It’s raining. Hard penetrating rain. Every layer soaks through. Water bounces up from the ground to splash anything the falling rain misses. Dampness in the air sneaks between buttons and zips. A dance of osmosis – anything dry attracting the wet, soaking it all up until everything is saturated.

The view is soft. The rain is hard but it’s presence softens the landscape. The outcrop of land in the distance is obscured by mist and dampness in the atmosphere. There is a weight, a screen the rain has brought – an atmospheric cataract. The view has shrunk. The world is smaller on days like this. It is empty too. A few solitary dog walkers and ardent joggers, the only life to interrupt the hardness of the ground and the thickness of the air. A shared experience of isolation and coldness draws us together – a nod, a word – in passing.

After the jubilance of the start to a new season, the heaviness of change sets in. New things bring new energy, and then reality falls. An endurance is needed. A buoyancy at the outset, a surge and a rush, expects some payback. Everything slows and hardens.

I am caught out again. No matter how many times this cycle loops round, I am surprised each time. Stranded on a desert island – an island without sand or sun. There are no three wishes or essential items. It is barren and chilled. My world shuts down outside and in. How easy it is to get cut off. How quickly things overwhelm. It becomes too much and too little all at once.

The edges blur: land, sea, me. Smudges of pigment slip into each other. Nothing is defined, there is no clarity of form – no discernible depth or texture. A heavy thick nothingness fills the sky and the world in front of me.




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