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in a far far far away land, much further than any you can see, in a place called The Sad Side lived a fiery monster call RAmon. RAmon was the colour of an emerald green sea, and he had black speckles, but this is all hearsay…because no one has ever met RAmon.
He is legend in the land where I live.
For decades or as far back as the last living person in my land can remember, no one would dare venture close to him. ANd those who had, had vanished forever.
At night time when we sleep we can hear his raging fiersome growls throughout the night.
It sends shivers down my spine, and often i fear that RAmon wil come down to the Light Side, where I live. BUt over the years he has stayed on his side of things.
Then it came to be that one night RAmon’s roars sounded just like whimpers to me and all of on our land.
But an old man in the village recalled what had happned the last time in his greatgrandfather’s time when RAmon had stopped terrosising the village. One brave man had ventured to the sad side and had never been seen again.
SO this time no one wanted to go over to the other side when night after night we heard RAmon’s whimpering. He is trying to trick us, we won’t be fooled. In fact if you look at the calendar it was around this time a century ago that the same thing happened.
And so no one budged.
Far far far away in The Sad Side RAmon was struggling to move. At night he tried to keep up the roaring to keep thevillagers away, but he knew he was not sounding good. a fortnight before as he was scrambling up a mountain he had fallen, older these days the recovery – if there was to be any – was not fast.
he was in extreme pain, and his cut leg was oozing a venomous looking liquid.
RAmon was alarmed one day when he heard a voice calling out his name. It was a female’s voice, in fact it was mine.
‘RAmon, RAmon, where are you? I can hear you are in pain, let me help you.’
In all his effort RAmon still tried to frighten me away, blowing a small fire my way but it was weak, and i could see in its light that RAmon was old and suffering. I came closer.
‘RAmon let me help you. My name is Clarice, I am from the Light Side, let me take you over.’
No, no, no he said. he refused to let me take him there, so I stayed, and i nursed him, putting salve on his wound and daily making him a broth my mother had taught me to make to help heal the sick when i was a child, before she had died. ANd as the days turned to weeks, turned to months I started to forget about The Light Side so much was my need to fix RAmon. And soon he became all i could think about. I stopped rushing back to the Light Side come sunset and just stayed with him. I no longer cared what story the villagers made up. No one would have believed it if I told them I had met RAmon and he was a good man.
I suppose you could say RAmon and I fell in love He told me of the lonely nights he had endured but how he could never go back to the Light Side where he had come from because he was afraid of being turned away. ANd so he stayed here.
We exchanged stories and spent many nights talking until the wee hours. I told him my story, how as a young girl i was orphaned and had always felt something was missing in my life. How finding him had in a way given me a reason…
And then one day i went to fetch herbs to make him the broth he had come to love and on my return i found him there. lyng on his side, Dead. he had died waiting for me, alone, like most his life had been.
The pain was insurmountable. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed as I touched his body. ‘My RAmon, My RAmon.’
and in between the sobbing a roar came out, I hadnt meant for it to. But I was angry that he was gne, and i was sad and i was cold, and RAmon was dead, and the roar came out so loud it even frightened me.
ANd i roared and I roared and i roared. and it began to feel good.
Meanhwhile back in my land, the villagers were relieved to hear the roar again. ‘You see I told you he was just trying to make us feel at ease, so that he could entice us there. he already got clarice, i am glad no one else went there.’ they said.
and so everything felt back in equilibrium for the villagers asthe roars that once terrified them lulled them to sleep. They had managed, in their heads, to keep the story just as it had always been.
And yet it wasn’t all as it had been and it wasn’t all okay. they were short one, and that one had gone to the Sad Side and like RAmon, who was once Jesite, who lived and was loved on the Light Side, and all the men and women before him…this one also wasn’t coming back….
the street lights tried,
to penetrate her soul.
to the side
of her head,
long wrung to silence.
Yet, with him,
some particles of light
* words evoked by life and by the photo.
Paul and I were discussing doing a coffee table book with pix and words, so after him trying to get me to do rhymes and other such silly things to see if he could possibly use me to do the writing (all this while sipping on hot chocolate after dinner) and also after he had attended my writing workshop (dear paul you are so talented you could be doing your own writing), we decided to do something via email
and so we started off by him sending me this pic tonight.
the sort of poem sort of prose was my response.
It is grey and misty here today. I have grown to love this greyness, that once used to engulf me in darkness.
