There’s a glass cat that I recently put on my ‘ornaments’ shelf. I stood up just now, got it and set it beside me on my bed. I stood up for the first time in half an hour, after I had cried with sadness at the glorious ending to a book, strode over – grabbed the cat – and here it is now. Bare with me here but the cat kind of represents why I’m coming to a huge realisation about how I feel: it represents my love for creating things.
Now, the cat itself doesn’t symbolise why I, just now, remembered why I love the very idea of ideas springing forth from my mind. I finished a book, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, and felt so hollow at the fact that it was over that I cried. But then, something changed. The spark that had been growing and growing inside of me throughout the book finally exploded, roaring into life with a sudden shock. It feels like it’s swallowing me up and though it might be temporary, I jumped up with purpose and moved.
I bought this cat in Barcelona, when everything felt like it was too much and too soon and like it was burning. Now, I’m sitting here with it next to me, shaky and feeling so desperately alive that I could cry. If you can see it, the featured image is this cat.
It’s smooth, ears poking out from its head, the nose a faded point and the eyes little more than indents; its head faces forward. Almost rigid, its back only has the most inconspicuous speck of scratch; its sides curve in the slightest amount. It’s got a tail, pointing up and forward and curling. Almost like it’s on the move, its paws feel like they’re ready to run, to take the air by storm. This simple piece of glass, bought in a shop with other such pieces of glass, has lodged itself in my heart. The book made me appreciate things like this, messy and real as it seems to me, sculpted beautifully as it seems to others.
Maybe I’ll write a review on the book, the first one I’ll ever do, because I feel like this book changed my perception of things. It forced me to look at life with all its colours and collages and sounds, to burn up with a need to create and to love and to smash down the boundaries I set for myself. As soon as I had that cat beside me, I grabbed my computer and these words poured out, easier and freer than they’ve been in months, ever since I spiralled downwards. They’re disjointed and brittle but that’s how I feel now.
You may be asking, “What’s a book and a cat got to do with life? Why are you sitting alone in your room, getting emotional about glass, electronic pages and memory?” Well, it’s because it’s restored some faith in my life. It’s taken the twisted parts of myself and righted them for a little while; it’s made me want to make things.
Clutching this cat in my hand, I rushed downstairs with it, palms clammy and heart beating so hard. “Dad, take a picture of this cat!” I almost demanded. I stood there, shaking again, the reality of all of it washing over me.
Fingers sliding over glass and tears at the beautifully continuous story of a character has made me realise that I am real, full of idea and love and a need to be. I want to belong, to thrive, to meet others and laugh with them; I want to create worlds inside my own head that I perform or write about or just imagine in the quiet recesses of my mind. At the end of the day, I’m a dreamer. I wish for things which often seem unobtainable. Instead of shutting these dreams down, I want to revel in them. Eliza taught me that passion and creativity don’t have to always be constant but if you love something, whatever it is, you shouldn’t give up on it. And if you stop doing it, the world doesn’t stop either.
Freedom may only be temporary, fickle, prone to sad and happy books or to others bringing me ‘down to earth’. I don’t care. For now, I can immerse myself in creating anything and not feel guilty. For now, I can remember why I started this blog, why I love it, why I love to share whatever I can create with the world.
I weigh the cat in my hands and set it, lopsided, on my pillow. Perhaps I’m not invincible but that can’t stop me from thinking the world can’t be explored. I want to go, to be, to write, to act, to dream.
No matter if the thoughts overtake me again, a book, a cat and a fire inside me showed me that I am not my fear. I am not just a ball of screams and echoes; I’m a real person with beauty in my smiles and worlds in my words.
This post, with all its jumbled cracks and subtleties, feels freeing. God, I feel like I could belong somewhere; I feel like I do belong somewhere. If only one person reads this post and knows that at this moment I don’t feel so awful, it’ll make me happy. Maybe there will be a thousand smashed glass cats to deal with and a million unfinished books to read but I still have these ones. I’ll still have the cat and the book that set me to write this post.
From Elm 🙂