Glide (with eyes open)

book page decorated with green coloured pencil and a collage that includes an astronaut.
You glide with eyes open, the weariness still afraid of deep water.

This post is about that feeling when you’re doing a little better, and you’re not sure how much you can handle, but you want to try. And you’re scared of overdoing it, making yourself worse again. This is about living with a constant fear, and blaming yourself when things go wrong, even though it is mostly out of your control. But you’re also hopeful and you want to enjoy every little gain to the fullest.

Old teeth smacking disdainfully

Collage art depicting a mouth full of teeth with red stripes radiating outward.
White and pink, a whole mouthful of old teeth smacking disdainfully. They covered a bright hole.

In the introduction to The Summer Book, Kathryn Davis writes of an “island’s allure—that sense it gives you of being in the presence of something that has no need of you.” As someone who has been chronically ill for more than ten year, it struck me that this is how I feel, or have been made to feel, about society. As a chronically ill person it is hard not to end up in the margins. Looking in from the sidelines you feel ignored, left out, and even vilified and disbelieved.

I’m trying to express those experiences in my found lines of poetry and in the collages. But I also want to go beyond the negative and search for resilience and hope. I hope you’ll take this journey with me.

Lush, evil leaves

abstract collage with erasure poetry
It was drenched like a rain forest of lush, evil leaves. Angrily looking, hardly flowering.

I was inspired by Sarah J. Sloat’s Hotel Almighty, which was born from a book-length erasure poetry and collage art project performed on the pages of Stephen King’s Misery, to start my very own similar project. My book of choice is Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book. This is the first page.