The days are ending up in darkness, sieving out stars and dust, and minute by minute my minute, small being is getting smaller by the hour. I can’t believe it’s been a year. So much has happened, and a part of me is sad I’ve sieved so much out, let the thinner pieces run through into words but left the bigger bits. I’ve grown in ways that make me closer to myself but I haven’t been able to write it all for some reason. I’ve felt myself ripped of wind, empty. I’ve been blank faced, wet faced, red faced. I’ve been across the way from break and then met it again, and again. I’ve been worried about tomorrow and what it says about today. I don’t know if I’m writing what I really want to, or if I have once this entire time. I’ve come up with stories in my head that rhymed with dreams I’ve had the night before, about bumping into someone who knew me more than I knew me.
I think there’s something to be said for ebbing, for waves and crashing and for feelings that can’t be described. This year of writing – I thought it would show me, remind me of things and days but it just highlights what we leave behind, leave out.
I want to get better at finding the words for what hurts and putting it down over finding the words for what rhymes and sounds right. I want to get better at taking out ashes every day and watching them dissipate in pixels on a page. I want to be better at being bare. I want to share that I feel terrible sometimes, that I am wary of time or find it moves so slowly.
Life is long, but I also was so small only last night. I don’t understand it and it doesn’t feel right and another year’s passed by like a stranger that I only slightly recognise.
Last year, I read about rituals. I read about routine and wanted to commit to being consistent. I wanted to hold onto a raft I’d built and see how long it could keep me up, out, drifting.
I keep thinking about children becoming adults– each one I walk by I wonder whether it will make it to my age and I hope so.
When I was little, I wanted to live in London and write stories. I wanted to be happy and funny, and smart and I wanted to make good art. I wanted to have friends I liked, and I wanted to have a dutch bicycle with a basket on it that I’d fill with fruit from the market. I wanted a car the colour of ice cream. And an ice dispensing fridge freezer.
Then I grew up, and there’s a moment I remember from it. I was in bed with a boyfriend. I was dreaming, and stirring and when I woke up he told me I’d been talking about a colour, one I’d never seen before. He looked at me like I was the first sunset of a summer. Then the sun set, and another day came, and the colour I had met that night started to feel the same as all the other colours.
A year ago, I had hoped for what has happened. I had hoped for completion and committing to an idea and carrying on with caring about things that I haven’t completely managed to put into words, and a year on, I’m still trying. Words rhyme when nothing fits right, like trying on trousers the same size and one doesn’t cover your thighs.
I can try and fix up sentences with a lightness of touch that seems to float through the blue light of my computer screen. I can lie in bed and slowly drift into another dream, and if I come across a new colour, I can tell myself all about it, and I can think I’m a sunset.
This year has been enormous. Heavy. I’ve breathed in dust and rust and text messages from people saying things I wished they didn’t really mean, and watched myself take steps backwards and forwards upwards, and write words that were hiding what I’d spent all night dreaming about. Faces that I might not see again. These faces have been drifting out with every poem, every day, every letter on a page where I try, sometimes more sometimes less, to figure out what it is I want to say.
My cells have multiplied and bred. The hair grown from my head is long dead and my skin has shed, renewed.