I struggle with this time of year. My thoughts always get pulled to dark places. The winter tries to keep its claws in. My parent’s death is in my mind, and my own inability to find the chances I so yearn for in work and in life. Reading this every day you might start to think that I am satisfied in the chaos, or that my relentless cheer is rooted through me to the extent that I am oblivious to pain. In the cards I always identify with The Fool. I can find peace in a maelstrom, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the wind. Yes I will fall off a cliff and land in a pile of cushions. But as Alice’s card says: “The jester doffed his cap and bells, And stood the mocking court before; They could not see the bitter smile Behind the painted grin he wore. ” I’ll make you laugh. I’ll try to take away your cares. But that’s as much as anything else because I understand them.

There are gaping voids within all of us – and me as much as you. Thwarted hopes and missed expectations – for ourselves and for our friends. It’s about how we deal with them. I actively hate having to phone utility companies and beg forbearance every month, time after time – this juggling act I do before the bailiffs get instructions and I have to manage those obstructive and expensive humans too. But I am getting better at it through unhappy practice. Many of my friends fight tooth and nail to make rent, more have compromised into work they hate. I am surrounded by lovely people, despite not having that elusive partner in love – although admittedly I haven’t really been looking. And my beautiful talented friends – some are being bullied, some marginalised, some overworked, some undervalued and many are just as alone as I am if not much much more so. People with deep strange eloquent amazing voices are having those voices taken from them. Some of them are fighting tooth and nail. Others are resigning to it. I don’t know which upsets me more.

This time last year I felt I had turned a corner. To be honest, I had done. I had just got back from a changing time in America, and I felt the benefit of that change. I still feel it now. But damn it’s hard to hold the positive right now. Important to remember that tonight is the last night of the precedence of dark. On Tuesday the dark and the light are balanced evenly. And from then the days get longer than the nights. Too many of my friends are experiencing pain and obstruction today. It has been a long long winter and this cold is helping it linger in our hearts. But the light is coming. I suppose I need to think of this as the last tendrils of the darkness clinging to me as I wander aimlessly into whatever lighter place I find…





Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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