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Helen Platania 'Forest Dweller'

Speak To Me

When will my writing speak? 


The head is a haven for thoughts to swell and break at the shore. Storms may crash about, but the tide is always at push and pull beneath.


I turn in the current and cling to seaweed and salt. The grit in my eye is washed away as I tumble. I forget how I don’t like the sea, but it likes me; it carries me further from you and into its mouth. I speak the sea. The sea says, Wave for me. You look so beautiful standing there, shouting, tearing your hair out. But the sea does not say come closer, that it will take you too.


Soon the essence of me has washed away your footsteps, and the last cry on your lips is the first breath I take.


Writing begins in strange places. It also ends. Perhaps in writing, as in life, there is always a death. Is that what I’m afraid of? I’m afraid to begin before it can end? Is it death that speaks from the stillness, the quiet, to the one who listens?


I remember now. As a writer, I’m called to the darkness. That’s where I feel alive. In death I am alive.


I’m still drowning, just in shallower water.


Once death has spoken, and I have listened, the day will have a different quality. I’ll be damp behind the ears. I’ll be like the woman in the forest, looking over her shoulder, having touched something.


I’ll have touched a voice.



What supports you to find your voice?

What nourishes you so that you may feel deeper?

Is it the darkness?

What can be understood from its depths?


Image courtesy of Helen Platania, titled ‘Forest Dweller’. Please see more of Helen’s work by clicking here.

I have the joy of looking at Helen’s art piece each day I visit my studio. When I was in isolation for the launch of Banyule Open Studios where my sound installation was on show, and I had asked Helen to share some of her illustrations for my installation, Helen asked me if she could pop into my studio and paste this piece on my wall behind my laptop stand. I am delighted by Helen’s gift. I can see ‘Forest Dweller’ peering over my screen each time I am at my desk. This woman, who I like to imagine resembles me, reminds me to produce my art from my own path I walk in the forest. Other artists walk their path too. I feel less alone knowing we are all finding our way in the forest.

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