24 June 2010

Headlights before me

How do you capture a moment?

Sunrise over water, a ball of rose gold glinting off the shifting surface of a lake, reflected back a thousand times in the windows all around you.

How do you define a feeling?

The feathering chill up the spine that blossoms through your scalp and sends rivulets of ice through your limbs, mix of terror and desire.

How do you catch a flash of memory?

I was shaken with memory today as I set out on a walk, late, this morning. It wasn't the sun, nor the heat, nor the bright haze I could see in the distance as I reached the summit of the hill.

It was the music. Of course.

In two years, so much water has passed under the bridge that is my life, the bridge that is the ending and the beginning and the ending again. Things I could take in my stride; things that have taken a greater toll, left a visible mark. And as I walked under the heat-shimmering summer sky this morning, I wondered where that left me now.

I am both tougher and more vulnerable.

I am more willing to let go and to hold on.

I know, oh I know, that time is short.

The future rears up before me, bright and shining with the sense of possibility, headlight glare in my face, beautiful because I am still here to see it. Because the future illuminates me, too, and you are there to see it.

Because I see that it is something we share.

How do you catch a flash of memory?

Reach out and take it. Carry it with you on the road that winds ahead.

Go listen to some good music: "Headlights on Dark Roads" from the album Eyes Open by Snow Patrol. This time last year, I got really ill. I've never completely recovered, and admitting to that has been practically impossible. I react badly when my physical abilities are compromised in any way. This coming Monday represents a headlight on what has been a very dark road.

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