Tuesday, June 26, 2007


These days are dark days, or perhaps light days with the curtains half-open, semi-shut. These days I am leaping from a tower into blackness, or I am rolled up in bed, clutching sheets and blankets.

I'm not sure where I begin or where this story is going, my life's ebbing away and only just beginning. I'm on the right road, but quite lost. I have achieved, and the future spreads out in front of me like an empty plain. I fear I'm a failure.

These words bluster what I want to say. Focusless at the moment and yet driven, I'm almost crazily heading towards some destination. I want to pack up my flat, get the hell out of here. I want to go mad at some festival. I want to walk a dog in the moonlight, by the River Adur. In short, I'm confused.

I get these spells from time to time, in fact, they can stretch on for months. The only real remedy perhaps is to get out of the flat, go walking, do something, anything, to stop the ceaseless mind-chatter, the compulsions, the laziness, the swirling head that takes over.

I feel like I have been dropped from a great height and have landed, splat, on a vacated hillside. All is possibility, and therefore, all is frightening. Too much possibility scares me, but stasis and stagnant boggy fields, empty of flowers, scare me more. I'm running scared, scared of my life, of what I might become if I put my mind to it, of what I might fail to become, if I don't.

I'm reading a book on Harry Crosby, who founded the Black Sun Press and who was found shot dead with his lover in a hotel room in New York in 1929. When they found his body, he wore a black flower in his lapel and his toenails were painted bright red.

I am very afraid of a character like Harry Crosby, and of course, fascinated. I find it hard to conceive of a life without drama and gunshots, excess and vision. But in truth, either my skin and my bones are thinning or I am simply becoming more aware of how sensitive I am to life's madnesses. I can't abide betrayal anymore, I can't abide mind-expanding drugs, or even hangovers, I can't do illicit sex, or even perversion and it feels as though I am turning into a moralist, a radical feminist and an evangelist. Am I simply too long lived to not see through all this junk, or am I getting frailer? Who knows, but though I feel stronger in ways I never thought I was, I also feel more delicate than ever, a china cup who wants warm liquid inside her, without the cracks, without being dropped to the floor. I want no more smashing.

Oh, this is a strange post. There is so much to tell about the facts and figures of my life, but for some reason, here, I want to keep it secret. Change is afoot, but in which direction, God only knows.


laurel said...

A strange post? ah, no...I identified so strongly with it. Here at the table, on a laptop that is not my own, in a house that whispers secrets from behind closed closet/cupboard doors...watching the stormy june morning, living two winters in a row...oh how I loved it. More than any other you have ever written, this post rushed into my brain through my eyes, and even now is rushing through my veins madly. all those words synchronising the beat of my heart...amazing clare.
I know that world...so closely, and am growing through that space as well...and not for the first time in my life. Thank you. To find an understanding from half a world away...
here is something I wrote years ago, that I dug out of hiding this morning..before it was light out..

i was flying
so i'm falling.
just now realizing
those weren't great white wings
layered with knowing feathers
seaming the differences of air.
look at me here
a face first spread.
as my shadow grows
i get reacquainted with gravity
graceless arms flung wide by wind
forced too full of nothing to hold on to.

Not exactly right for the moment, but as close as I could come right now...head up...this too shall pass, for both of us. fragile skin and bones, fragile moments slipping away...fear destroys power...easier to hide sometimes, but only a temporary panacea...
my thoughts, as always, are with you. sacred and pure and right...these are things worthy of being held dear and precious...
xo laurel
sheesh...long comment...sorry

clare said...

Please don't apologise for your lovely long comment. I love long comments!

Your poem is very moving. Yes, part of the wonder of life is when the wings we were waiting to grow and that finally we thought were taking us off to higher places, crumple, and we find ourselves hurtling towards the big black earth. Too much flying and heaven and clouds is no good for the soul, we need a bit of red dust in our eyes! Or at least that what I choose to believe, so accustomed as I am to wiping my eyes out on a regular basis ..

Two Winters in a row! That's far out! We've had our share of stormy June mornings lately, this month has been a bit of a wash out. I'm glad you're landing well, if a little intensely..

xxx C

Jonathan said...

Oh I wish I could express myself like this. Bloody science upbringing.

clare said...

And oh, I wish I understood how electricity works. Seriously, I still don't. Bloody artistic temperament.

Jonathan said...

Understanding electricity is like going to Murmansk: