Blast from the Past September 15, 2008Posted by Lauren Cooke in Uncategorized.
Tags: blogging, creativity, Depression, Diary, Journal, memories, Writing
Sometimes you look back on something and see it signs of things yet to come. Signs that even when sixteen my life was dominated by flowery language, dark brooding curiosity and a sense that just outside my door lurked darkness and depression.
This is my journal – my occasional documentation of life’s woes and fascinations. My reassurance regarding the dark times, however, is that even at the very bottom of the pits I worked myself into, I still had a healthy respect for life. Which is good.
Butterflies. 25th September 2003.
In the still of the summer, two butterflies palpitate through the sweaty air. Wings outstretched, reaching and yearning, they come together, tumble apart. The rays of sun light them in a halo of golden dust, they swell in the air. They swing and spiral jointly, melding together and bounding apart, fluttering lazily towards the violent heat of the ashen floor. Then, in a sudden climax, they pound to the dirt, co-joined, and conclude the final act of their lust.
This is love. This heavy desire; all-powerful and all-knowing. Consuming in a fiery inferno all of your self. This hidden urge and desperate instinct colouring your vision, it’s sweet, sickly scent floating heavily on the air, almost tangible.
This is what I want to feel. And what I will.
Feather. 27th September 2003.
Lying on the stone-scattered ground is a feather. Small, with flimsy lengths of opulent softness combing to form an edge of silk that cuts through the air like a knife, slicing and separating the particles, dividing the very soul of the sky. The plume is shining in the dappled light under the trees, and it lies in wait for its victim.
I pick it up, feel the non-existence of it’s weight, the resistance of the air when I sweep it gracefully from side to side. I trace with its point across my cheekbone, I slide it from forehead to chin. The sensual blade pressing subtly against the unbroken innocence of my youthful skin. The hidden beauty in me is revealed by that sudden threat, and the trace of its path on my undressed, plundered dreams. Seconds later the feather is forgotten, and the moment is lost on the wind.
Fish. 29th September 2003.
Glancing through my photos I see a fish. It is silver, long and straight, with great cold eyes staring out at me from inside a deep, fathomless nowhere. Its glistening scales sparkle, gleaming and damp on the gravel floor, and from its back shines a delicate pattern made of all of the colours of oil on water. Although long dead, it seems still to glow from within.
I remember how I found that fish, and photographed it, lying alone in an empty driveway down in Cornwall. It just lulls there, waiting patiently to be discovered. So I stand there, heart beating cold and soft in my throat, pulsing in great heady gulps.
Did it fly to this desolate place, on hidden golden wings, fluttering in the half-light? Or did it run from the cold gripping tongues of the sea, coming to rest at my feet?
I will never know anything but the fact that it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if I had solved that puzzle.
Kiss. 30th September 2003.
She sits on the chair, face smiling. Her head tosses backwards, hair flying and glinting in the light. He watches her, a look on his face, calculating, considering, until the smile spreads lazily across his face too. He reaches a hand to caress her chin, stroking the soft smoothness of it, fingertips tracing her outline. His smoky eyes rest, for a moment, on the rosy fullness of her lips. She need not touch, the look is enough, drinking in all of him. He leans his head, silhouetted in the shadowed light, and lets his lips touch hers, in a moment of bliss. She is pushed backwards, head tilted, oblivious to the world around her. Then their lips part, leaving the sweet taste of each other resounding in their mouths and their heads.
The world starts moving again.
Depression. 2nd October 2003.
Depression can be a terrible thing. It clings and clutches, possessing the very essence of you, deep down in the darkest, filthiest corner of your mind. Sometimes it is only known to yourself, and is whispered only in the dark. So deep is it hidden, a despairing melancholy that sits like a lead weight in the very pit of your stomach, that it only shows in the shadows of the night, away from help or care. It is a boulder that at any time may fall, tumbling you into the void. On the surface you may laugh, and smile, but that dragon will lurk within, wanting more with every breath it takes, with the coming of autumn. As the light leaves the sky, and the leaves fall from the tree it catches hold of that most intimate part of your spirit, and feeds on your secret griefs. Only with the arrival of spring, the watery sunshine, the tentative blooms, can you snare it, and throw it, still struggling, from this world and into another.
Wind. 3rd October 2003.
Slowly the gale grows, capturing the wisps of draughts that stray through the air, building them, rolling them into one. The sound is growing too, from the faintest whisper to the full volume of it’s saturated roar. It sweeps, hearts pounding, through the trees, whisking leaves from their branches and dragging them along in the torrent of it’s fury. It shimmers, invisible, but solid in the dancing air.
Then, with a gasp and a gust, it sweeps on, swaying into the tranquillity of the unknown future.
Rain. 4th September 2003.
Standing at the window I stare at the infinite blackness of the night, hovering silently outside the glass. Rain is falling heavily through the concealment of the night, splashing slothfully onto the sodden ground. I breathe in the smell of it, the very pith of its being, the damp, earthy breath that fills my lungs and my head and my heart. I lean out as far as I can, suspended above the dirt far, far beneath me, raising my face upwards until it points towards the foaming clouds. The rain hits my face, cold, like shards of the purest ice, decanted from the juice of summers hidden springs. It runs into my eyes, and my ears, and trickles listlessly into the thickness of my hair. I feel with a tremor it run down my neck and across the warmth of my skin. I open my mouth, taste it against my tongue, loving the sensation as it dribbles down my throat. As it slides across the smoothness of my cheek I let my tears mingle, dampness on dampness, until one is indistinguishable from the other.
I am one with the rain.
Autumn. 7th September 2003.
It seems to be autumn. In the blink of an eye the sunshine has been swept away, and has been replaced by dark, fearless clouds, which march like an army across the skies. They bring with them fierce winds, which rip and tear at the bronzed leaves that hang flaccid and weak on the ragged branches. Chestnuts are torn from the shelter of their foundation, and thrown to the ground by the wrath of the wind. The onslaught continues, blowing birds from their flight, and sweeping up huge waves from the sea. Suddenly that blessed sunlight has left, and shadows rule the world, thrusting their weight through the abandoned ground. Everything is damp to the touch, cold and wet and bedraggled.
And, from the middle of this torment, the eye of the storm, people realise it is autumn.
Lips. 10th October 2003.
I sit and I watch people talking. Face brimming with emotion, eyes roaming forwards and back, cheeks stretching themselves into expression. I see their foreheads wrinkle as they frown or grin, but above all I watch their lips. Some are thick, volumes, uttering sentences softly, placing dense emphasis on words. Others are thin, so tight and drawn that they are barely there at all. Some rarely make any expressing, while others purse and pout, grin and frown, laugh or withdraw into themselves. I see people who only watch others lips, never focusing on their eyes, whereas others never look below the nose, blushing if they capture a glance of rosy skin. There are thousands of shades, some gentle, others stark and bold. The bright red of blood, painting their tissues, or a fragile delicate pink. I watch in astonishment the hues of black, and blue as they slide past my eyes, the deep tints of brown, scattered with the sparkles of a thousand stars. I imagine their texture, some rough, and dry, others rich and full, softer than cotton wool. Some are damp, as people run pointy tongues across the rims, whereas more are softened with a stick of balm, or Vaseline.
So many textures, so many types, that I don’t know where to look.
I begin to blush.
Darkness. 12th October 2003.
The night-time is tangible, a laden weight that hangs heavily over the sky. It lies in wait, throbbing with unbreakable blackness. The solitude is complete, separating you from your friends, taking you into a world of demons and devils – the world of the shadow. Your eyes sense nothing, flicking from side to side, increasingly panic-stricken. Hands out stretched you feel you way, all other senses destroyed, eliminated, buried deep beneath that fountain of Hell. You run.
Kefalonia. 10th November 2003.
I can still taste the Baklavas, the sweet syrup trickling down the mound of my chin, filling the caverns of my greedy mouth before dissolving, pure sugar slipping down my throat, running silkily over my tongue and dripping glossily onto the table. The crunchy nuts, buried between chewy, thin layers of the most delicate of pastries, crumbling in my hands. The herbs, tangy and aromatic, spicing the bundle until the mixture of tastes resounds in your mouth for those few delicious minutes, and haunts your mind for hours.
I can still see the beaches, the hard edged roundness of the stones, pressing against my feet, and the sand folding around my toes. I can see the whiteness of the bay, perfectly round, and the clarity of the blue, blue water, in which I swim, the liquid caressing my skin, frothing around my ankles and consuming the heat of the sun on my body with a carnal lust.
Then there are the mountains, reaching up into the sun-baked sky, the deep green of trees suspended against the ferocious indigo, hanging silently in the air. The clouds gathering around the summit, clambering laboriously over the rolling landscape, rising the to the peak before thawing into a brief outline of non-existence, a trembling limbo, hovering for only a second.
