The Blue Shell

Hello January, bruised and freezing. Hello you North wind, knifing our lungs, pushing out the last, stubborn ghosts of the old year.

Hello first fire, did you see the the grate swept clean for you, the old ashes gone?


2016 is the start of a big year for me; I know, you’ve seen those words on everyone’s blog over the last couple of days, I’ll explain.

If you’ve been following this blog since it’s melancholy conception, you’ve seen some writing, some photography. You’ve seen snippets of poetic prose and even the odd arty nude, but you haven’t seen much of me. Some would object – say the writing speaks for me, illuminates my character already – in many ways that’s true, but not completely.

Dive deep under the skin and you may find a graceful spirit, darkness blooming around the edges; a cool, complex Neptunian drifting in dreamy waters. I think sometimes that she is a my cosmic creative yolk, and I am the brittle robin’s eggshell trying to protect her, but too thin. Bitter? Maybe. Yes.

Here’s the blue shell:

I’m about to turn 30, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m supremely inconsistent and smudged around the edges and only a pinch of that salt on the fields can be attributed to mental health issues. I am constantly at war with something and do not know peace apart from those times I take myself off and revel in a remote landscape and utter solitude. Even then, wait for the tide to turn, and loneliness to start devouring my remains. I am a child of grazed knees and bramble snags; relentlessly bullied for being different. Too weird, the girl who talks to trees, who hears music when none is playing, who was so feral when they dragged her screaming to secondary school she didn’t understand how to use a sanitary towel, how to wear a bra, how often humans bathe.

Let’s move on from that place, for all its savage beauty. For all the dawns I saw breaking with the moon still hanging in a violet sky. For all the horses I rode bareback when the farmer’s family were sleeping. Let’s ease back to here.

2015 was hard, terribly hard. There were hospital admissions and fear and death and hopelessness. A love I thought would never survive, the creeping realisation that time has spun on, and here I am still. Little redcap forever lost in the forest, with wolfish fur tickling the underside of her ill-fitting, transgressive skin.

I’ve hidden my whole life; behind my unwashed hair, in shapeless invisibility cloaks, in plain sight with a bare face. I have crept into mossy hollows to lick at my wounds, the thousand knives a mermaid dances on. I think that this may be the year to stop hiding, to be as I wish to be; as feral as I please and as eloquent too. I will take pride in that something about me slurred across pub tables and whispered in my ear, at once magnetic and repellent, the desire to plunge your hand into a nest of beautiful snakes.

Welcome to a New Year, lovely readers.

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