outwait outrun outwit


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The day of the winter solstice was rainy. I stayed in. I set no intention. I didn’t even bother looking for the Ursids. I refused to care. Laziness or what? I was feeling exhausted. People, you know?! Like, last weekend I went to see my friend read at an opening for a new anthology of Irish writing and art. I was totally stoked for her. But I came home disappointed by her behavior that night. Care, I want more care from the world—not for the world to care about me, but for people to be careful about people and things, to have an awareness about the situations they are in. Not that I’m perfect. I’m sure I’ve pissed off someone this week.

Anyways, I've been working on my literature review, hence the fewer visits to Diaryland. Consequently I struggle to read anything outside of incomprehensible notes. During breaks I read columns on domestic mishaps or the latest political outrage, spilling crumbs all over the Guardian or the Irish Times. I fall asleep a few pages into my book every night: Thursbitch by Alan Garner. It’s a novel, but also a book on nature, on our relationship to nature. Two narrative strands structure the book; they are set in the same site, but in different ages. I'm guessing time-transcending tragedy will bind the two strands. This line struck me: "Our nails grow at the same rate as continental drift." And I think, sighing: I edit at the same rate as continental drift.

I thought of the book on my walk this afternoon. Living in a town surrounded by farmland, you're always reminded of that fact, no matter how far you walk. Turn around and there’s a farmhouse, a fenced field, or a glimpse of the town, its lights starting to glimmer as dusk (at four pm!) approaches. I walked further and further away from the main road, until I was on a road that only locals and the odd lost traveler use. I met an old man, accompanied by a friendly sheepdog; he was using a wheeled walker to reach a gate that led into a field. After we exchanged pleasantries, I walked on, past a farmhouse and then two abandoned, derelict sheds overcome by ivy. Finally, although it's a path I know well, the landscape became eerie. No more farmhouses, or sheds: just trees shrouded in mist. The world as I knew it had dropped away, and I was entering another realm, the land of crofters, landlords, even the Sidhe. The verges glowed with gorse, three-leafed clover and red-berried bushes. Rushes throbbed with dew. Fencing had become colonised by fern and lichen. Only my phone anchored me to the modern world.


Winter: Ah! Each day, darkness comes very quickly, a swift, little death for my aspirations. Only my intentions carry me. May I thrive with each interaction.


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