Thursday, 28 April 2016

Drought and Flood

Dried up. That's how I feel. I've drained my pools of creativity. Like sponge fingers soak up hard liquor, or earth when it's parched and the first rains after a dry spell fall. A drought, not one brought on by climate change but of my own making, which came on too sudden. I wasn't prepared for these arid plains. And yet I could, at any time, have slowed my pace, locked in moisture.
I might have foretold its coming...
Instead I strode ever onwards until my brain was a fevered hive and my body cried for water. The last drops gone. All gone. But to make it clear you tell yourself so in a loud firm voice “All Gone. No More.” The small child dismissed, the still staring dog less patiently told “Be off with you.”
The child will forget immersed in play, the dog will pass the hours in sleep then wake and again pad to the kitchen for scraps, but when the drought is within the dryness lasts. And lasts...and lasts. It is not dispelled by external hands, nor by substituted juices. Nothing abates this thirst except knowledge. The knowledge that most often comes unexpectedly, the unlooked for moments that causes questions to flower into a bed, a lawn, a wild meadow, which you admire like a painting from afar, or twirl in the centre with one arm outstretched, and the other bent so your hand keeps your straw hat from flying off, as your skirts flap at your ankles. The mental image that of a combined Monet and Degas.
Giddy and drunk on the sight and scent of flowers when your land before was stark, do you pluck and try to keep them alive, or let them wither and die naturally? A profusion gathered in your arms must be arranged in a vase and placed in a sunny spot you can see, whereas those in a meadow must be walked through as much as convenience allows. With either you never know when the bloom will fade, when the petalled heads will wilt. Nature, especially that of the mind, is an inexact science.
Areas can flood. Abruptly. The dripping tap becomes a tap you can't turn off; the trickle then turns into a steady stream, and when turned on full to a ferocious gush that sprays. This is the peak of creativity, and as the feeling is one of ecstasy you lack foresight. The moment is all that matters and being in it. Nothing is allowed to interrupt or slow that frenetic flow. The deluge lights wild fires rather than douses their potential to ignite, which goes against logic and chemistry, and you so enjoy the rush you don't think to build a dam or moat, or even to collect some in a pail for lean times.
You burn: your face flushes, your lips redden, your eyes sting, the heat seeps through and engulfs you, but you don't stop. You would rather drown in this body of fire-water, than let its tide go out. But it does go out, like a light, not like a flood. There's no standing stagnant water to be bailed. Nothing needs to be aired, there's no dampness anywhere nor any signs of rot which in extreme weather-related floods would be a relief. The overhead blazing sun would also be a welcome sight but here it is prophetical, though too late as always in its warning, as when you try to fetch water from the pump none comes.
Moisture. None. Not in the air, not in the usual crevices. Areas that were previously plump are deflated and shrivelled, and incredibly dry and flaky. Everything works but at a tired befuddled tempo. What organ am I? What do I do? Even those that have autonomic functions, that work independent of thought, now require belief in their existence. Your liver makes you feel sick, your kidneys don't give you the urge to pee, and your heart pumps the blood around so sluggishly that your toes develop chilblains and itch. Your pallor has turned a pasty grey with a tinge of yellow, and your eyes are so dry tears cannot be made and so cannot fall.
This will pass, or so you tell yourself, and it will as all phases do, yet the cycle must repeat.
Drought, meadow, flood; drought, meadow, flood. How I long for a meadow, meadow, meadow!

Picture Credit: Field of Wild Poppies, 1873, Claude Monet