Saturday, 30 March 2013

Opting for life

The sound of the bar crashed over me, wetting me in the detritus of past failures, mixing with the bile of envy, which bubbled up from somewhere deep inside me till I could taste the loss on my lips.

I swallowed and closed my eyes, willing my racing heart to quieten, shutting down my inner conscience so it could not ask me any more questions, pushing back the sharp sounds of gaiety which bathed me in its technicolour hues, cutting me with its forced happiness. Her face stared back at me.

But why—I wondered—why was I so upset?

For I had moved on, hadn’t I? Had found another life.

Yet she had brought back memories, the comfort of the known, the mind numbing routine which robbed me of my line of thinking, seducing me with its comfort of not needing to feel.

To live life on automatic, not feeling what it meant to be really alive. No highs or lows, just the in between. I had opted for life. The pain of creation, the excitement of feeling. 
A space where I could feel my heart as a part of me. Where I was in myself, not living a separate existence. I realised, as long as I lived in the present it was so alright. 
No projecting into the future on the what I may not have.

Not dwelling on the past and what I had once had.

The present, when I was alive, healthy and had the warmth of my sweetheart’s arms around me welcoming me back.

That was what I had, this was my reality, and it was so right.

1 comment:

  1. I read the above extract before coming to Anja Hebner's own account of how her draft emerged, so that at first it came to me out of context. Yet on then reading the struggle over the draft and the many questions/tests put to the text after her first approach to a an agent and the humility with which she speaks of her own work, I was moved by her last few words: "I made the old man's life unforgettable and my dream come true."
    It became clear then, that humble though the view of her own draft may have been and difficult its passage, the struggle had been justified in memory of a loved one.
    Perhaps the agent should also consider that some of the most moving - and so successful work - comes from writers who have, in some measure, lived the trauma which provides some of the source of their story.