BY MADELEINE WAKEMAN
CN: CONFINEMENT, PRISON AND INSTITUTION IMAGERY
University accommodation can be isolating. There is a somewhat institutional feel to the corridor of identical rooms, each bearing the same black cursive scrawl. I wrote this piece a while ago, towards the start of my time at university, as a reminder to myself- and a promise- that I can exist outside of my studies and stress, however all-encompassing. I turned to writing as my point of refuge, and revelled in the escapism I experienced through putting my thoughts onto paper.
I am living in an atypical prison.
There are five walls, not four. My windows are not barred, yet the few centimetres of glass separating my cell from The Outside seem impenetrable. I am free to enter, I am free to leave. Yet here I remain; I am chained to this very chair, writing these very words.
I dream of my body running as far as my thoughts can. A place with no walls, nothing but me and raw air. It is strange to remove yourself from the physical. To consider the freedom of mentality in the face of a world full of obstacles. For sometimes I am here, and sometimes I am not. But my thoughts- unlike my body- do not feel the oppression of these five walls, or the burning harshness of this lamp, obnoxiously shining beside me.
My thoughts are my vessel of escape, transporting me to my greenbelt haven. A vast expanse of nothing; a vast expanse of everything. Fingertips brushing through the tall grass, marking this path only I have travelled. Feebly, I am trying to outrun the blur of a hundred shades of green.
My lungs burn with ecstasy. That rich oxygen spilling deep inside me, choking me, mocking every other tainted breath that dared pass my parted lips.
My glance catches the velvet orange glow of the Sun’s descent. Warmth engulfs my veins.
Welcome to Serenity.