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Monday, August 20, 2007

black butterfly - a letter to joe simpson

a letter to joe simpson, mountaineer and writer of, among other things, his auto biographical account - 'touching the void'



20th august 2007

hello joe

i heard you on the radio and i thought i would let you know, i too have a black butterfly on my shoulder, just there, winking away in the blindspot

when death catches us up on her needle and thread to swing us out over the precipice, we are never able to be truely 'alive' again, at least not in the same way, by this i do not assume you to be a 'depressive' or malfunctioning, i've just found in my own experience that something like this fundamentally changes the excepted and apparently 'learned' understanding of a so called 'life', perhaps it nudges and flicks away at our dna, goes quantum with worm holes, i don't know

but with the waterproofing gone, the cold thumb of death pins her down and gashes her open with a nail, spilling the sodden meat for the gulls, a trembling fleck on the lip of a collosal wave, the tiny glinting eye of creation witnessing itself, forever suspended in that cusp moment, a meniscus, the tiniest fraction of a second looped and forever on replay, never reaching but prior to the inevitable, terrible fall

i lived on a boat as a child/teenager, with infinity above and six miles of water below, we encountered pirates, sharks and storms as we sunk deeply into the beauty and monotony of endless days at sea, and now as a so called 'adult', terrafirma folds away (collapses) beneath me and i cling to my string with the black butterfly fluttering just above my left shoulder, somewhere in the blindspot

perhaps i am talking gibberish, careless i take the risk because you struck a chord with me

i send you my love and wish you well in all things

yours in appreciation

katiejane garside

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

39 butterflies - darling, they've found the body

personal possessions and the ghost therein scare me, the trail, the smell, johns old gold watch all hold a sadness for me that is too much, i turn away, i could say there is no real content in my life, just soap operas and plans of escape not acted upon

scott died, this ended an odessy of family, love and adventure, adult life never came to bare, there i am on a glassy ocean, six miles of water beneath and infinity above, i could never grasp a thing, the sowing machine allowed me to make threads and badly drawn maps out of thrown away things, she's a rusted relic of a bygone age, huffing and puffing steam out of her watchtower as we make our way across oceans, i make and remake and remake til there is no more thread left to hold together, 39 dead butterflies with their little arms folded over their chests, how do you measure and weigh a life?, a trail of dust, gossamer thin light through tissue paper clothes, bits of string, are we nothing without our memories? are we nothing without giving birth to our own children? my infantile (but growing old) body seems not for the making of a child

i wake sometimes in the night and i am falling, falling and falling, i see my ship pulling away over the horizon in silouette and there i am drowning and forgotten with my cat 'los christianos' and scotts cat 'princess', both cats drowned at sea, probably eaten by sharks, i allow myself to be a mermaid, it dignifies my nothingness and inconsquence, so i spill over in dreams and streams of an apparent consiousness and even dare to plant a prayer flag and call it art, my attempt at a fingerprint, the location of a body fallen into a ravine

scott died because i didn't drop the keys, if i had done something different, changed anything, the timeline would have set a different compass baring and that head-on collision been would have been averted, so you see by a terrible fraction of a second i killed scott

i leave a trail of threads and broken things (things that he would recognise) in the hope that someday he will find his way back to me




i went to the meridian hotel, i left a letter there for you stuck to a lamp post but you had already left for syria