Time took its time but found me in the end laying here gazing through the skylight at vagrant clouds scuttling past into the future.
I knew my thoughts would catch up with me however far I go along with these clouds or wherever else I find myself drifting.
It’s winter, it often is for at least three months a year and more and rarely less, but, even winter takes a breath every now and then and stands absolutely motionless, weary of its own momentum for a moment as though caught suspended between pauses, waiting. For what, what are you waiting for? I’ll ask, and it always replies echoing my question, what are you waiting for?
What am I waiting for?
I love winter, but it doesn’t always love me. But that’s the way with lovers, never easy, never simple, fractures and plasters, kisses and blisses. When one season meets the next they’ll exchange initial niceties, like strangers do, strangers who’ve never exchanged more than a phatic comment. Seasons will touch, tentatively, warily, at first wondering whether or not they should be. They’ve done it before but are still unsure that they’ve remembered rightly how and when they last came into contact. Times change, one year older, though do seasons age? Does the sky age? Do clouds age? Both seasons are moving, one slowing down while the other quickens its pace becoming slightly impatient.
Nervous, hesitant but their collision is a fait accompli.
That’s another inconvenient quirk of time; it only seems to go one way, mostly anyway. Then, after the pleasantries, the handover, what then? Is it akin to those initial moments reacquainting with an old lover? How much have each changed, do those changes matter when standing on a cusp?
When two seasons meet it can be subtle, it can be tender, explorative, or, it might be sudden, explosive, impulsive, pent-up energy and aching for connection, for touch, for a reaction, a wanting more than anything in that single, instantaneous moment.
It could be catastrophic, it could be ecstatic.
But I watch time passing framed by the Velux not seeing nor caring what is just out of frame, as each passing cloud or patch of sky is usurped by the next. I feel the heavens looking down on me, bearing down, weighed down. Prone, on the bed, exposed to its infinite, an endless distance of possibilities into which I could fall at any given or taken moment and keep falling never to stop into the up forever.
So winter is coming and autumn knows it, I can tell by the way it bristles the fine hairs on my arms. It’s as though it’s preparing itself for its own demise, knows its sky has almost been run, run out of clouds of an autumn hue. Its landscapes of possibilities diminish as leaves are stripped from the trees, grass slows to a halt, birds change their song, learn or re-learn new stanzas, old cadenzas, light becomes elusive stretching shadows to breaking point, the sun keeping low, its head down, increasingly unobtrusive some days evading all but the keenest sky-watcher.
It’s frayed, a little broken, its imperfections become glaring while still attempting to remain resolute and bold. I can feel its intrusion, through the pane, I sometimes feel as transparent as the glass.
I am both hidden and exposed. No one can see in and yet the universe is watching, unconcerned but enticed by my boldness. I am teasing the universe. This thought explodes inside me confined only by my skin, my flesh, my pale young body lying here, feeling the mass of the world and more pulling and pushing me with gravity. I lie here offering everything and nothing.
I want it. I don’t want it. It’s too much. It’s not enough. It’s reaching in as I’m reaching out, like seasons colliding on a cusp. We grab, cling to one another, hold on for fear of spinning out of control.
I don’t want to lose control. I do want to lose control.
There’s a truth in surrender that doesn’t exist in control; an honesty, brutal at times but necessary and unequivocal, its attraction unbearable. I’m a bird migrating at night caught and dazzled by a lighthouse believing it to be the moon while round and round and round I go spinning , charmed in its candlelit vortex.
Aren’t they supposed to warn you of rocks, of shallows, of hidden dangers and draw you away from and not towards?
Winter waits, it has all the time in the world but knows full well it won’t have to wait long. It bides on the brink of a chilled breeze, flexing its fingers, watching the turn, turn, turn.