by Courtney Phillips
It was a Tuesday; late enough in the afternoon to call it evening, early enough for the sun to still be giving us her company. I had been so immersed in work all day, after weeks, nearly months, of struggling to get out of bed. It was the first day in a long time that I had showered, that I had opened my window for fresh air. But it was that evening, after I had closed my window once more, that I needed something more. I needed to get away from my desk and from my mind. I needed to be disconnected and connected with myself at the same time. I dropped what I was doing, and let my feet guide me. I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, at first, like a child being led by a daydream. I unlocked the back screen door, and made my way outside. I wore socks on the concrete path that stood like a runway through my backyard. I was compelled to the ground, so I slowly lied down on my back. Not on the grass, but on that very concrete. I met with the ants as the breeze caused the loose hair around my forehead and cheeks to brush my skin. I only stared at the sky for a moment, before closing my eyes. What little peace I had was overtaken by my mind’s voice, which had been talkative, recently – a guest that I didn’t invite, who had very much overstayed their welcome. I could have very well fell asleep, right there. Sleep is how I escape. I’ve been sleeping quite a lot, recently. I’ve been doing everything and nothing all at once, recently. I thought about my existence, – a conversation that used to haunt me quite a lot, but it had been some time, since then – about the threads of fate and when mine is going to be cut short. You only get one, you know. At least, that’s what we are led to believe. I don’t know how long I stayed in my mind, but when I opened my eyes once more, I could only squint. Everything was tinged in blue. My breath was faster than usual, and I could feel anxiety’s tingling hand upon my throat; an unwelcome touch. My arms went from relaxed at my sides, then laying on my chest, then crossed, and then I got too conscious of them for them to stay still. The breeze continued, the birds continued singing. An ant crawled across my neck. They will all continue, once my thread has been cut. Laying on the ground reminded me of a grave, when all I wanted was comfort. As my eyes adjusted, a lone bird flew from one rooftop to another to my right, and stopped. I wondered where it is going, and where it has been. Then, a flock of three cockatoos flew by as well, and I wondered how much time they have left in the clouds. We get so many years, and they get so little. Maybe this concrete could be my starting point to flying, but I wonder if having a mind that doesn’t stop talking will weigh me down. I wish that it could leave me, for a moment, and I could invite other guests around; set a table and everything. It has been so very long, since something like that. The birds could sing their song, the ants could have all of the food that they want instead of crumbs, and that one lone bird could tell me of all of its travels. I could be at peace, with the breeze; free like my loose hair. I could lie in the grass, instead of on the concrete, knowing that I would bloom in the soil, instead of rot. I got up, after that thought, and went inside to write. Some ants followed me, one was on my hand – maybe it was curious of my story, like I am with the birds, but I haven’t got much of one to tell. Maybe it would still find it enjoyable, if it can hold on to my hands as they type; turbulent, but do you expect a hand to be calm and still when it is making a memory immortal? If there is anything that I find peace in that isn’t the world, it is my words. It is the words that I use to drown out the voice in my mind, or maybe, amplify it. To give something permanence where I fear there is none. I haven’t quite figured that out, yet, and I am hoping that I don’t waste my time doing so. All I know is, is that I hope to one day have silence, and a pen, to write about a woman that naps on a Tuesday evening, laying on her back amongst the wildflowers; one that is unafraid. One that is flying while still on the ground, just by living.
About the Author
Courtney Phillips is a self-published author of short stories and poetry. Her work focuses on honest expressions of her every day life, recovery, love, and nature. She enjoys capturing the smallest details of life in her words, to immortalise them as best as she can. Find Courtney on Instagram: @courtneyphillipsstorytelling