Invigorated by this feeling, I turned to a collection of Japanese short stories borrowed from my brother in 2019 (Tokyo Electrique edited and translated by Corinne Quentin). It rekindled a love of reading in translation and a fascination with Japan. I took to Twitter to ask for Japanese authors recommendations. Titles flooded my notifications and my reserve limit at the library was quickly met. Books trickled in, my job changed, and I found myself with less time in the morning and evening to read. The trade off was an hour long lunch during which I could switch off from spreadsheets, and the unstoppable flow of data. A time of my own to claim and use as I wished. I chose to read. I opened paper books and lost myself.
Most of my work can be found throughout this website. Occasionally though, my images, sounds, and words make their way to other publications.
LGBTQ+ Faces of Bristol was founded in July 2020 by local Bristol photographer Karen Freer. The project aims to represent and empower the LGBTQ+ community in Bristol, by hosting photographic portraits on their website, as well as sharing across social media.
It is June now and I am sitting on an unfamiliar sofa in a rented space for a week’s holiday. My mind stopped its incessant racing, words bubbled inside of me, and here I am typing on a keyboard. I feel grounded as I hear the calls of bird I cannot see, the intermittent pattering of rain on the window, and the gentle music humming from the speakers. I am still, counted time left behind.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
‘I am tired,’ I mumble to myself. I remember the offer of the doctor in week 11 to sign me off work for however long I thought I would need. It is so tempting to call them and ask to be signed off but it is only a week until the Christmas break, just one week to live through before time is my own, before I can retreat within myself and be free to begin to process the enormity of what I have come to realise about myself and start to live anew.
In the evening, my partner picks me up from work. I rest my head against the car window and breathe. My world is changing again, my body and mind reeling against the change in spite of wanting this return of the public at work. I feel like a boat rocking on an ever shifting sea, my being carried along without any control.
Two mugs of tea brewed, I head back to the bedroom and open the curtains. In the distance, the world is tinted pink from an invisible sun, too low on the horizon to be seen. I sit on the windowsill watching the colours shift as the sun rises higher, swirling the mist into candy floss.
I leave the clinic and head home. I resist the urge to pull my headphones out of my coat pocket. Instead, I look at my surroundings, the sky dark above me, street lights illuminating my path.