Ashley Wilda


Month: March 2018

from Friends for Life by Andrew Norriss

“She could remember how nice everyone had been that day… particularly nice… But by then of course, she was in The Pit, and when you were in The Pit, people being nice to you didn’t mean anything. Nothing did.

‘It’s funny, isn’t it,’ said Roland, ‘how people being nice doesn’t help when you feel like that. You know they want to help, you know they’re trying to help, but it’s like they’re in another world. They have no idea how you’re really feeling. Or what to do about it.’

Yes, thought Jessica. Yes, that was pretty much how it had been.

‘And you can try and pretend that everything’s okay.’ Roland was still talking. ‘You can act as if you think it matters whether you’ve done any schoolwork or what you eat or what you wear, but in the end… the pretending is such an effort, and you get so tired, that all you really want is for it to stop. For everything to stop… You look around, and everyone else seems to be able to get up in the morning and smile and laugh and enjoy themselves… and you think, why can’t I do that? Why can’t I be ordinary?  Why do I have to be different from everyone else?’

‘And that’s what gets you in the end, isn’t it?’ It was Francis who was speaking now. ‘The being different. You want so much to be like everyone else but…’ He looked sympathetically across at Roland as he spoke. ‘You know it’s never going to happen. You’re always going to be different.’…

It was one of these letters that described something Jessica remembered and that the others instantly recognized as well. It talked about the extraordinary speed with which the feeling that life had no meaning could disappear on certain occasions and everything become normal again–for a while, at least. How one day you could be in the depths of despair and the next you could wake up feeling… okay. How little things like something someone said, or a scene from a film, or even a piece of music could change your mood in the blink of an eye. And how, when you were in one mood, the other seemed so silly. When the sun was out you could hardly remember the clouds and, when you were in The Pit, it was difficult to believe that sunshine had ever existed.”

from The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

“‘Do you know what love is like, Rose? It’s like having a sky, a whole sky racing inside of you. Four seasons’ worth of sky. One minute you are soaring and then you are all thunderclouds and then you are deep with stars and then you are empty.'”

from Martian Child

“When you love somebody… it’s really hard when
you can’t see ’em anymore…

but, right now, you and me, here… put together entirely from atoms… sitting on this round rock with a core of liquid iron… held down by this force, that so troubles you, called gravity… all the while spinning around the sun… at 67,000 miles an hour… and whizzing through the Milky Way… at 600,000 miles an hour… in a universe that very well may be chasing its own tail… at the speed of light. And amidst all this frantic activity… fully cognizant of our own imminent demise… which is a very pretty way of saying… we all know we’re gonna die… we reach out to one another.

Sometimes for the sake of vanity… sometimes for reasons… you’re not old enough to understand yet… but a lot of the time… we just reach out and expect nothing in return.

Isn’t that strange?

Isn’t that weird?

Isn’t that weird enough?”

a poem by e. e. cummings

a poem by e .e. cummings

your homecoming will be my homecoming–

my selves go with you,only i remain;
a shadow phantom effigy or seeming

(an almost someone always who’s noone)

a noone who,till their and your returning,
spends the forever of his loneliness
dreaming their eyes have opened to your morning

feeling their stars have risen through your skies:

so,in how merciful love’s own name,linger
no more than selfless i can quite endure
the absence of that moment when a stranger
takes in his arms my very life who’s your

–when all fears hopes beliefs doubts disappear.
Everywhere and joy’s perfect wholeness we’re


I have felt, lately, that I have no new words. I do not have new things to say. I have said it all already, even if I feel the desire to express the same feelings and thoughts over and over again. For when expression does not bring change, and does not bring some new revelation, then it starts to feel useless. Words do not feel as powerful as they once were. For words to be powerful again, they must bring life. And right now, I do not see the life I wanted my words to bring about. My journal sits unfilled. I started writing about my life first because it was new and wonderful and the emotions and experiences begged to be chronicled and understood and valued, and then later because everything was so hard and I felt so lost and alone.

I find myself returning again and again to the words C.S. Lewis wrote. “I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history, and if I don’t stop writing that history at some quite arbitrary point, there’s no reason why I should ever stop. There is something new to be chronicled every day. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I’ve already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn’t a circular trench. But it isn’t. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn’t repeat.” If I wrote every day, there would be bright spots, but mainly sorrow. I cannot change that. But it feels pointless now to chronicle it, when I do not know when it will end. Perhaps I have done all the understanding that I can do. I am sure I will write about it again, when I am driven to, or when my thoughts produce something worth writing. I am a writer. I cannot help myself, when life reaches its heights and depths. I must record the words to keep from bursting.

For now, I will turn to the words of others. Books are my friends, I hide and find comfort in their worlds and people. They affirm me. They remind me of hope. And so, when words of a wiser writer reach my heart where it needed to be found or express  what I feel better than I, I will share them here. For after all, understanding is also a function of writing. And I, like everyone else in the world, long to be understood.

© 2018 Ashley Wilda

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