Granada

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And in he walked, guitar slung low by his side. Casually pulling up an old chair, he sat in the corner without introduction or occasion and began to play.  After an assault of practice strums, the pace picked up, his fingers picking and plucking furiously at the strings. Two hours earlier, she had wondered what had driven her to this ancient city where she had ten euros to her name and no Spanish language skills to speak of and yet as she watched him from the other side of the room, she inched her glass down slowly, barely hearing it touch the table. Her heart had stopped beating and she forced herself to breathe.

Perhaps the universe was rewarding her for her courage after all. Read more

Manifesto for the Reborn

This is the day when I back myself

when I give back to myself
when I bestow the compassion that I have been
seeking from others
on my own wanting flesh and aching bones.

Today I take down my high fences and
replace them with boundaries and I
survey the terrain of this heart of mine
and see that it is good.

The day I fit my own mask before I fit
the mask of others around me.
the day I draw a line in the sand and say
this is who I am, and I am
wild and fierce but I am
kind.

This is the day that I will go out on a limb and
expect the universe to meet me half way,
acknowledging that what I put out is exactly what I get in return
and that if the devil turned up on my doorstep
it is because I summoned him there,
and that yes my addiction to self deprecation and atonement are
often the same thing
and that yes I may have followed him into
hell and done deals unholy,
but I walked back out again with my
head held high
and that carries both weight
and worth.

This is the day that I will pledge to write my way through
but not at the expense of my sanity and
whilst I will not contribute to the noise I will make a promise
to speak my truth, mindfully.

Today I bow before synchronicity and simplicity.
small moves and simpler words.

I surrender to possibility.
with the knowledge that our memories do not make us.
and that sometimes we cannot reconcile with the choices we’ve made,
but still I tear the pages out of my book, that are black and
heavy with ink and tearstains
and I offer unto myself my own redemption,
knowing that
I cannot save the devil,
but I can save
myself.

This is the day I raise a glass to all that has gone before
as I take my rightful place in a new world
and while the road may be long and fraught with danger,
every step I take is a choice.

I have a choice

and I am stronger than I give myself credit for.

I am alive
and my time starts
now.

 

– Erica Wheadon

Unimaginable

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I didn’t know what the day after the day I forgave you would look like.

That’s because I didn’t believe the day would ever come.

And yet – here I am – driven wild with wonder, staring wide-eyed at the sunrise, before I turn my stare to the blank page. Catatonic.

I’m sure stranger things have happened, and yet…I’m not sure what could be stranger than this. Read more

The Call Home

The most challenging dynamic that ever existed is hands down, the human romantic relationship. Wars have been waged, honour defended, rules bent and then broken, promises made and destroyed, tears and blood spilled passionately, sometimes silently over the question:

Who does my heart belong to?
Where do I call home?

For women such as myself – who find the concept of monogamy and settling down tempting but ultimately confounding – it can take all of the strength that we can muster to put on our armour and step outside and face a world rife with subconscious, silent criticism and projection when it comes to everything We Should or Should Not Do in a relationship.

So it might come as a surprise to you that the one that calls my wild heart home, is my best friend, my husband (my third), and the love of my life. I am nothing if not a walking contradiction.

Do you want to know the truth? Read more

the fold

 

and when he returns to the fold, you have lost him
just when you are energized and ready to go again, you realise that none of this is on your terms
it’s on his
that any understanding that you may have shared, was fleeting
he was never yours to lose
and you wonder for the thousandth time that night, how you could have willingly devoted yourself to this neverending seesaw of ambiguity

he comes to you, broken
he comes to you with tears threatening to break through their stoic threshold
he looks at you, ashen-faced and defensive, wincing like a wounded animal that needs your love but is too afraid to do anything other than wrap its protective instincts around itself
you sigh, you begin the dance, and you extend – reaching higher and further than certainly you had ever intended to

gradually, he lets you in – knowing the end of his sabbatical is nigh
promising to let go faster next time
promising to let you in
promising that all he needs is right here in this space
renewed – you find reserves that you never knew you had

and then he is gone

it’s okay – you think
this time – there were victories
this time – he understood
until he returns to the fold
and you cannot shake your thoughts
and yet, you must

so you drink deeply
and begin again

 

– erica wheadon

Crinkle

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Crinkle

How simple it is for a tree to discard its leaves once the cold shrouds its heart.

There would be a brief exchange, I imagine. The leaf, realising that its days are numbered, turns every colour of the sunset in its last scrap of sustained energy, fighting to hold onto the life it knew, wondering,

Was it me?
Was it me?
Was it me?

Was I not enough? Or too much?

Did it cling, beg, break down? Did it protest its way through the seven stages of grieving, clinging and weeping and praying to the wind for stability, begging to exist outside of time, protesting every change before it finally accepted that trees.like.that don’t change?

Did it wake one morning with a new kind of clarity – acceptance re-framing every thought and every decision it ever made as it slowly becomes conscious that every last breath was numbered?

Did it then simply snap its fragile stem, and float to the ground, quietly and without ceremony, as it drifted in circles to oblivion, rebirth, god knows what?

Or, did it celebrate every fiery hue, every crinkle and misshapen edge, every imperfection that still warmed the hearts of passersby, sagely serving as a reminder that our time here is fleeting and that our colours are our legacy and that 

it was enough for some and too much for others and it was

glorious

either

way.