Where to begin? Maybe by choosing words. Images. Here is an image: she is sitting by the window. A small, cheap laptop on a lap tray table. You know, those plasticky ones with a cushion attached. The likes you buy in Ikea for a tenner.
Her face, frowning. Stuck in old anger and a paralyzing desire for metamorphosis. Trapped in a chrysalis she has built herself all over these years, with meticulous determination. And there she is. Learning to write, struggling with concentration. Mind wandering into endless distractions. What do you think, spectator? Would this audience feel pietas? Would this audience weep or just laugh? As there is some a ridiculous tinge after all. A tragic ridiculous sense of self-entrapment.
She has an unresolved life. Don’t we all? Our life can be possibly resolved only with death. We are a deluded bunch us humans, still thinking of immortality and a glorious present to add.
She is struggling with concentration. Because there is a fundamental problem: she is striving for change. She wants respite from the pain. But the pain is life, and her only relief is writing.
She’s always known after all, however, she has been always stubborn. That kind of deluded stubbornness which can be tender and cute at times. The one of children who want to learn to fly. That one, and it would also explain the frowning, the frustration and the resolute relentlessness.
She’s by the window and by herself. Learning to write, because writing could save her life. Learning to sit still, to think still, to live still. Stillness is the key. But this is only a prologue.
Grief is detachment, separation. You grieve when everything you see reminds you of what and who is not there anymore.
Therefore the pain.
Then the numbness.
There is no way out. You must walk through that pain and let your body and mind absorb it. Process it and digest it. Mourn it.
You mourn it through the little things. Walking through a familiar place. Finding a small note you had forgotten. Looking at a picture. A familiar smell, a song, an innocent sound. They crash on you, squash you and make you become little.
Then you observe the common, daily business. You are like a spectator, you don’t feel part of it. A child screaming, a busy mother, a street cleaner, a barman making coffee. And nothing makes sense. You might observe the sun going up and down. You might try turning the television on. But you fail to see and you fail to hear.
It’s a long trip by sea, your grief. Then you find your harbour, you dock, you walk on land. And you are afraid of your next journey.
Must control my rudder for skillful steering, such a difficult skill to master. Without your maps I can’t navigate. Help me to find the rightful direction, look at me. I’m reaching out.
I’m shutting all the old doors, I’m leaving my old soul behind. It’s too worn and tattered to hold. Must control my rudder. I’m leaving everything out in the storm. Simplify. Must simplify this light boat, this fragile vessel.
I feel somehow lost. I’ve felt like this most of my life. Alone out there without a compass.
Give me a map. I might find the way. Eventually.
I’ve been watching whales all my life. Oh yes, all my life. Even when I was attempting normality, all I could perceive in my warped mind was the cetacean imagination of a reality that, above all, was my reality. My whales.
Therefore, I don’t know why I came back, not for the marine experience for sure. I dunno why I came back to a place where I don’t want to be. But I did, we always trace back ours steps, don’t we? We always look for home. And yet I’ve never learnt from whales. The oceans are their home. That would be real freedom: to navigate and roam, leaving behind the unnecessary. Ah, what freedom it would be. Carelessly circumnavigating, not afraid of missing people. As you cannot shake off who’s important in your life and you always stumble upon them, in a way or another.
I’ve never learnt from whales.
You see, I’ve got this life. Not much, just a lot of travelling. A life without roots. A life with a lot of words in a sea of silence.
What do I do all day? I watch whales. I observe them breaching for life and joy. I admire their power, their fearlessness. I am jealous, of whales. I have this longing for their size. For their big bones, their majestic frame. Maybe it’s because I have always challenged life from a small perspective. I am more bird-like than cetaceous. And I have fears. Lots of.
Here I will pour my words. Lots of. Words of life and loneliness and longing and regrets. Paragraphs of hope and creative effort. Not a diary. Not a novel. A starting point, perhaps. My first project after years adrift. This will be my compass, my star-map, my Ariadne’s thread. I will find my way, I will. I know the pain won’t ease. Life doesn’t give discounts, doesn’t forget mistakes and always claims its interests, up to the last cent. Nothing is free. It won’t be easier but I might be more capable of facing the storm.
You see, I’ve got this life. Only this one, which I can’t waste.
I’ll find my strength. I’ll watch the whales.