Judgement can feel like nails scraping away at your skin, lumps of you being gouged out, hole after hole. Or like a huge salted wave rising unrestrained over your head, overwhelm and intimidation rushing up into your throat, white foam hissing at you. Other people’s opinion. It’s a whole movement, a wall, a forceful body of water. A heat capable of burning your bones away to molten marrow so that they are sliding up and down with your muscles, swirling your red blood to paler pink, melting your being to the sludge of conformity, ready to slip this way and that for them.
There is defiance within you. Stronger than lead, more durable than concrete, darker than velvet navy sky, and lighter than knitted ivory clouds.
Defiance plays with you, it does, it has that mischievous characteristic; letting you keep leaning towards everyone else and then allowing you to start to fall…your heart lolloping out of your chest, your stomach folding itself up and then...
It catches you. It catches you and builds you and enhances you and pushes you upwards, not luring you downwards. It empowers you once again.
If you listen to it.
Beginning to trust, and care for someone, is like carefully setting up your easel, then cutting some canvas to fit. You start to cautiously choose your paint colours, and a paintbrush, rolling it wistfully every so often between your fingers, whilst you imagine.
Little specks of colour begin to be left across the canvas, and then they thicken into lines, only for large arcs to dance assuredly across the page. Vibrant, wonderful streaks fall upon the thick paper, sinking comfortably into it.
Then, you’re pushed back, away. You line up your tubes of paint, those you so fondly coaxed colour out of. You hide your paintbrush somewhere for another time, and you slot away your easel. You take the canvas, pierced or preserved, with you, because you decide not to leave them anything to remember you by, only the ache of not seeing you paint, and what you paint, again.