Monday, 15 April 2013

Breeze. Breathe. Draft

Flurry. Flutter. Blast. Blow. Puff. Gust. Squall. Tempest. Gale. Cyclone. We have lots of names for wind in its various states (not to go into the Beaufort numbers). More specific name are tied to particular places. I particularly like tramuntana, found in north eastern Spain. You'll know when that hits.

Some people are more affected by wind than others. One friend who visited was so distressed by the wind here, she didn't want to be out in it. And even though I'm invigorated by the warmer varieties (especially when on land), I've been tested recently.

Non-stop wind through March roared in like a lion but still hasn't gone out like the lamb of folklore. Everything is looking pretty hammered, flattened, bleached. And with the change in sea temperature, and then air pressure, we're told to get used to it. The preference for dykes over trees here enables it to scoot across the fields unhindered. So every act takes that much more energy and focus to be undertaken. It's as if every decision is being double checked: is it absolutely necessary? Worth the effort? Standing still requires concentration, awareness. 

And perhaps that's what I love most about the wind. It defines me, in a way that swimming also does. But better: I don't have to get wet. In strong winds, air flutes around my body, sharpening my awareness of where I end. I am most clearly shaped when walking into or away from a 25mph wind. Muscles are active. I am a walking channel, a solid mass in the middle of huge movement. And unlike seeing shadows and silhouettes of myself I can feel it in my limbs, in the front and back of my body, along my jaw. It reinforces me.

Which feels similar to my reasons for writing, or creating anything: gardens, meals, clothes. I have, I suppose, a kind of extreme low level body dysmorphia, which possibly isn't the right term, but will have to serve here. My body image is flawed by my not being fully aware of definition. I am not contained by my physical self. And when I feel bigger, I create. Writing, for example, is a way I can manifest myself into something other more cleanly, or perhaps I mean with a cleaner definition. It has form. It is the shape of my overflow. Conversely there are times when I shrink, so overwhelmed I don't write. When we bought the boat, for example, I didn't write for almost the entire year. Being responsible for something so alien, potentially scary, meant inhabiting my own body took all my effort just to function. To function well, I had to fit myself comfortably. To manage the excess of myself, I have to put it somewhere else.

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