Monday, 25 April 2011

From an unpublished letter, 01.01.2009

Things are never what they appear to be when you look at them closely. The wings of a butterfly become translucent scales, and the softest, smoothest skin becomes furrowed and pitted with follicles. Verdant grass that feels soft underfoot looks perfect until you look closely - where the blades of the mower have ripped the leaves. Unravelled and ragged like satin ribbon that is not hemmed. A lace of dead, brittle cells adorning the green. When you sit in grass that has been mowed it is these edges that tickle your skin. That dig in slightly into the furrows and irritate. Skin reacting to that which you didn't even see until you looked for it.

There are times when all around me feels like lush verdant grass. That one looks out at wistfully from indoors while it rains, thinking of running and rolling through loveliness. But for some reason the beauty still prickles, and when I go looking for it I see the unbeautiful barbs on my skin. When I'm busy, when I have somewhere to run to, the only thing I notice is how soft it feels underfoot. But when I slow down, and try to luxuriate, or worse, give in to inertia is when I notice. I don't want to, but I do.

There are so many things we say to children. Cliches that our parents gave us. Entreaties to enjoy childhood, to try and understand the gift that is unlimited potential unscarred by choices and experience. We venerate those in society who have the experiences, but fail to see how beautiful it is to have not had any. To be unlined, unscarred and untrudging through the trenches of those choices and experiences. When inertia hits me, when I cannot move, all I want is the freedom that was the ability to choose. It felt like such a prison then, afflicted with the massive fear of choosing the right one I never really appreciated how incredible it was to have the choice in the first place.

It's not until you have it taken away from you, that you've made the choice and have to keep going, keep running through the grass that you notice those dead edges. So I keep running.

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