There are about half a dozen blog drafts languishing on my hard drive. In my bid to put distance between first and last drafts (is there ever a last draft?), by the time I come back to edit them, the moment has passed. If I can be absolutely honest, I feel guilty about working on anything else right now that isn’t my manuscript. Even my personal diary has been relegated to a few dot points about dreams, or scraps of thoughts that occur to me throughout the day. Sometimes I diarise through playlists. Spotify informed me that I made my 400th the other day. Whoops.
On that note, here’s one of my new favourites. It’s not finished yet, but I suspect it never will be.
Recently, I’ve been researching attachment theory and trauma and addiction (my usual light reading), as well as listening to lectures by trauma specialist Dr. Gabor Maté. Is it easier to call someone a drug addict, or crazy, than look at our own habits? We are all addicted to something, he claims. We all want to fill an emptiness within us. But addiction itself isn’t the problem, Maté says. It’s the solution to a personal battle that no one can see. Stephen asked me what I thought my addiction was. Music I replied quickly. That’s a given. Connection. As far as addictions go, that last one seems fairly harmless. It’s not.
I got addicted to a losing game sang Duncan Lawrence. Sounds about right.
I’m writing a chapter about what draws us to the edge of precipices, and why women (in particular) walk into the water to die. This morning I realised that l’appel du vide (the call of the void) exists in so many particles of my existence. Not just when I am faced with the enormity of a space, a mountain, a cliff or an ocean, but I have come to learn that music too is its own precipice. Even the liminal unspeakable spaces between a connection with another person can draw me into a place of inconsolability.
Ophelia who feels too much, doomed to drown in her feelings.
I read a poem by Meggie Royer the other day called The Morning After I Tried to Kill Myself, and then watched this beautiful interpretation which I won’t lie, completely broke me.
There are days when I wonder how I am still here. There are days when I wonder if I should be. I’ve been trying to connect to simpler tasks, small joys. Trail walking, local mountain honey, collecting firewood, snipping herbs and shallots for meals, watching zucchini flowers bloom in anticipation of a new harvest, feeding banana water to my magnolias. Embracing the simplicity of community, singing and joy, letting it heal and rewrite some of my broken code. Learning from failure, letting the earth teach me about seasons, the moon about tides. Every day I listen to a chorus of currawongs that I am told are descendants of the first currawongs I heard in this place 19 years ago. I’m yet to understand whether that hurts me or heals me, but I am a whore for symmetry and I never could let anything go.
I tried to unkill myself, Royer writes, but couldn’t finish what I started.