My dreams have morphed into the terrors again. The sleep paralysis that echoed through childhood, teen hood, adulthood. Like ice on my skin, eyes on me, hands on me, my mind trapped in another plane, aware so much of the phantom beings lingering just beyond my reach. One grabs my throat, another creeps up my body beneath the sheets, in the corner she stands, completely still, but throws unnatural energy at my paralysed body, a child runs up the mattress beside me, whispers in my ear, stirs the hair there. It isn’t new, its familiar. I take comfort in my nightmares. Latch on to the adrenaline of the terrorising. Work the half awake state into dribbles of awful poetry. It’s been happening for nights on end. But I want it to happen, in some sick self torment, I crave being frightened. Crave feeling something. How disturbing is that?
Loneliness has tender fingers, skilled at subduing you, softly, over time. Bit by bit I just feel hollow, aware in moments, but fleeting. Loneliness is me and I’ve resigned to rooting myself in it. It’s like the universe has sentenced me to myself.
Two drinks down and my nerves are submerged in the liquor. My tongue is lose, my wit a dagger, swift and hitting the mark. We play ‘never have I ever’ around the table of a bar. Not a half hour earlier I tripped up over my order, rehearsed efficiently over and over in my head whilst we waited in line, I could feel my eyes doing the deer in a headlight act and my cheeks flamed as I forced myself to make normal eye contact with the cute bartender. Now I am lightning, unashamed of my tame and uncertain self but happy to divulge whatever naughty parts of me I keep well hidden. The mystery is unraveled between sips of ale and laughter with company that I might just be allowing myself to trust. Let’s pretend it won’t make me nauseous to replay the words, clumsily spoken tonight, in the morning.
Mostly, these days, I’m living in moments of contentedness, between wicked snips of anxiousness brutal enough to crumble it all but I won’t let them. Here, I’m in the careful hold of Mother Nature and I feel cared for. The sunshine embracing me, the mountain shielding me, my bare feet on the ocean packed sand grounding me. I’m so grateful to have the homecoming of the tide, regardless of the geographical location. So lucky to have that reminder of vastness, limitlessness, a certainty of all that’s greater than me.
This tiny town may not offer many other distractions but it does provide me steady comfort. Some time to breathe and some time to indulge in a simple life. A life dreamt up by a younger self, longed for so ardently. Here there is time to read and to write and to create. Time to be alone. If only I could teach myself to be alone again. But I will…I am. Slowly during long evenings at the beach with my book and the play of the waves and the plain, too often overlooked, gratitude at having even made it to this point in my life, and more so making it here at all. All alone, by my own means, I made it to this random place I’d never heard of before I set foot in New Zealand. I’m in New Zealand. And my god if I’m not in awe of myself and all I do, all the courage and commitment I throw into living my life on my terms despite that part of me set up for self destruction.
Love, light and wild courage, N x