The words crowd me on paper, on the screen and in my head. The count goes up but my hero is walking in place, trapped far underground. Again and again I ask myself, "How much can one person endure?" because though I am not the hero, I am beside her in the darkness, in the black water, in the lighthouse watching the waves move from the high windows. My own powerlessness bleeds onto the page and I have to start over again. I dredge up memories from my own endurance and I ask myself, "How much can one person endure? Why did they bend here and break there?" How much is cruelty, how much is the tempering of spirit?
Their voices seem harsh to me. All at once making me want to laugh and weep at the familiarity. They sound like sun hitting corrugated iron, like a gunshot in the dark. I lower my own. Acutely aware of how they sound, I become aware of myself. The clouds march across the sky like giant ships on their way to invade a nation. I feel better when I am the smallest thing for miles. My heart beats slower when I am pressed to the earth by the enormity of my surroundings. When I am a speck between the horizon and the sky. I am reminded of another time where the clouds moved like water; when I breathed them in on my way to work. I log this time subconsciously. I mark ten hours behind.
A pinecone in my pocket, a bone tucked into my bag. Clean shoes; go through. Travel through seasons; from dark to light. New stars, new currency. There is a sense of urgency now. Demanding proof of value, real or imagined. I am tempted to pile all the paper, set a match to it. Watch it burn and walk away; warming myself with my spiteful destruction. But, I know this will do nothing to stop the waves of questions, the bone shattering way I am crammed into boxes and shoved into drawers. Instead, I close the door. The clock ticks and cars sound like waves on the road behind me. I organise the paper, and breathe in.
My thoughts turn to the south. To dry grass and black earth crumbling beneath my boots; air hot enough to bake my lungs to leather as I inhale. Sliding scales and stinging sweat; shimmering road and the hiss of green wood as it smoulders. Feathers erupt from my back and I dig my claws into the footpath as I walk through a stone city. Be patient. Wait a while longer.
My spine creaks under the weight of my thoughts; I whisper goodbye to the mountains. I wade through paper until the final hour. The dying sun blooms on the snow for me; the birds circle in ravenous anticipation. The boats are coming in. The lights dance in the evening; blurring my eyes. I bid farewell to the stars over the sea; the solar river. We round the corner and I am gone.
The window glass bends toward me as the mice dance in the walls. It is 1, 10, 3, 9. But the light is flat blue and indecipherable. I exist without time. The weight of my notebook tells me I have been here for a while now; the number of stones on my window sill count the months. Home is breathing on my neck; a substance I have to follow across oceans. My boots wait patiently by the door.
We follow heavy footprints onto the ice. It's the Russian millionaire, someone says. Nervous laughter. He has been carrying a stick. Throw powdered snow into the air, a dog's jaws snap. Falling into holes, laughing, shouting. Not too loud. We watch the sun run toward Norway. Orange and purple clouds; ravens hunt low for food. It looks like the sea is burning, I say. I am reminded of home.
The birds wheel in free-fall above the ocean, above the cliffs. The sun dips down and my numb toes sit, sluggish in my rubber boots. I press my face to the window and the tyres slip on the ice. The ocean is gold for a moment. We turn the corner.
I track the cars travelling along the road across the water. They look like fallen stars, like satellites too close to earth. Snow hisses at the windows and I eat absently in the dark. There will be no sun today. I stand, my skeleton pops and buckles in protest.
The light is always set to late afternoon, if at all. We can't feel the heat, we say. But when it disappears behind the mountains, the chill sinks into our bones. The wind rattles the grass. It is like the hair of a dead man, one who wandered off and was forgotten. Eroded and preserved by cold and time. Where am I going next, I say to myself as I wait for the sun to rise over the sea.
The snow blushes. Is it time to go home? Not yet.
I carried the dead stalks of the Ætihvönn in my hand as I walked home. Snow kept flying into my eyes and I thought, "You've brought them this far. It would be foolish to drop them on the ground now." I stopped to throw rocks at a frozen puddle. The sound was like teeth cracking as I tested my weight on the edge.
The first snow has now fallen in the village. The sun rises at 9 and sets at 4:30.
We all seem to be waiting for the dark.
Eight degrees seems warm to me at this point. I have plans to replace my blood with earl grey tea. Slowly succeeding.
I keep notebooks. Lots of them. At the present moment, I am working on three. One is for work, one is personal and one is a gift for a friend. I have always kept notebooks. I used to burn them once I finished writing in them but over the past few years, I have collected them. They have become an important part of my creative process. I sketch, collect, draw and rant in them, completely uncensored and utterly off 'aesthetic'. Wildly uncool and occasionally warped, they are an insight into my personality and inspirations. I've decided to share parts of all of them, being with something from my personal one. It won't be chronological. It won't be perfect.
Lets see how long it lasts.