It is a reminder of how I far I have come from the tunnel of nothingness where life was like watching television in black and white with no sound. now when i hear a bird chirp it is like a melody to me, a sunset is like a kaleidoscopal rainbow.
when you have passed through the veil of darkness, to the other side, life is nothing as you remember it. All of a sudden it is like living life in High Definition. The colours are so defined and bright, the sound is crisp. For someone who was the living dead, to be given this life again is lto see everything for the first time again. Even the sound of a cricket whirring outside can be a joy, a reminder that you are alive. It is heaven for someone who once dwelled in a dark night of the soul.
back then, so long ago,every day was a struggle to breathe. There was no colour, no sound, no laughter. People were doing things and living, but there was a veil between them and me. I could see them but it was as though they were on tv, a place where I could not get to.
There was so much time alone and there was so much quietness, bar for the television in the downstairs bungalow i had rented right on the beach.
Its wooden walls kept me safely tucked away from the world. I was in the mother’s womb again, and as the water crashed outside my front door, I had no idea that I was incubating, getting ready for my rebirth. In the darkness of the bungalow, built around a big boulder, I waited patiently for this darkness to leave me. It took two years for my gestation period, before I saw the light of a new life and emerged. It felt like I had died and found my self in that cave.
It seemed like an eternity I was in this inferno of not even hell. It was not hell, hell had come before that time, this was just nothingness -a sense of nothingness. Days passed into months passed into years. Small attempts, getting up, going to do some dash editing at a local newspaper. Putting in the commas, writing the headline, changing the sentences, comma, comma, comma. So alone, me and the computer screen. I met C there. He became my ‘walker’, we used to joke,. He walked me to my car after work. What a wonderful man and good friend. Slowly I learnt to trust humans again. .
But mostly I would sit in my bed in my dark bungalow with the shutters closed. Sit and have the tv blaring but not even be watching it, just to have some sound, but I wasnt connecting to anything. Days in and days out, long long long days and nights. Coudln’t tell which were days or nights – both were bleak. To get up and make food was difficult. The only thing I left home for if not for the contract work I had now and again, was to speak to my psychologist. I met her once a week. And there were weeks I met her twice because i feraed if I didn’t, I would not live. Not that suicide was ever an option but I just felt that I would lie down one day and never ever get up again if there wasn’t something forcing me to get up.
And again and again I repeated the same story to her. Of pain, loss, sadness, grief, trauma, violation and a damaged heart and a broken spirit. Again and again and again. For years. Until out of somewhere the light started to come in. I gasped. It was the first breath of air I had been able to take. I was breathing! I was alive! Slowly the shackles that had tied me to darkness were being loosened. I met a friend around that time. She had a spark that couldn’t help igniting yours. ANd then I started to meet others that did the same.
ANd so started my journey back to life and to light.
Today life is in High Definition. Darkness visits me sometimes, I don’t fear it anymore. I greet it like an old friend, i let him stay a day or two, as he allows for some creativity, and then i force myself to bid him farewell.
Both the dark and the light have taught me much.
But mostly the darkness has amplified the Light in my life.
And for that, I am oddly grateful.
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I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog over the passed week because I have been miserable. So darn miserable that I didn’t want to write. Of course writing is one of the ways I get out of my misery but I really just wanted to wallow in hell. Don’t ask me why.
By Wednesday, all my lamenting and regret got so bad that I had no choice but to question why I wanted t be in so much pain. So I went soul searching. I get so lost sometimes it is hard to find Home again.
A few things I learnt is that at any moment I have the choice to be in Heaven or in Hell. For one, I had slacked on all the disciplines that make me feel better – exercise, eating right, a good night’s sleep, writing my daily pages (Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way thank you), and remembering to romance the ordinary (Romancing the Ordinary, Sarah Ban-Breathnach thank you).
So I have started to drag myself out of the pity party of “o woe is me” and have started to do the things that make my life a song. Spinning classes, yes, eating healthily, yes, a good night’s sleep, yes, and writing, yes, yes, yes.
And of course…romancing the ordinary. As i sat deciding what to have for breakfast this morning I caught the sugary sweet aroma of some pineapples I had bought at a local market. The smell caught my attention. There she was. The ordinary extraordinary pineapple. Her crown chakra an explosion of green, her entire body guarded by a prickly thorny substance…and yet that sweet aroma, it told me of a magic that lay beneath the hard exterior…I had to have her. Juicy, tart, bright, yellow, aromatic, lovely pineapple….
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