“I saw your Aura!”
my Mum told me.
“You were talking and laughing, and I saw a white light. It surrounded you.”
I clung to the idea. Light around me?
Mental illness is so dark. Impossible to explain to anyone who is fortunate enough to escape this.
All the surrounding emotions,..loss, grief, frustration,..
they compound the problem.
Over the years I searched for light.
On the bus, raindrops trickle down the pane, lit orange in the urban terrain.
Raindrops on my umbrella.
I would walk home, and turn to see the town burn after dark.
The stars in the countryside, bright after a frost, and the moon.
The Hunter’s moon in September meant I would spend every evening in the garden.
I go into a chapel if I am overwhelmed by the noise.
It is silent, but I came for the candles, the stained glass windows, and the lamps on the Altar.
I took down my curtains, hung light muslin, and anything shiny I could find.
My trinkets spin and sparkle, catch the sunlight.
I sleep with the light on, but that is because of the nightmares, another legacy of mental illness.
I am not embarrassed to admit it. I need light.
I collect candles, hang fairy lights.
The light whitens my skin, strikes my cells and I fear I will become opaque, people will see through to my very soul.
I flinch, as light is beautiful, but there will be no hiding place.
I do not want them to find darkness as a mould in me,
signs that I was ill.
Or scars, etched black, the grief I carry. Or my stubborn streak. I am not ready to be seen.
Not yet. So I retreat into the dusk, the shadows under trees.
I wanted to be translucent, of pretty colours,- blue, – green, – shining, beautiful, just like those stained glass windows.