Blue morning, wide water, frozen window, sharp feeling.


I think it was back in í65 when I walked along this beach last. Memories of another era flood through my mind, uncontrollable and unwelcome. I canít help but look back and consider the consequences of everything I have done in my life since then; scrutinize every decision knowing that it was influenced by that moment, analyse the smaller details of an otherwise uneventful childhood to find traces of what brought me to that point. I know that it is important to push them aside and continue with my existence in a way that only I know how, but Iím ashamed of my life and how it has turned out and I wish that it had all been very different. I never considered that I would look back to that point with a hunger and unquenchable thirst to go back in time and put it right. But, the past is the past they say and we must forge ever onward with whatever cards we have been dealt, or those that we have taken.

The morning was cold, sharp, biting. The sun ripped through the azure blue sky belying the depth of the winter ravaging the rest of the country. Even being this close to the vast ocean hadnít brought the temperature up enough to fend off the attack of the artic. Snow drifts covered the sand dunes furthermost from the sea. A slight wisp of cloud accented the sky. The air was filled with the pik pik of the oystercatchers sifting the sand for worms to supplement their opulent diet, the cry of the Kittiwakes nesting on the cliffs of small protruding rock islands, the crash of the surf breaking on the shore, the smell of the ozone, and the metallic aftertaste of regret.

I donít remember why I had chosen to take a walk along the sands on that very morning; small details like that just fade into insignificance compared to the enormity of what followed. It was a place that I had always turned to in times of trauma, getting lost in the vastness of the wide water, the tranquillity that engulfed you, forcing you to give up your worries and your fears, placing them out for the scavenging gulls to pick at. It was a place that had become my sanctuary, my Eden. But that day, the keepers of my garden were not smiling on me, they allowed the fire to enter my world and ravage everything that I held so dear.

I never returned; just the thought of the place made me nauseous and my body would automatically go into a self defence mode and start to shut down. This, I believe is how the blackouts started. My mind terrified of allowing me to retrace the events of that day would take evasive action and throw me to the floor in a perverse way of saving me from myself. I would often come to many days later, in a hospital ward with no recollection of anything that had transpired. I would check out of this mini break hotel and continue down my slow road to destruction, until the next time I felt the need to revisit.

It was only as I approached forty that like so many other people, I started to think about my life; what I had achieved, what I was worth, sorting through everything, researching my material, and preparing myself for my inevitable mid life crisis. My mind kept invoking its self defence counter measures, stopping me from scaling the wall that I had spent years building and I found myself spending more and more time in the company of doctors and sick people. Eventually, I managed to drag myself kicking and screaming to see a shrink; And that, brought me here, back to the beginning.

Written Without Prejudice
written without prejudice
Stories to go to bed with
stories to go to bed with

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