“The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”

What I need is a cure.

Something or someone that tells me to stop being so unhappy, and to stop saying in a million different words why I am unhappy, and is capable of making me obey.

Something that can penetrate deep into the soil, through the brick of well I have slowly dug and let myself into, downward, downward, downward, and pull me, with distinctive authority and firmness, out, and say – look, you silly girl, you dug a well from your bedroom floor. Here is a comfortable bed. Here is a wardrobe full of pretty clothes. What in the world made you start digging? What?

Here is a piece of wonderful music. Here is a poem. Here is an excerpt of lyrical, visual, romantic writing. Feel it. Rejoice in it.

The only times I feel happy now are fleeting – a couple of hours at choir, getting lost in clashing chords and Christmas. The half an hour I spend rolling around in bed on Saturdays and Sundays, the morning riding in through the crack in the curtain on a sliver of sunlight. The one hour I spend puzzling over To the Lighthouse, half of which I spend rereading pages I have read – the book never ends. The one hour I spend thinking about the new things I want to do…but eventually don’t of course. Because there is work. There is always work. And I don’t know how to slice through my head and put a boundary between work and the rest of my heart.

But maybe it’s not about work. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’ll never stop digging, and searching, and maybe, until I feel the onrush of scenery-air, mountains, trees, people on my skin, until I feel the warm cosiness of the beeping oven, maybe, until the muddy banks of the river disappear into the curling horizon, I will continue making my way down, and woe betide those who try and stop me.

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