• Sarah McCartney

states of mind...


I couldn't smell the coffee, that's when I knew something was wrong.

PCR positive. I have COVID.

The virus took my sense of smell. I've never experienced such a total blank. A freshly opened pack of coffee could be dust. A bottle of lavender stuffed up my nose could be water. I'm cut off from part of the world. Separated from my body almost. The virus is in my mind rolling me to-and-fro from laughter to tears. Its in my lungs crackling through my chest. Its stinging my eyes. Its making my legs feel like leaden lumps. I've been sleeping mostly, but I'm getting better.


I was going to write blogs about the Bryher sketchbooks and diaries, swimming and drawing within my practice but that can wait. It's enough to sit still as I'm confined to my room for another seven days and living is slow.


But I found some words on my phone today and they resonated with how I'm feeling at the moment, drifting in and out of different states of mind. Different layers of being.


I was in a group situation recently where I was committed to being there but probably should have been somewhere else. To cope with being amongst people I typed words into my phone. Unconsciously fiddling until I could escape. When I found these words today I felt strangely separate from the woman who wrote them. Thats not me? But I do remember that day and other days when I've not been able to get to the 'normal' layer of being, days when I cant get out of the dream. Sometimes its a wonderful place to be, full of light and magical creatures. Sometimes its a bit frightening and lonely.

layers of being


today I'm stuck at the bottom

in the layer that is just me

deep, dark, confused, sad

and I don't want to be here

I want to go up a layer or two

to where conversation flows

I want to giggle and flirt

I want to be quick witted and clever

I want to talk shit

I want to know whats going on


but I cant move

can't focus on peoples faces

can't hear their voices

I can't speak


how do you feel he asks?

I lie

'I feel fine'








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