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  • Writer's pictureSarah McCartney

angels coming down offering gifts of silver fish

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

I've had a dark week. It happens to us all. We come to a patch of clinging sodden mud and nothing moves. Feet are held sunk and stuck. I wait for the rain. Things will change. This image was the last from the 29th May. I was trying to draw the memory of swimming with sandwich terns flying all around me which was a delight but this is now and its a bit disturbing. The body reminds me of Millais Ophelia, floating, pale and lifeless. But I love the terns. Angels coming down offering gifts of silver fish. A hopeful place to go to when I can move again. And talking to Alyson Hallett was strengthening and inspiring. She gave me things to explore and problems to solve.

When Alyson asked what had I got from talking to her I told her I felt like I'd had a blanket wrapped around me. Now I have an image in my head of holding Ingrid when she was brought in on the back of a surfers board after getting caught in a rip. I ran down to this stranger who I only knew in passing because she swam on the same beach as me every morning. I ran down to her when I saw she was in trouble and saw her slumped on the shore in her bikini. I ran down with a blanket, wrapped it around her shoulders and held her. This was back in January, she was very cold. I've done nothing since this monotype and my tutorial with Alyson but I'm holding on to the terns and her words. This world is becoming more suffocating and sad and all I do is swim off Swanpool every morning and I do my job. I grow spinach and sleep. I worry I'm not doing anything and I'm wasting time but its all I can manage right now. Tonight's shift I will study first aid, handling patients, fluids and nutrition but its a long night and I might write a bit too.

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