I am sitting on the tiny green in front of my house in the dark staring across to the cheerfully lit window, the light pouring out into the darkness despite the beloved check curtains being closed. The light seeps out from around their edges and the curtains are not awfully thick anyway. A fair amount is visible as it illuminates the pattern from the inside of the room beyond.
I often find myself outside when feeling melancholy. I am contemplating a previous life, one far less straightforward than my life as I think of it now. I don’t allow myself the luxury of thinking about past hurts too often, but sometimes they creep up on me. I don’t invite it, I’d much rather completely forget. In fact I’ve expended a lot of time and effort in trying to forget. Perhaps that is the very reason they creep up on me. In trying to forget I have invested them with too much meaning.
In the warm, cosy interior of that place I now call home there is no place for the history I’ve worked so hard to put behind me. There is no way it can fit and for that I am eternally grateful. But when the two bump into one another it jars me none-the-less; and despite my best efforts the two worlds do collide every so often, almost like the half forgotten memories build up and clamour against the defences I’ve built. Periodically I have to find a way to pick my way through them or the oppressiveness they cast threatens to darken everything, defences or no. The strange thing is that I usually have to leave the house to really grapple with them. The bounded-ness of these mental entities is surprisingly physical and I’m not sure how that works.
I want so much to write about what I am feeling, the thing that scrunches me up inside, squeezes only the barest number of tear drops from my eyelids and then retreats again, having reminded me it is still here. Something about dashed hopes; the realisation of human fragility; that optimism and energy are not enough to overcome all odds, to win all battles and the grave, beautiful preciousness that life is invested with by virtue of all this. I know only that I won’t be able to give it voice in a way that satisfies me. Clumsy efforts result from the need to transcribe my fleeting, innermost experience. All that seems to be graspable are my reflection on the times, circumstances and boundaries of my thoughts and I’ve no idea if they make any sense without the inner experience to illuminate them and escape in slivers through chinks and cracks.
The window of time I’ve allowed for self reflection is up. It has passed more quickly than I thought possible and I thought I had already generously underestimated. Back into the warmth of the kitchen I go, wondering how much of my own doing my need to sit and contemplate it from the outside is.