The plaintive wailing of the cats, some fat, flesh rolled around their well fed succulence, others scrawny, meat hanging of their bodies, mucus hanging from bloody noses. I can feel it rubbing against me, the ragged bundle of bones with the spirit of a cat. Never have I felt so much pity. Then the kitten, adoring eyes and the dearest tabby ginger pattern. I remember the feel of it nestled asleep inside my shirt, the gentle beating of it’s tiny heart against mine, pounding together, warmth against warmth. Kefalonia.
On the roof. 11th November 2003.
I hear it’s gentle pattern dancing on the slates, hear it’s rhythm slide inside be, calming my beating heart. I begin to cry. The music of the droplets resonates inside my very soul, tremulous, like a dying note plucked on the string of a violin, fading to nothingness. The loudness, and the softness, still me. For once I am calm, and I just sit, I listen to the rain, and I cry.
Night. 12th November 2003.
It hovers outside, cool and shadowed, staring through the polished glass, frosted with beaded jewels of ice, and clouds of breath, trapped against the pane. It watches, standing still and silent against the darkness, looking and seeing the movement indoors. It is rigid, unmoving, a hunter stalking its prey, who hides behind protective shields. I can hear its breathing, harsh and rasping against the warmth of my skin. Only moonlight illuminates it body, spun from wisps of pain and fear that pass its hiding place in the witching hour, as it lurks in front of doors and windows, awaiting a victim to suck into the solitude of its depths. Here they will see terror, and anguish, as souls reborn die again, in the fiery pits were breath is snatched from your mouths and spectral creatures await your death. A death that, sure as day and night, will come. You have no choice. Surrender.
Anorexia. 14th November 2003.
A skeleton, covered in a layer of skin as thin and frail as tissue paper, stretched across the frame of bone, so organs can be seen pressed against the barrier. The line of a hip, sharp, and the definition of light and shadow. Hair falling onto the ground and lying, scattered where it fell. Then there are the eyes, staring out from the cavernous crevices. They are dark, staring out of the hollow face like beads of soul suspended in the sea of hell. They shine, glorious, for a moment, before sinking into emptiness, and disappearing.
Growing up. 18th November 2003.
I realised a few days ago that I had begun to grow up. The recognition hit me with a desperate and resounding crash, and for hours I could think of nothing else. The very idea that I, weird and wonderful Lauren Cooke, girl of quirky phases and the mental age of five, could so startlingly feel older was tiring, to say the very least. Suddenly I felt my age, and couldn’t believe that this was how everyone else felt – thoughts of “wow, he’s cute”, replaced the nursery rhymes in my head, and I noted the strangest feeling of understanding. No longer was I a little girl, floating around in a peachy world full of flowers and inflatable hearts, but a young adult, seeing the pain, misery and suffering around me, regarding the world with a bleak yet excited outlook, and still finding time to worry about the size of my nose. To be honest, I had never really understood that I hadn’t grown up yet – I had fancied boys, enjoyed romantic comedies and fountains of other teenage actions, but I had never truly established why. I mean, I still don’t really know now, but I get the undeniable impression that I’m that little bit closer.
Life. 7th December 2003.
It’s a glorious thing. A string of moments after moments, suspended like a spider web. It entwines you inside its spirit so tightly that you become one and the same, two parts of one breath. And, if you allow it, everything takes on more colour, more clarity, until it glows with an inner light so sharp that it burns a lasting image in your breast, that stings with the most beautiful of pain. And every pump of your heart echoes the nature all around you, the rustle of the wind in the leaves, the ripple of water, the coldness of concrete, the smoothness of silk. Without even thinking it, at some deeper, unconscious level, every moment is spent feeling thankful, for the blood keeping you alive, for the confines of your skin, for the silence of the air. This is what you must cling to, hold onto with every fibre of your being. This thankfulness, this gratitude, this recognition of all that is you. Hold onto it, and never let go.
Me. 3rd February 2004.
I turned on this computer to complain about the futility of life, the restrictions of the living. Then I read the last entry, and I realised how lucky I am to be here at all, not suspended in some hollow limbo, barely noticing the passing of time. I could be trapped, cocooned, shielded from all that is real and therefore mine to feel, to see, to smell and to want. I forget that people don’t spend their lives blessed, drinking honey and warm milk, with sheets of silk and friends of gold. No one, however rich, or however beautiful, or however clever, has it all, no matter how much it may seem like that from a distance, and through rose-tinted glasses – or violet, depending on your tastes. And so the anger, and the hurt, is now dripping out of me, now flowing, and now roaring like a river in full flow. How can you feel so alone, so isolated, in a world of 6 billion people – every one of who have felt exactly the same, and probably even worse? The answer is that you can’t, you just feel alive – and what more could anyone wish for?
