Beadnell restoration project #2
She is grey mother and we her obedient daughters. Acolytes enact an immortality penance ritual. Under a concrete sky, layers are shed in preparation: is this the road to the Western Lands?
We process. White feet pushed through wrinkled petticoats, skins under her skin. Slow. Our insignificance cance thrown into her vast, chilly embrace. The prison of her arms. Pushed and pulled to her whim, light as corks in a tin bathtub.
Freedom in the confinement, let it go to the to and fro of waves. Surrender now. Let her rock you, take you, pull you deeper in.
In the below, furnished worlds: seaweed bunting, wrack ribbons, the fingers of anemones stretched to lit sea ceiling.
Resist the pull. Bounce back, Barbarellas. Bathing beauties beached. “Did you go in there?” asks the young girl on the school trip.
“Is there dolphins?”
Coming home, now, to the Grey Mother, through elds where the colours are a smudged chalk board, the faded pink of seeding rosebay translated into white tufts that cloud the vision. Until the drama of the seascape sharpens the focus, with its parallel bands of sky, ultramarine, gold, the horizon drawn with a steady hand in indigo marker pen.
Mother is wearing her very best blue dress, shades of aquamarine, of melt, of French navy, of teal. She takes me back, draws me in to her cool, treacherous depths, lets me climb into her like an awkward pinniped, a selkie who has spent too long in her human skin. In and out of my element, pulled away from my comfort zone, until I can bear it no longer, and struggle back against the pull of her reproaches.
Beached. The dunlins skim her wrinkled skin, like flying fish, synchronised, all of a flock. Seedheads among the dunes, little skulls which hoard the promise of another year until the moment comes to let go. Let go.
By Jo Colley,
June 2015 and September 2015