Light

“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.

§§

light

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