The Mouth of the Wye as it speaks to the Severn Estuary. Photo by me.
♒︎ Body Bio-Continuum ♒︎
There is a nature of beauty pushed away by all but those who live closest to the living world. It is the part of life that is the fear of danger. It is discomfort, pain, death. It is the smell of decay. From a place-time where-when our ancestors’ bodies were on constant alert for predators and harm from cuts and infection, there came the control, the corralling of wild beasts, the taming of the soils. They had evolved a sense of belonging, to sprinkle fruit seed and grains nearby, and to know the plants that eased the suffering of their loved ones. … Read more
I am standing on the old ferry slipway at Beachley, just around the headland from the mouth of the Wye. Above me is a monumental hulk of steel girder and wire spanning the Severn Estuary from Beachley to Aust. This is the old Severn Suspension Bridge, which also vaults the Wye (technically, another bridge). It was built to replace ye olde car ferry, and it’s just a little bit older than me. Our lives have spanned the deepest wounds ever inflicted upon the sum of all wild lives of the British Isles, and the span of time seeing the largest rise in global temperatures for fifty-five million years. … Read more
Here, by the flow, I know I am one move away from the idea of feeling no pain. But it is a leap into mental nothingness and a physical dissolution into all the bodies of river life, not peace. There is no peace in suicide; an ecological death, perhaps, if only we weren’t dredged out, split open, organs weighed and then cremated.
You see, I know too well that trauma cannot end at that point, when my life becomes void, because it rips through all those you love; the clever puzzle-solving daughters who love you, the impulsive rescuers who put their lives at risk by trying to save yours. … Read more
Don’t be fooled by their seductiveness. Rivers are dangerous bodies of water. Know them less, and they’ll grab your hips and pull you down, and all the way along. They’ll fill your lungs with mud and blood clots, and turn you intertidal.
Awkward, we huddled around in triage waiting for my father’s final admission to Hereford General. It was just three years after my mother’s death and the next cubicle bulged with an inflatable forced-air warmer. Its tin foil deformity, puckered at the seams, hid well the shadow-person deep inside. We were told—in whispers—he’d been hauled from a “jumping” at the Wye. … Read more