This Place

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

This place.

My place, my place within this place.

This place within me.

Over the past few weeks I have felt an insecurity, a fragility with my writing. I have questioned my motivation to write, my ability to write, even my right to write. I have felt unsettled without really being able to put my finger on the feeling. Until last night whilst I was at a Yin yoga class, the teacher was describing this fragile feeling that can be felt when learning something new. It suddenly made sense, I am once again pushing the boundaries a little, giving myself a new challenge a new ambition and it can feel scary and unbalancing.

So how to feel better?

Listen, to trusted friends for their kind words and advice. Listen to something inspirational. I heard a small extract today of a recording of Ted Hughes talking about place. Here are a few of his words;

“Capture it, grasp the full delight of it. The deepest feelings of the place. Landscape, a source of freshness and new strength. Have observant eyes and accurate words.”

Just a few inspiring words can make such a difference to your day.

What better way to keep moving forward with my writing, than to write about this place. For it is this place that I love. This place that moves and inspires me.

I head off to Green Bay, book and pencil in hand to try to capture a tiny place and space in time.

Green Bay towards Tresco

There is a sharp easterly wind that cuts flesh from bone. The beach is exposed and unprotected. Strewn over the granite pebbles are thick kelp stalks. Once nourished and full of life they now lie decaying, ancient, mumified and skeletal.

Kelp bones

That sharpness of air also brings clarity. Colours so acute the eye struggles to take in each hue and shade. Deep shadows are thrown by bright light. The green of the land in contrast to the white of the sand, in contrast to the blue of the sea.

Emerald green waves roll playfully in, whipping ice around ankle and shin.

Flashes of white gulls fly quick and daring, their speed looks exciting to my ground-locked eye.

I feel a slight sense of trepidation. It’s going to feel chilly, the wind will be harsh on my bare skin, but I also know it will feel good, revitalizing, re-setting. I will feel better once in. The seascape and wild swimming always seem to be able to ground me, give me perspective. As Ted Hughes said it brings freshness and a new strength.

So in I wade the waves lapping cold against my belly, it’s better not to dither, just go for it and swim. The beauty of the colours, the light and the movement of the water, instantly take my mind off the cold. Sunlight dances and dazzles on the broken surface, I feel as free and playful as the waves.

And then it’s time to leave behind that watery world and retreat to the warmth and comfort of home. I return with a renewed sense of determination to just enjoy my writing, acknowledge how cathartic it can be and keep putting pencil to paper in what ever way feels right. I will find my place within the world of words and as I so often do with my swimming I just need to go with the flow.

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