In The Shipwreck Of My Mind…

It’s been a strange couple of months… April marked the first anniversary of a venture that I’m collaborating on with a colleague… it’s been an interesting and creative adventure and although pretty far from finished, it has reached a point where we felt it was time to assess what we had done to date… it felt that a necessary pause was called for and that our work should be placed into a temporary hiatus before we added even more to the load… and that is when the dreams began. You see the problem (or maybe the benefit…) of navel gazing is that it soon starts to stir up the subconscious… I found myself afloat in increasingly bizarre dreams, none of which I could hold on to for long enough to see what they were… and whilst not exactly in the doldrums, this certainly has felt to be a strange place in between the worlds and almost a perpetual twilight as messages have tried to blink their way through into the conscious world…

I tried in vain to recall the details and then decided to abandon that and wait and see what came to mind… and then it slowly started to resurface… a little segment of my childhood… a tiny chapter in a yet unfinished story but there it was… or there I was aged 10 and seeing clearly for the first time that I had residing within me the soul of a storyteller…

I’m sat opposite my teacher with a blank face or rather an expression that I now know would probably be described as dumb insolence… she waved a bunch of sheets of lined paper at me that had my pencil scrawls all over them…

Why Karen? Why?What made you do this?

I looked back at her and remained silent… deeply aware that whatever explanation I gave would only serve to further fuel her rage… My mind was putting together links of logic and reasoning and was swirling in a sense of bafflement at the what I considered to be  the ridiculous situation that I now found myself in…

Let’s take a step backwards… the day before, I’d been sat in the classroom at lunchtime, all on my own… I’d been absent in the morning at a dental appointment and this had meant that I had missed the end of year exam on composition so now I had to do it in solitary confinement… I turned over the page and there it was again! NO!!! Not that same sentence! The one that I had seen a week ago as we had to sit in silence and do a mock exam in preparation… There it was again… those words staring at me unblinking…

As I entered the woods…

Those 5 words were given as a  prompt and the rest of the story was for me to fill in… but I didn’t want to do it… why should I do it? I’d already done this a week before and the events that unfurled then had filled me with horror…

So you’re probably wondering what terrible fate had previously befallen me… so gather in close and I’ll whisper in your ear…

I’d written a story… in fact…I’d written a bloody pretty amazing story and therein lied my problem. I hadn’t realised that the teacher would rank the class and put the stories in order, in her words, from the worst to the best… and so she began to reel off names in 30th place was Robert, who squirmed in red-faced shame in his seat… 29, 28, 27… and a roll call of kids shifting uncomfortably… Oh GOD!!! Please let my name come out and let this be over with… 10, 9, 8… please!!! please make this stop!!! 3, 2, and no…oh no… my name had still not been called… this could mean only one thing… First place goes to Karen! Then it got worse… then she read my story, my story that I’d written under exam conditions and that I’d only expected to be seen by her eyes… she read my story out loud to the whole class and with each word I felt as though I died a little…  How dare she put me out on display in such a crass fashion?

I was furious… I was beyond furious and so a week later when those words appeared again…

As I entered the woods…

I felt my tinyness faced against a system that I had no power to control and something subversive stirred within me and I took my chance at a small action of silent rebellion and I put my pencil to paper and wrote the biggest pile of crap you could imagine…

So… Poor old Miss was horrified and bawling me out… What the hell is wrong with you? How can you drop from the top of the class to the bottom in one week? Why didn’t you just write the same story that you wrote before?

Well… I had 101 answers but offered none… I just watched her as the tears welled up in her eyes and she said that she had no other option than to disregard my mock result and enter on record the fail grade that I’d got on exam day…

I remember a faint fleeting thought of what difference does it make to you? and then there was a faint realisation that maybe her teaching would be called into question… so I tried to look suitably ashamed and I waited for the storm to pass…

It occurs to me now, that this was quite a traumatic event and could be described as a bit of a shipwreck moment… I pondered further on that thought and about how there are four kinds of shipwreck and then I tossed my deck overboard to see what would wash up and I moved from navel to naval gazing…

The shipwreck!

