Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I gaze at my reflection in the distorted mirror of the window, as if a room exists overhanging the square below and an alternate me treads wearily through the drudgery of days. Moisture, feathery wavering lines of pale tears, glide through the dark pulsing sky and sigh against the window and I close my eyes and imagine I feel the cool, tickling kiss against my heated skin.

I see behind me the harsh reality of fluorescent light and my silhouette wavers, insubstantial and tentative. Colours are muted and bleed one into another, the crispness of my life softened and smudged and edged into drifting smoke and eddies of illusion.
I sip my coffee and ponder the impenetrability of motivation.

I watch the alternate me and yearn for flesh to peel away. I crave the jut of bone, the sweep of flesh, smooth and void of bumps and substance. I want to see the layers of self slough away like the papery, crackling skins of an onion … one, two, three and the lessening, the shrinking and the going away of size and substance until the centre is reached and there is blessed nothing.

There was an episode of Buffy (Out of Sight, Out of Mind) where a girl called Marcie, ignored, unseen by her classmates or anyone else (including teachers) just fades …. disappears – her body that is …. she becomes a phantom, although still THERE… she still exists and has impact (in fact she is rather spiteful). But you watch as she slowly fades…. as one more slight, one more incident of being overlooked, one more snub and she gets more and more opaque…

Sometimes I feel like that … as if I am losing my hold on the three dimensional world we inhabit. Even my voice sometimes takes too much effort to project and I find it more comfortable to simply allow it to fade into silence, to strangle behind the constriction of words unsaid, of thoughts unformed.

I am still these days. Like the placid surface of a small pond, glassily calm, unmoved by wind or breath, I pull into myself more and more. I drag about me the tendrils of thought and want and tuck them carefully into the long sweep of flesh, away from touch and sense and embrace to my inner core any emotion that might disturb the pristine surface of my life.

Sometimes it is just more comfortable to be quiet.

Yet, yet … I used to be a creature of sensation, of movement and passion and hot desire.

So many thoughts tumbling and roiling in the caldron of my confused mind.

Lately, I have seen my thoughts in terms of equilibrium – a scale… and feathery light touches can disturb the balance and tumble me into the pits of despair and resignation.

Sensation…. craving, wanting, needing, internalizing sometimes obsesses me – yet like a disturbed child, I shy away from the solid reality of flesh on flesh. Yet I remember wanting touch so obsessively it become a type of madness, an overwhelming need to run my hands over his flesh and find in it, the tactile reassurance of the connection of heart and soul. My skin would ripple and concentric curves of feeling would explode within my body.

But then, I once thought once that our lives were our own, our destiny an uncharted wilderness to explore and discover. I thought once that patterns of our past, experiences honed in shame and ignorance were merely dead-end tributaries, meant to be abandoned with lessons learned and incorporated into the overall pattern of our journey. I believed once that we created the journey as we lived it – that ahead lay possibilities undreamed of and a hundred thousand possible endings.

I am not sure I believe now.

Or is it only me? A sad, silly creature, trapped in the tangled web of past experiences, destined to make the same mistakes over and over, unconscious promptings of failure pricking at the small undulations of hope and change that I yearn to find within the tangled skein of a life without purpose.

My lot was set in the meandering ravings of some insane universal cosmic force and as I gaze uncomprehending at the figure gazing at me, I find a certain ironic humour in my plight and find it in me to sigh at the inevitability of my own destruction.


Anonymous said...

Your self description mirrors my life in so many ways. I look back and wonder if I made the best use of my days and look forward to see if I might ever be significant.

They say you aren't suppose to live your life with regrets, but I don't know if that is humanly possible. Selkie, you are always saying that choices take us to our paths, but often those choices were made impulsively. They were often, because of some inadequacy we were feeling at that moment in our life, driven by our need to feel important, wanted or needed.

Fleshly touch is the most assuring feeling I know and I need it constantly, even if it is just in my mind.

Buffalo said...

Life, in many ways, is similar to attending school. As we master various required subjects we are given the freedom to choose an increasing number of electives. Yet we are never entirely free of requirements. If we avoid the subject long enough something will throw us in the classroom.

(Obtuse enough?)

The surface of your pond well may be tranquil. Below the surface I suspect one will find a whirling maelstrom.

selkie said...

TG - god knows I never held that our choices are all made while in a rational and measured state of mind! On the contrary, i think that many of us DO make our choices impulsively and without forethought and DO live to regret them.

I know that my own rationality tells me, however, that we would most likely make the SAME choices if we went back; because utlimately we chooose the lives we do for the reasons then impacing our thoughts at that time.

Buff, there is a maelstorm of emotion, forces and activity going on under that calm surface....

Amber said...

You said you used to think: that our lives were our own, our destiny an uncharted wilderness to explore and discover

Yes, that's still true. To an extent. Life itself has control over us as well. Illness, accidents, death; can't stop those. Can't control others' feelings, either. But we can choose our own direction; whether Life sends huge waves to toss us along the way, or whether Life is being smooth as glass. (I MUCH prefer the latter, lol!)

I have been involved with a lot of illness and death this past year and it's made me more aware of just how much we really DO have in this life and how precious and brief our lives really are. Take advantage of what you have now and don't let the various obstacles life throws in your way stop you.

I know it's hard to do; not saying it's easy. But it's better than the alternative, you know? :)

Loving Annie said...

Oh Selkie, honey... you are not alone... I know I've felt it - unseen, unnoticed, fading... hope gone, dreams that never came true crushing me with the weight of their failure...


Maybe our blogs give us a chance to be heard and that is why we write them. We need to know we exist, and here, we get validated, and we matter...

M:e said...

Soft wise words....just soft hugs.


Liara Covert said...

You are beautiful. Every perception of yoruself is a step closer to the truth you have temporarily forgotten.

Liras said...

You are not sad or silly (but you do have a good sense of humor).

Plainly speaking you see that as we live, we do fade. The old parts of us pass, revealing new parts.

Nothing sad or silly about that.

I agree that most people would do the same things over again. But I bet they disagree!