When I am tired, my defences collapse. Like old, mud-brick walls crumbling under the onslaught of rain, time, loud scrambling children. Then I can’t stop life reaching in. I notice the trees noticing me. Plants turn curious attention onto me, tempt me closer,
“Come, see this dark cranny! Get lost in me for hours. Days. Weeks.” I could easily be a drooling, stinking wreck standing there, nose in the bark, watching a world of moss forests, bark ravines and the strange glittering creatures who live there. Who look up, notice me and say,
“Come closer. We mean you no harm. Lose yourself in us for an hour.”
Eventually people would drag me away, stunned and blinking. Hose me down in some special Torchwoodian facility they have for this. Cleaning up the derailed artists who have fallen into their sub ject matter and not been able to climb out. Landing in a valley of splattered paint, ferocious music roaring as it feeds just over the hill, curious words crawling up their trouser legs and twining around their arms. Lost in a weaving too far down.
We mean you no harm. We are the rock your wave fragments against. We are the tree you climb and get stuck in. We are the lake you drown in. We are the spider in your shoe, the bite, the choke, the tripping root. Ooops, oh sorry. Not even that. We mean you no harm. What harm you experience is, ultimately, your own. It is in you and of you. The wave rushing at the rock, the creature dropping out of the tree to land on soft grass. Is anything truly harmed?