Well, I feel like I can breathe for the first time in over a week.

January is rough at the best of times, but the severed, sluggish start to 2021 snatched the crown without mercy. From climbing the walls and drafting irrate escape plans to burying myself in books and films; once the welcome distraction of twinkling Yule with all its crafty-baky busy-ness (and non-negotiable excuse to get drunk any time of day) was behind us, I slipped slowly but inevitably into what I’ve come to refer to as The Pit.

The Pit is no pleasant place. In any other headspace, there is some form of light or possibility of movement. There is always something I can do to improve my mood or distract myself. Housework can be pimped up with booty-shake beats, dog walks accompanied with podcast chit-chat. I find expansion in blue skies and beauty in lingering droplets. I can hope.

In The Pit there is no hope. There is no light. No movement. Once I’m down there, nothing I do makes any difference. I can’t find solace in media because every face I see, every voice I hear makes me want to ram a screwdriver through my brain. Each moment is a failure of me to act like a grown-up, face the day and all its challenges, and take advantage of my immense privileges of being safe, warm, dry and having access to showers and takeaways.

There is no reasoning with The Pit. It is deep, black despair. It is lying face down on the carpet (which you know you should have had professionally cleaned, like, a year ago, but wasn’t there a pandemic or something, and anyway what’s the point of cleaning anything when everything is empty forever?). It is curling up in a ball in your bed, thinking how you should be enjoying this whole cosy-curly-ball-in-bed thing but you hate it because you don’t want to be here and you don’t want to be there and you don’t want to be anywhere and WHEN WILL THIS END.

That’s The Pit.

But, once again, I’ve found my way out of there.

These past two days, I’ve had Chet Baker’s I Fall In Love Too Easily going round and round in my head. (Which I thought was rather sophisticated and vintage, until Mike pointed out that it’s just Michael Bublé with a trumpet. Ah, well.)

I DO fall in love too easily, and always have.

I fall in love with people, projects, countries and cities, animals and sunsets, songs and poems and possibilites. Unrequited love was a theme of my childhood, but as I grew up and began weaving my way through this wild wondrous world I began to spot those who might appreciate my unashamed, gushing love, and since then I’ve been bathing them in my sometimes warming and occasionally blinding light. Well, no matter, they can always put on a pair of shades.

Hazel also loves too easily and brightly. But she would stand her ground and cry out No regrets! while wrapping Sellotape around her broken heart only so that she can go out and break it all over again.

This pandemic has sucked the life out of so many, and of course we will get through it, we all know that. But it’s a bit like being in The Pit. Some dark, distant part of your mind is telling you “THIS TOO SHALL PASS YOU MOPING TWAT” and you’re like “I don’t care, because it hurts NOW.”

And it does hurt. So let’s all make an effort to love even more, love harder and more stubbornly, love via words or videos or telephone lines or dreams. Don’t hold back.

Let’s fall in love too easily, while we still can.

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“It was time. I had to see who I could be outside those walls.”


THE COLOURS WE SEE is available in ebook and paperback on Amazon.

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