Waxing Oracle a-hoy!!

Shipwreck


wo 046

FLOTSAM…

This is the wreckage of the ship that stays afloat…

What part of me was not sunk on that day?

Strangely enough… my will to climb to the top… to climb every mountain… to  follow every dream…

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JETSAM…

This is the parts of the ship/cargo that are purposely cast overboard to lighten the load in times of distress and is the things that hopefully will wash up on shore…

What did I jettison that day?

I see a cheeky dragon with its tongue out… I threw my imagination away and my sense of magic and wonder… I threw away my own myths and legends… I cast them out to sea in the hope that they would swim to safety rather than be drowned by the arbitrary markings of a primary school teacher logging exams that really counted for nothing at all…

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LAGAN…

The wreckage that is dropped to the bottom of the ocean and is often marked by a buoy so that it can be reclaimed later…

What did I sink and leave for later use?

The ability to make bridges and connections… to be able to link together in my mind the world as I saw it, my imaginary world and also to see how this links into, extends and reaches into the minds of others…

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DERELICT…

Cargo sunk to the bottom of the ocean with no hope of recovery… also boats that are cast adrift and abandoned…

What did I want to lose that day?

The searing pain in my soul as I felt that some kind of damage/trauma was being inflicted on me… the feeling that I was being pierced and skewered and ripped open and laid bare for all to see…

But let us not finish the story there…let’s leave the classroom with its tables arranged into a horseshoe shape, firmly where it belongs… back in the 1970’s…

Let’s look at my shoreline now and see what has washed up on my beach… what parts of myself did I manage to salvage…

Salvage

wo 015

My love of colour whether that be via language or my palette…

 I use my experiences to draw on and to display a full spectrum…

I love to express via art, especially the way in which a picture can convey a thousand words and leave me feeling bathed in colour rather than exposed and vulnerable and naked…

wo 027

Oh… the churnings… yearnings… learnings…

The ebbs and flows of tides as feelings, thoughts and emotions come and go…

The way that this can dredge up the mud of the past but also how it can reveal the hidden treasure that lurks within… or the way the waves roll a rough stone up and down a beach to polish it a little more with each motion until all the rough edges are smoothed away and a humble tiny rock can gleam like the most precious of jewels…

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Ahhhhh!!!! My magical water dragon…

Purposely cast loose and told to swim buddy swim!!!

YES!!! He made it safely to shore!

’nuff said 🙂

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What is this I see? Barnacles and Verde de Gris??

My derelict cargo left to sink and disappear without a trace… and somehow it makes its way to the surface to stare me in the face yet again…

Though I feel no need to repair the damage that I felt was done at the time…

Instead, I see that the rust that has formed has given it a new life and beauty and a story all of its own…

But then again… I may just  have a somewhat fanciful imagination…

Maybe I’m all washed up! 😀

What do you see?

All images (c) Karen Sealey ~ The Waxing Oracle

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2 thoughts on “In The Shipwreck Of My Mind…

  1. Fabulous cards and an interesying story too! Yes, we often act in interesting ways as kids and we have our reasons, we just aren’t able to express them as we would perhaps like.
    Perhaps the artwork on your oracle cards has given you the outlet for little Karen to express herself finally! Her act of defiance or perhaps self preservation were not what was expected of her – but since when did ee psychics have “proper” jobs and conform to society’s norms?
    Haha! Swim little dragon and I’ll look forward to enjoying the magic of the whole deck soon as I enter the woods of my own mind…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Helen! Yes artwork is most definitely an outlet… as a small child, it was an outlet which often got me into more trouble (maybe one day I’ll tell you the story about some comics and an angry vicar…) I think often for me defiance and self-preservation are two sides of the same coin… Enjoy your trek into the woods and maybe use string instead of breadcrumbs to find your way out again! 😀

      Like

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