Moon. 8th February 2004.
The moon is huge, hanging heavily above the blackened silhouette of the moorland, so far away. It glows from within in a deep yellow, smouldering against the sky, and it is enwreathed in a pale ring of mist, which fades delicately at its edges into the dark blue of the sky. As it rises the colour changes, to the sharpest of whites, so every nick and graze on its age-old surface is traced by the light, so bright that it leaves an image, a shadow, on the back of your eye. Below, on the earth, the town lights radiate an orange lustre onto the street, patches of dappled luminance, and above, far, far above, the stars stand out sharp and crisp against the sky.
It is beautiful.
Air. 10th February 2004.
It hangs, everywhere, gliding through the skies, and across mountain ranges that stretch into the air like great prongs, giant finger from the past, forgotten. It fills out lungs, where it warms and it moistens, and as it leaves it takes with us some molecules of self. It brushes against our skin, sometimes cool, raising tiny spots of flesh, and sometimes warm, soothing away our aches and pains in one hot caressing gust. It fuels the world, every form, and touches everything, in some form. It is therefore all, and yet not all, here and yet untouchable.
Words. 1st March 2004.
They have slowed down, the words, from when I began the diary. Before they had flowed out of me in a torrent, pressing and pushing to be released. They were repressed deep inside, with no way to touch the outside world, no way to escape. Then with this diary, came a release, freeing them, letting them flee into the land of the here and now. I still have words inside me, and they are coming out now, but the dam has been unblocked, and the words are a trickle, that occasionally floods, a steady stream of meanings and dreams, truths and untruths. A representation of existence.
Birthday. 7th March 2004.
Here I am, at the celebration of my beginning, an anniversary of the day on which I was thrown into the indescribable chaos of this universe, small, fat yet suspiciously perfect. Here I am, once again, feeling let down. The build up is huge – “17 – another year older”, yet you feel no different from the day before. It is a time for resolutions, commitments to be made, yet instead we sing a song, light a candle and find that the day goes ever so slowly. And I may like to make a wish, and dream of it coming true, but to be blunt, the likely hood is that it won’t. It will just stack itself up in the growing pile of unused, discarded yearnings, forgotten, or it may sit and fester, unloved and ignored. Of course birthdays are nice, days where the world at least tries to make you happy, and I would never ask for birthdays to be cancelled, for how could the passing of each year in time be marked, and how else would we track our existence? Oh – and I do like receiving presents!
My kiss. 16th July 2004.
It has happened. Together we walk to the park, his hand resting in my back pocket, mine on his hip. We talk, and conversation flows between us easily, the bridge that is linking us as the moment approaches. Then he turns towards me and an understanding is reached, without words or expectations. Then we are one, tongues touching, lips connecting. He pulls me to him, I comply, loving the pressure of the embrace, lost in the wilderness of feeling. We break away, smile, and begin to walk again.
Perfect guy. 18th July 2004.
Ok. Here he is. The man that cannot exist. The man that my heart longs for even at this tender age. Part of me will search out the men in this world with some of these characteristics. Will keep looking for as long as it takes, until I find that definitively unperfected soul out there designed to match the rhythms tapped out by mine.
His hands will be strong, yet delicate, with a gentleness to them that contrasts the force that rests within them. I will love the pressure of his skin against mine. Touching will be easy, a carnal lust will burn between us. He will be intelligent, know his own mind. He will see the me that others miss, whether through learning or a kind of immediate recognition. I will see the real him. Not just the now – the past, future and all else will be simply apparent. Unspoken messages can pass between us. He makes me laugh, from deep within, at me, at him, at the world. Dark haired, he will slip into my subconscious and linger there for days. He will want me as I want him.
Home. 5th August 2004.
We went on holiday recently. My mum spent the time exclaiming in an awed voice about the beauty of the lakes, the clarity of the unbroken water, the dizzying exhilaration of the mountains reaching up into the air. And as she said this, defined the perfection and beauty that surrounded her, I found that deep within me I disagreed. The mountains – yes they were beautiful, and yes, the lakes were very pretty, but they failed to touch me. I found that I longed for the long, empty expanses of moorland, determined by the falling of light and shadow on the rough grass, the harsh grey stone. I longed for the sea that was so close, so accessible, it’s gentle, fierce, unforgiving waters extending until the eye can no longer see it. And then, as I searched within myself, wondering why the place I was in failed to excite me, I realised. It wasn’t that it was ugly, or lacking in atmosphere – it was just that it wasn’t home.
