In quiet solitude they rowed for days. The world was drowned in an ocean of grey: a sea of shadow and light. Inky trees stretched up from the land around them towards the glowering slate sky; the steely surface of the water was disturbed only by their passing; the grey days faded into black night and back again, hazy white sun replaced by the crisp silver disk of the moon and her pinprick sister stars.
They saw not another soul.
Some would have filled the endless hours with chatter, but they spoke not a single word.
Most would have gone to shore every now and then, to rest their arms or sleep until the sun brought the singing dawn, but they continued on, never pausing.
Time became meaningless but it passed all the same. A quiet turning of the world and seconds filled with tiny infinities.
They paddled on, right to the edge of the world. And when the water dropped away below them and the land disappeared, they paddled still, beating steadily on into the eternal night, leaving their greyscale world behind and heading for the stars.
“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Inspired by Erin Morgenstern’s Flax-Golden Tales, I have decided to embark on my own creative writing blog series, “Wild & Improbable Tales”, as a way to write more freely and more frequently. At least once a week, I will choose a card at random from The School Of Life‘s ‘Small Pleasures’ box and use the image and/or writing on the back to inspire a short piece of creative writing. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
It’s so close you can taste it. You can see the possibility solidifying into a reality, just a little way ahead, but it’s fragile: fuzzy and fluctuating like a mirage in the desert heat. But it’s there. You could make it real. You have to reach out and grasp hold of that dream. You have to pull it from that sacred space of imagination and daydreaming into the clear light of day. It may not materialise with one tug. It may take dozens. Hundreds. It may take all your strength and discipline not to let go. Not to give up and let it drift back into that distant and untouchable plain. It may not look exactly how you imagined if you manage to wrench it forth into the world. But you may also find that you can shape it and grow into it. If you want to make it real you’ll have to hold to it with everything you can. Breathe life into it.
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid if it. It’s your dream. Reach out and make it real.
The Earth smoulders
With the turning of the season
And the clouds drift down
To kiss the burning land.
A veil of tears
Lands softly on flaming leaves
But even heaven’s weeping
Cannot dull the
Of autumn’s inferno.
And when the most parts,
Making way for the pale light
Of winter’s promise,
And the chill of year’s end
Arrives on the breath of the hills,
The leaves curl and crisp underfoot,
Rustling their accompaniment to fading birdsong.
Polished conkers gleam amongst summer’s debris.
Woodsmoke hangs in the air,
The crackle of logs echoing in the quiet.
The world exhales
A long sigh of letting go.
As though, after a long day,
She has come home to rest.
Outside the window, rain pummels and thunder rumbles. But in here it is warm and dry and quiet. An autumn medley of our favourite tunes plays softly through the house, and the smell of baking pies envelopes us in mouth-watering warmth. The world seems to settle. Our cosy home is filled with memories and promises; the bricks and mortar we bought have slowly taken on something of ourselves.
With the leaves turning down the street, our door closed against the storm, the tastes and smells of autumn bubbling in the oven, and the music of our happiest times playing through every room, it finally begins to go quiet behind my eyes. The comfort I’ve been missing in my busy days settles over my shoulders and across my brow. In this moment of peace, I am overwhelmed by my blessings and I see the depth of joy in my life.
For some it is adventure in the great wide somewhere that calls and lifts them. To escape to the new and the beauty of the unknown. But for me the greatest adventure has always been in this: in coming home. I cannot help but wonder that in the vastness of the universe, on this beautiful jewel of a planet, floating amongst the stars, there is a place that is so inherently me that it brings silent solace to the chaos of my busy human mind. As if, while the wind howled outside my door, the universe leaned in, wrapped a bubble of quiet warmth around me and whispered ‘this is for you’.
Image found here.
Never forget that your capacity to survive has got you this far. There is always hope in tomorrow. You are here and you are wonderful. You are part of an incredible universe and your place in it is just as important as the moons and the stars and the planets. You are life itself. There will be rough days. There will be not so rough days. There will be bloody terrible days and bloody brilliant days and they are all part of your journey. The destination is not important. Your are travelling in time and space and you are magic.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health then please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. You are not alone and help is available. By opening up and starting the conversation we can move forward together and look to a mentally healthy future. Below are links to a range of fantastic organisations that can provide information, advice and services.
Mind – http://www.mind.org.uk
Young Minds – http://www.youngminds.org.uk
Papyrus (prevention of young suicide) – https://www.papyrus-uk.org
Rethink Mental Illness – http://www.rethink.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – https://www.afsp.org
Please do not struggle alone.
The universe is ours and not ours and we are the universe and not the universe and whatever that means we should shine. We should always shine.
The universe cannot have too many stars. Let’s be counted among them.
Image found via Jessica Swift.
Sometimes things don’t make sense. They just are. Sometimes things can be all the more beautiful for their chaos.
I hope you enjoy this amazing nonsensical universe this coming week.
Image found here.