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January 18, 2017

Back to that square, the gloomy square marked with a huge and ominous ‘One.’ Thrust there not by choice, but by an event or a series of events over which there was never any control. An illness, a vessel burst, an impact, whatever the array of causes, the outcome is never the same. One thing does however expose the outcome, the condition, the aftermath. Ironically that tell-tale sign is, Invisibility. The chasm within is betrayed by the facade. The strong outer walls become the enemy. Inside the building the walls have crumbled and rot is plaguing the structure. It soon becomes simply a shell of the construction that once proudly stood. People casually walk by and see those outer walls; the impenetrable shell that hides the truth. The walls become a fortification, a barricade. It’s impressive but it’s all that can be viewed. The stark reality of what that building contains is undetectable. And so, forever and a day the truth can never be seen. Just like that building, the damage done can never be seen. From the outside, in the clear light of day all looks well. However the fight within is neatly tucked away out of sight and nobody, nobody will ever believe the stories of the turmoil hidden away inside. It can’t be true, it isn’t true. The building looks so well, so strong that it is somehow utterly impossible to conceive that all is not well inside. And yet, they never ask, they never question. The judgements are set in stone and there they will stay. Onwards and upwards. Or… sideways. But the privileged few know the truth, the secret. It never needed explaining to them, they didn’t need to be told. They just knew. That alone is an enormous comfort and a huge relief from the doubters and cynics who continue to add to erosion within. It is far from a deliberate act, how can they ever know? Without peering inside, nobody will ever see. And there is much work to be done to get that view, to see within. Much care is required and for most a casual walk by is by far the easiest option. Look but don’t touch, view but don’t inquire. And walk away. Life goes on, the clock continues to tick. And every day, every single day, that birdsong slices through the air like a hungry eagle hunting its prey. Square One is a lonely place. There are long days and even longer nights. The mind is a complex organ. It has an uncanny knack of flexing its muscles in the hours where only the all-consuming darkness resides. The minutiae of life fills the thoughts, the tiniest detail has become so important that it must be dissected with surgical precision. Sleep constantly battles against the powers of deep thought, of worry, of an astonishing lack of self-awareness. Intense tiredness becomes an ugly force intent on overtaking every aspect of life. Sometimes the searing pain of that hot dagger in the temple works in tandem with the mind to stamp on any chance of sleeping. The night draws out like a long, lonely road devoid of all life. Every night, until the chill of the birdsong. That damn birdsong. Tweet tweet. Occasionally, very occasionally, light pierces through the darkness. A beacon, to reach for, to yearn after. It glistens, it shimmers, but virtually as soon as it appears, it is gone. Brief, very brief. That darkness is so intense that any light must force a path and the task isn’t an easy one. Within the days, weeks, months and years the light appears infrequently. It is a welcome break from the monotony of the gloom. Lessons are soon learnd. The brightness will not be around for long, cherish it while it remains a part of life. There might not be any more along for quite some time. In the meantime memories are all that remain. Memories that flutter like litter in a strong wind. A damaged brain simply can’t distinguish old memories from new. Soon the refuse of life becomes one enormous and utterly confusing mixture that can’t be controlled or understood. There just isn’t a sweeping brush large enough to cope with that amount of debris. Aint life grand.

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