Monday, June 2, 2008


Roiling clouds twitching and flipping in an uncertain sky create a kaleidoscope of graduations of grey and blue and pale white. In the distance, blue beckons and promises surcease from the muted reality of a grey life. I feel so tired, body dragged and listless, mind unfocused and spirit damp with the weight of thought and soundless muted mutterings of a restless soul.

The labyrinth below me glows deep muted red in the fickle light which dances along the edge of sky and licks a glittering trail along the achingly tender green of the trees unfurling to the uncaring sky. Capricious gold dulls and turns a deep copper as sunlight is swallowed in the gasping breath of restless clouds, heavy bellied and pregnant with the promise of tears.

Trapped in my concrete tower, I yearn towards the restless lake which glints white-capped in the distance. I gaze around the panoramic reality which swings a kaleidoscope of colour and movement around the curvature of window and girder and embraces the changeable sky.

A lapsed Catholic, I miss the continuity and comfort of ritual but gazing out on the world I see the meshing of man and nature and the soaring needle of the Tower seems as spiritual as the spire on the Church of the Holy Cross below, both reflections of the human spirit’s need to climb the sky and reach out to a god unseen and unknown.

I feel a pleasant ache in my sinews and tendons, a gentle reminder of muscle, detritus of my workout an hour ago. Flexing pale flesh, pushing past the barrier of exhaustion and pain, lifting that last repetition until your arms and legs tremble and sweat rolls down a flushed face. I am a creature of gross habit and appetite; I relish to the reality of flesh though lose myself in the complicated highways of thought and emotion far too often.

Flesh grounds me to the here and now and in so doing, drags me into a reluctant embrace of self that the cerebral me tries to avoid. A thread on “emotions and beatings” recently got me musing on the repercussions of an intense session. Of course, I have an issue with the concept of “beatings” – although a question of semantics, “beatings” has negative connotations for me – a sense of non-consensual violence which I find offensive and off-putting. Flogging, for whatever reason, although admittedly the same actuality, has a different context, one which carries with it a sense of catharsis and pleasure.

Regardless of the connotations, floggings soothe me. They focus me, shut out extraneous noise and throw a blanket of calm around my chaotic mind. The world with its myriad demands and disappointments interwoven with life in all its messy emotional wants can create a state of anxiety and angst that is hard to relieve.

Taking the strings of my life and holding them in competent hands, winding them round and round my restless body to quieten its twitching need, to reach inside the chaos of a busy mind with the sharp sting of demand are moments I crave, sometimes with an almost unbearable want.

And need.

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