Dreams. 9th August 2004.
I am one of the only people I know who has dreams. Real, almost solid dreams that keep my mind occupied throughout the long dark hours of the night. They strike even me as weird, full of disproportionate sizes, luminous colours and situations almost overflowing with their powerful uniqueness. I love these dreams, love everything about them – that my mind can create in such detail these alternate realities, can design a world for my sleeping mind to occupy once, and usually never again. Some of the dreams fade away before the morning has come, leaving me only with the vague feeling that yes, I did dream. Others seem to leave a burning brand upon my mind, and float to the surface repeatedly, so that I will remember them weeks later. Without dreams, I think, night-time would be very boring.
Questions. 21st August 2004.
Life is a giant “What if?” A series of questions layered upon questions, enquiries, dreams, structuring our lives. What makes the human species continue to thrive, steadily increasing, growing, and learning? Curiosity, you know, was what stopped the cat crossing the road in front of the car. Had he not twitched his feline whiskers and wondered what the bright lights were he would have been one flat puss. And so, as minds across the world solve problems, everyone, at some level, ponders the questions that are so easily accessible. What is the meaning of life? Why is resistance futile? Why does “spring water that has trickled through mountains for centuries” have a use by date? Question that we know will never… ever… be answered.
Romantic comedies. 19th September 2004.
Ok. It has always seemed to me that when love is getting you down, there is no better treatment than a twenty-four hour marathon of romantic comedies, full of significant looks and happy endings. Now, of course, as I sit watching yet another Cinderella fall in love with her gorgeous prince, I have begun to doubt my reasoning. Why force yourself to watch all those other people falling head over heels in love, when the reason that you’re there is because it isn’t happening to you? Now, when I’m feeling unhappy in love, I sit down and watch Romeo and Juliet. No depressing romance is more likely to make you feel glad about being OUT of love. It’s true – watching the two Star cross’d die acts as a very successful wake up call. That is forgetting, of course, that you’re madly in love with Leonardo Di Caprio. A minor problem in an otherwise foolproof solution.
Cold. 7th October 2004.
As winter grows, getting bigger and bigger, stronger and stronger, the darkness of the night encroaches. The coldness comes with it, following in its footsteps, fleet footed as an angel. When it reaches you, it delves deep into your defences, working away at you until you’re shivering, shaking, cold as deep as cold can be. The icy raindrops slash against your skin, raising with its touch hard nubs of skin, trying to keep close against you what little warmth remains. It’s bloody freezing.
Greenery. 6th May 2005.
The plants that only last month bust forth with buds and leaves have settled from their eager luminance into a deeper colour – a green of solidity and resonance, consigned to its function, and used to the world. The plants are still stretching, the novelty of spring not completely dispersed, and fronds still thrust their way towards the sun hovering so temptingly above. Flowers begin to emerge from tiny, intricate capsules, petals still softened by their enclosure, unready for the assaults of the wind and the rain. The rose grows strong and a deep, deep red, so softer than even the most delicate of satins. The thorns are not only weapons for defence, but shining green blades depicting its strength and virility. The greenery is fresh, and the days are long.
Dependency. 29th April 2006.
You need the pill like its part of you that’s been ripped out and stolen – a kidney, a heart. It’s the only way you can be this new improved version of yourself, this better person, this raging socialite. The nice guy. You’ve tried being without it; scary as the idea is, risking everything to try and be who you are on your own. Found that the same old thoughts creep their way back in, slide into your mind and settle happily in the same old places, chattering away and jabbing for your attentions. You’re scared of taking the pill again to make it go away, half of you unwilling to give up this feeling of absolute control and absolute un-control, the chance to do anything you want or need. Cut cold metal deep into your skin, fly out of open fifth storey windows, cry for no known reason, focus on one thought and watch it roar and rumbling in ever decreasing circles around your head. Pop the pill in, watch normality rearrange itself. Question how long it will take to be “better” again.
Feel odd want to
hate myself more
than I already do. Am
I always like this
or is it only when I’m
not drugged up like
some zinc filled pill
popper? I no it’s the
right thing to do but
Jesus I feel like a
bit of a failure in the
world – can’t survive
for myself, which is