Winter

August 29, 2017

It was dawn when I left my familiar home fenced by bushland, overlooking the sky that was slowly changing colour, slowly waking up. My little car humming in the cold early morning air, my old rusty love. It has no heaters so I drove with a hot water bottle and blanket on my lap, but my feet were still frozen through. These little discomforts so dear to me in a strange way, reminding me to appreciate warmth so much more than I would have otherwise. I write these memories down so I have them forever; the sensation of freezing toes, and fingers numb on the steering wheel, the smell of the old leather seats that only ever really have that smell in old cars, little quirks that we all come to love in their imperfection. A fast disappearing time in history, feelings that I have been lucky enough to experience. I cherish them all.

 

I have been driving for hours along old roads and new ones, singing Iron Maiden songs loudly and so out of tune I’m glad the wind blocks out the sound from the world. I drive over a bridge that looks like it disappears into the sky, upwards and over. I see a bird flying close by and then realise it’s a huge black swan. It flies directly above and to the right of my car keeping pace as I drive along, and then flies away into the sky. “Pffrrawwww!”, I cry, as I keep moving through.

I’m running down a street that I have ran down thousands of times before. So close to the bush, the huge gums loom over my life as they have always done, those old trees, those beautiful living giants. Something in the way the wet ground flickers from the street lights catches my eye, and I love the cold air stinging my bare skin; I’m not dressed warm enough for mid-winter. My breath comes out in steam and I want to push it inside someone’s mouth to watch the dance, the giving and taking of breath and steam, whispers and whimpers.
I was in the shower earlier and I remembered suddenly, brutally, that I had been having dreams about punching walls. Over and over again I would extend my arm and feel the strength and surety of the movement. There was no blood on my knuckles, no bruises. Just the sensation of punching something hard and unyielding.
And I’m running and thinking about how my feet are punching the wet tarmac and loving the pain in my body that has been worn down from months of no movement. I think about the thoughts I have and how they don’t seem to match my face that seems too young for my mind. I crave physical pain that I control so much it aches inside me like a hunger.
I am a facet of the whole, a part that seeks acknowledgement. I write to feed it so I don’t starve.

I’m driving in my little car again, down freeways so familiar, like a lover’s body. I am lost in my thoughts, past and present, and a lot of what’s to come. I drive past animal’s half dismembered, rotting on the side of the road. A kangaroo that tried to jump at the wrong moment lies on the tarmac, it’s eyes being eaten by a huge raven, and I can’t help but think how utterly perfect that is. I don’t feel horror, or disgust, just a sense of rightness that somethings death can give life to something else. I want my body to go back to the earth, to feed tiny insects as my skin and hair and nails rot away, as my eyes fade from amber to grey. I want a fox to rip me open and feed my flesh to its pups so they can grow strong and old. Bury me under a tree so I can feed the earth with this tiny frame; my body made to stand so close to the ground so that Mother Earth can always hear me when I talk to her. I want to sleep in the wet core of her, cradled by root and bone.

My womb is a flame tree
Tender
and full
The pain fuels me
Bloody thighs and release
To create again

August came bringing the winds of change. Some days Spring flies on the wind, warm and soft, others Winter tries to hold on, throwing icy daggers on the breeze. I want to hold on to both. Winter feels like a lost lover. Spring brings renewal. The smell of jasmine and freesia flowers is like an embrace for my aching, grieving heart. Last Spring, I fell in love. This Spring I am alone. I am a leaf, separated from the tree, learning to flow with the gusts. September draws near, and I want to feel the warm sun thaw my numb skin. I will run into the ocean and be held by something that ebbs and flows as I do, pushed and pulled by the moon. I will howl and wail and let my salty tears join with something bigger, something born of the same Mother. I fucking ache, but I will stretch out my torn wings and learn to repair the tiny gossamer threads, I will stitch over my scars until they become stronger.

 

An eagle flew underneath me as I sat with a kindred soul on ancient earth overlooking spirals of trees and snowy peaks. The wind was cold then, but it fueled me. I found a bird’s wing, still bloody and torn lying on the ground. It will be my crown.

 

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