Stream of Consciousness

Image by George Grie

Image by George Grie

I had cracked open the shell of a dream and came out unscathed. The morning not yet abloom. There is time for another. Let me sleep just a little longer. A few moments more and all will be well.

I cannot.

Somewhere beneath the diaphragm the cancerous palpitations had already taken hold. My arms propel me out of the claggy sheets and I rush into the bathroom determined to preempt the attack. Water. Water will be my saviour. It will turn my skin into silk and usher away all concerns.

It must. It must. It must.

Within moments I know the battle to be lost. I feel the pain scarring through my veins unabated. It buds through in sheets of ice, each limb offshooting another, clawing through from the core of my stomach outwards. Its ivy smothers the beat of my heart lassoing lungs and pulling in until it is impossible to breathe.

Let it end. Oh please – let it end!

Fingers cradle into the recess of the wall unable to steady the oncoming shudder. Each intake of air seers my nostrils. Breaths shorten. One. Another. A third. A few seconds more and there will be none to be had. Not weightless. Never weightless. Barely able to find my feet, I crawl into a towel. The lines of the walls dissolve all around me, melting into the floor. The room bursts into blurs of purple. Hammers pound through obliterating all in their wake.

All I have is fear.


Writing 101, Day One: Unlock the Mind

About this post: I am late to the game, having been away from my blog for most (call it all) of June when the Writing 101 challenge began. Nonetheless, I will attempt to follow into the footsteps of my betters and contribute to the mix.

The first assignment posited a challenge. I am not as a rule a “stream if consciousness” writer. To overcome this early hurdle I decided to describe a recent (this morning’s in fact) experience.

Many of you would have experienced anxiety at some point, and while I hope your own struggles have not fallen into extremes, I am certain that this piece will resonate with some of you at least.

I have no brush to paint you a picture, but this is the best I can manage to fashion in words. For the time being at least.

Warm regards,


My Love Affair…

Terence Zahner Photography - Underwater Photography

There are those who preach caution: infatuation is one thing, love – quite another. The first seduces the senses and blinds one to all but the object of their desire. For a time it is impossible to think of anything else, and yet such flighty passions will subside, and their object relinquished in search for another. Whereas love… as the bard would have it:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

So I will throw caution to the wind and confess to being in love. I was caught before I had any idea that the affair had begun, and now there is no escape. If it were mere infatuation, its candle would’ve burnt out long before now. Yet here I am still, a writer adrift. The more I write, the more I love it. Seduced by the sinuous texture of words, by their music and subtlety, I journey into the realms of the imaginary. This boundless sea is my home.


Day Two: Say Your Name


Window Treasures by Vic Briggs

There are days when words come easily. They pour out. Generous. Sparkling with insight – or so at least I’d like to think. Then there are other days. Days when you wake up and stumble over something as you step out into the world. It may be a mean-spirited piece. A harsh word that caught you defenceless. Or perhaps it is the wave of a moon not yet asleep. It depletes you of will. And no matter how much you may try, you find you soul barren of feeling and your mind racing through the dust, unable to settle on one thought alone.

This is one of those days. Doors will not open. The curtains are drawn, and the beauty of an expired day torn away from me before I could try it for taste.

I refuse to let it end that way, so I delve into my chest of treasures to find another day. One that had not passed me by unexamined. Here is my find. A little creature. It may be a bug, although I can’t be sure. It carries a barrel of flowers into the last moments of today and I share them with you.

Let them make your morrow brighter if yours was a cloudy sky and all the sunnier if contentment is yours.

Daily Prompt: Lookin’ Out My Back Door

My Hero | It will always be You

My grandfather and I.jpg

To be loved unconditionally. A gift that no one can ever take away from you.

For my grandfather

The man whom I called “little father” was taken from me just as I stepped from childhood into my teens. I miss him so. Yet his boundless, generous love is mine still, many years after I could sprint down the stairs to greet him at the end of a hard’s day work, to be enveloped in the warmth of his arms, my cheek grazed by the familiar stubble as I reached in for a kiss. His hands smelt of fresh-cut grass… the scent of the earth in his hair.

He taught me to delight in the simplest of pleasures: a loaf of bread fresh out the wood-burning bowls of a clay furnace, the feel of the grassland against my bare feet, the smell of mushrooms picked in the woodlands, the white froth atop the mug of milk that was mine every morning. Summers turned into autumns under the mellow sun of my childhood, winds caressed my hopeful imaginings, rains cooled my fears and everywhere was peace and contentment. 

I grew up at his side, a free wild thing with boyish ways, a pixy spirit. There were treasured mornings when he would bundle me up onto the back of his horse at dawn and we would take to the fields. 

I remember standing in the middle of a field peppered by the early buds of spring, breathing in deep the silence and making a wish that I would never forget that moment. Perhaps I intuited that memory is untrustworthy, that time can steal what it had once gifted freely. Perchance I foresaw a day in the far distant future – for the future is always at a distance to a child’s heart – when I would need to come back to that moment of stolen bliss.

Daily Prompt: Heroic

Skinny Dipping

iphone pictures 2018

It was the decision of a moment. I did not stop to think of it, to question whether it was sensible. Buttons undone. Ready to jump in. Within seconds my body was clothed by the warmth of the sea alone. Childlike in my freedom. Regaling in the naughtiness of it all: midday, beyond the pale. A first.

To be repeated. That was the promise that I made myself that day.

Departure Blues


At the airport. The hub has little to offer other than the dreary monotony of passing the time before the ship is to resume its flight and deliver us all from familiar surroundings.

I watch the members of the nomadic public with some degree of amusement, searching in vain for any evidence of excitement imprinted on their faces.

Struck by the apparent triviality with which modern travel is approached, I wonder whether – since it became a prerequisite for many of their number – heading for the distant corners of the world is taken to be a tedious necessity.

Whereto did our spirit of adventure go?

PS: I suspect it’s just hiding. I’m sure there are many an adventurous soul embarking on yet another journey. Appearances can’t always be trusted. I’d rather hope for the best!


imagesWQDAD88NIn a few hours’ time I’ll be saying goodbye to the sun-baked shores of California. I discover something new to love about this place every time I visit. Whale-watching in San Diego with a friend I have not seen in over a decade was certainly a highlight. Lazing by the pool in Palm Springs under a dazzling December sun was another.

When I first realised that the drive Northwards would take nine hours I was horrified, and yet the rugged beauty of El Camino, swiftly followed by the wavy California 1 highway had contracted time into a mere matter of moments. I could have sworn that we had been driving for no longer than a half hour when we finally disembarked in Carmel for a cinnamon bun and a much needed taste of apple cider.

Then there was Tahoe… It little mattered that there was hardly enough snow on the slopes, watching a whisper of cloud descend upon the lake every morning more than made up for any lack elsewhere.

And of course, it was all the better because I had loved ones to share it with.

I am not fond of goodbyes.



I’m not a photographer, but every now and then my camera suspends a moment in time and keeps hold of it for me to return to one day, and be in that place once again.
This was such a moment. Lake Tahoe in the morning, covered in misty cloud.