Memories of Freedom and Movement


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Do I really remember how this felt? Or is it just the photograph that’s reminding me?

I remember the earliest of mornings, in South Africa, before the heat hit. It was warm, even then, but cool enough to move. A dusty lane and this field of pale green. A hard few weeks behind us, we were searching for something. We couldn’t sleep, we woke, we walked.

I remember wanting the moment, but I’m not sure if I felt it, was aware. Somehow though, in this photograph, it is there, I can feel it.




I remember, flying, on a bike, aged 10. Down the hill, round the corner, round and fast, thundering in gulps of air. Feet let go of pedals. Filling my lungs to the brim.

He said, riding behind me, laughing, “Are you enjoying it, Cath?!”






Sometimes that sense of freedom seems lost to me. As if there is a blanket lying over the sky. And I can’t see through. I can’t get beyond it. I feel chained in, a chain of this cloud. A small gap, unreachable. Heads seem bowed beneath, a crowd.

I turn to my memories..




I remember finding something in this small room in the mountains. Switzerland. I remember the air, mostly. And old trains. A breeze of distant snow. But warm.

At the foot of the mountain, just outside of this window, a woman was bathing her baby in a small tin bath, outside, in the grass, in the sun.

I remember the quiet of it. The water against the tin.




I remember flying over desert. Huge gorge like cracks in the earth, tiny signs of habitation, what looked like houses, scattered between in the vast space.

(I could tiptoe on this white line..)




Sometimes it’s in an empty, straight road, in the night time.


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And still more come to me,

in the sound of grasses in the breeze..

Exhale. Fill again. Sweeping. Exhilerated.

Salty sea breaths, open spaces, horses. Running. Manes flying.

First fly on first motorbike. Green lanes. Speed blurred green. Freedom sweet and angry. Big boots, hot body of bike. Petrol cloud. Fuck You.

Corners. lanes, seashores, the moment on waves as they break, the hills at night. Kilve beach cliffs, over layers of unimaginable time and fossil.

Moon chasing. Singing loud. Rock and crying heart. Music and smoke. Smoke by the dashboard, driving. Dreams of beyond.

Train rides home..  From city to green and back again. Soundtrack in ears. Dusty breeze. Books and pencil scrawls. Lumpy case and inconvienient bike. Curled up in seat, feet tucked up. Rooftops pylons bridges Trees hills cows pylons rooftops Trees… Blurring.

Discovering the Hope Bay bus. Sweeping out from the city. Upper deck, books and notepads. Cold aluminium rail. Rocking left to right to left again. Rottingdean, Peacehaven, Seaford and down. All roads lead to the sea. Jumping out, hot ground, warm back. Running, open, grasses, horses, the cliffs, the sea! Sleep under stars. Sunstroke by the evening. Fully complete.

These things surround me, leaves in a storm..



21 thoughts on “Memories of Freedom and Movement

  1. Cath, something about this poignantly beautiful piece lays me flat, opens wider my heart, makes tears rise then fall. Such a gift you have of sight and memory, of senses, and then the words to bring all to life. you are truly dear.

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