AudioHeld, 2020

I was miserable. Skint and time-poor. The fifth person in a three bedroom flat. Commuting to a job that I hated less than other jobs, but didn’t love. That journey – walk, train, walk, work, walk, train, walk – felt like it was stealing what was left of my youth, as well as my wages. Almost four hours a day, for almost a year. I congealed into melodrama and melancholy. Is this it now? Is this what being grown-up is? What’s the point? What happened to all my potential? I started writing this poem self-indulgent and furious. But the total majesty of nature, in the tiniest and grandest of ways, lifted me out of myself. Each wee scratch of my pen cut through my glum cocoon. Every day, the train revealed the barely changed landscape with the flourish of a magician. By the end of that year, the audacious persistence of the seasons wiped my melancholy clean away. The joy of just being in this complicated, outrageous world is tamped down too often. The windows we peer out of are getting smaller. It’s harder to see beyond ourselves. What are we missing when we forget to look outside?