cold, a slab

Of stone so crudely cut,

Torn out from the gritstone

Rough, pulled apart from whole.

 

I withdraw, collapse, tuck

Shivering knee to chin,

Curl foetal, harness limb to limb,

They fracture, split my hold.

 

My arm stretches

through thick night, clasps

nothing but the albite light

Thrown down from foreign skies.

 

I weep for familiarity, fight

the rip of mourning tides, seek

to rise upon my feet,

And tread this great divide.

 

MY OTHER WRITING

 

MY DOG HAS DIED 

Blog

Hello there bloggers and esteemed guests; my travel blog from yesterday will be posted slightly later than planned due to me receiving news my beloved Dog Truffle has died this morning. She’s been with me since I was 5 years old and was the friendliest chum I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. 

She went peacefully and without pain, and she’s given me a lifetime of love and memories. 💖

RAINBOW – A POEM

Writing

I am surrounded,

stuck, shrouded on

an island, black and white,

Marooned by melancholy

draining colours from my sight,

They slip along these sands of grey

and mingle with the ocean spray,

Hiding like the night.

 

I want to step upon

the shore, fall into

water, start to swim,

Leave the dark behind me

as I claw with aching limbs,

Remember all my eyes have missed,

A palette that still glows with bliss

upon your rainbow skin,

Pink pastels trapped within

your lips,

I hear echoes as you sing. 

MORE POETRY

 

 

 

BEACON – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

She wears the warmth of sunlight,

Woven deep, fabric of skin that glimmers

from shark-toothed mouths of clouds,

They swallow her, she weeps,

Faint mist, the ocean spray

rallies against crashing waves

that spar with stubborn stone,

Tooth and nail they chip away,

Flint and shale that slip to clay

to show her and her bones,

A startling white that

shames the night

and cures me of my woes.

CHURCH – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

How long have you been sleeping now,

Wedged between two others

with your pillow made of stone?

My watch has stopped, frozen, 

Still, a statue upon the peaceful hill

where we are alone,

Aside from the silent widow 

armed with flowers, 

Drained of hope,

A necklace hanging down her breast,

A saint swinging from a rope. 

How long have I been sitting here,

Not daring to come closer

than the safety of my seat?

Perhaps I should run to you,

Kneel under these skies of blue

and whisper prayers at your feet,

Pretend that I can find my way

through the graveyard streets,

And wonder if my practiced words

could sing to you like whistling birds

and draw you from your dreams.

WATERFALL – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

I remember when the waterfall would scream,

A fury falling, a river pouring fire through the night,

It was beautiful, the way it leapt from knives,

Jagged rocks as tall as skies

to foam and froth below,

A void of blue with spits of white,

A mountain capped with snow;

I remember when the silence came,

Nothing left but breeze bereft of

the burden of a voice,

I cried that day,

A perfect tear carved my cheek,

Dropped to the puddle at my feet,

Rippled through the wall,

The rock face shook and, as I looked,

Fresh rain began to fall.

 

What’s Mine is Yours – A POEM

Writing

I won’t delve into any cliché
of offering my heart

or my soul, that blackened tripe,

or my bones, which glow so sickly white,

As a gesture of my love.

No, I don’t like to promise 

what I can’t keep,

I can’t give you the world,

Not a single street,

No diamonds or pearls,

Not that you seek 

such materials anyway.

I would like to tell you 

that I was once mine,

Before you, I ruled over this body

and mind, it was lonely, cynical

and often despised,

Stuck in a spiral of 

self-indulged lies,

A madman in the making.

I would like to tell you

that now I’m shared,

Split down the middle

from toe to hair,

I am still mine because you’re there,

Fixing and tweaking with loving repair,

Dragging me kicking

from the hate and despair

I’d grown quite fond of, 

In the end;

What’s mine is yours, 

for you are why,

I’m even there to lend.

15/08/17