I’m home but my words float along behind me. The break from the rigour of my manuscript has done its job. I hope my words catch up to me soon. So here is a prose poetry account of writing, travelling and most importantly changing.
SE Asia and the Sole Traveller
My desk is dusty and I hate that. It shows inactivity. The coconut palms remain in the alluvial waters of the mighty Mekong. The river flows unifying all things. It’s been a month since I tried to write more than 50 words. This time, I pushed out of my comfort zone, sole traveller, Asia: me responsible for me. Just me. Not me and the shadow.
Another shadow tailed me, lightly. Like a beggar it came and went, a fog that touched my skin and reminded me: ‘You are stuck. Remember year eleven, write it if you can.’ Dead ends, smash, twist, type, delete, retype … Have a coffee, but not a Vietnamese one. One from a Lygon Street barista who draws hearts in the froth.
The coconut candy melts alongside me in the 38 degree heat. The humidity is too high to count. The taste of the ginger sweetens the fact that I don’t really know how to convey what’s next. It centres around my nemesis, conflict. I hate fighting, especially me fighting with me.
My inner space has changed whilst I’ve been away. Despite being stressed and fretty at times, the rubber band that constricts my heartbeat’s creativity is gone. For the first time in years I’m open and can fully inhale. Munching on the pineapple with chilli and salt, I wonder if the words will flow.
I’ve slipped through the eye of the needle, a place so narrow and dark, I wonder how and when it happened. The memory of getting stuck underground in the Viet Cong tunnels surfaces. It feels the same. I’m where, I should long to be: the point of resolution. Nothings free. Resolution too, has a price tag.
My manuscript is waiting for me to resolve the conflict and finish the book. Conflict thwarts me: the good girl, the one who makes no waves, the one who has trouble asking for what she wants. I’d rather run than fight. But the words have other ideas. Give us the truth, the fight, the struggle. Be authentic. Just write it down.
Year eleven, bone weary, dawning of self-awareness, stepping into my personal power. The greatness is there like the mighty river. It’s mine. Insight > fight > change > struggle and fail. Press the rest button as often as necessary. Things are not always perfect. Travel plans go awry. Destinations yearned for get missed.
So, I sit in my teal writing room, looking at the world with new eyes. Part of me is here and part of me is in Vietnam. Part of me is in adolescence and part is a woman, a sole traveller who pushed herself to experience despite the fear and doubt. I’ll finish it. The choice to put myself under the microscope and come out clean binds me. And it frees me.