Creative WritingCuriousWritten

Forecast: Creative Writer Beth Morrell

Reflections on travelling across the island of Madeira.

BETH MORRELL – CREATIVE WRITER
KATHRINA WAINSTOK – PHOTOGRAPHER


I close my eyes:
And rub the sun-cream into my face.

Highs of thirty-two degrees in the capital of this sub-climatic island.

Sub-climatic. Hot and cold.
Freedom and commandments.
A world of contradictions.

I can’t begin to comprehend
The want of this jumper in such heat.
A jumper I swore I’d never touch while I’m here.

I’ve been told to take it anyway.

We’re travelling up, up.
The sun beats soothing, satisfying rhythms
Into my back and the top of my head. Decorating me in red.
I put my hat on. Music
Paints my insides with an indestructible force field.

Indestructible.

I close my eyes.
I’m told I should be watching the views
But I’m too busy feeling,

Feeling the free pulse of the city
Die away, and the wind as it
Whisks up knots and tangles in my hair
As those rhythmic beats begin to turn
Staccato. Far. Too. Staccato.

On the ascension towards the three peaks, travellers will experience chills as low as
fourteen degrees.

The hat blows off.
My force field disintegrates.
My freedom. It’s dust in the wind now.

I close my eyes.
Frozen, silken scarves
Tight around my arms, neck,
Face. Where’s my jumper?
I can’t c-c-comprehend
The absence of this jumper.

My breathing is restricted –
It’s full of restrictions, up here.
The air I’m forced is cold.
Unwanted. Unfriendly.

Hands.
They pull at the scarves – no, no, look this way –
Tug at the knots, the tangles,
Jab at my eyes –

I close my eyes
Tight. We swerve.
We descend.

The wind dies.
And the comfort of my music – my force field –
Is back. The sun rubs at my shoulders, massages my face,
Beats soothing, satisfying rhythms
Into my back and the top of my head. Decorating me in red.
Down here is where I belong.

The jumper is gladly discarded.
I have no need of it anymore.

 

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