She lived amongst the trees and old wild things, and so her skin had become dappled with oaken light and furred with shed strands of brown and white. She was not even sure what she might look like beneath that. Memories of old cities lined her knuckles. Memories of islands and oceans were half-hidden between her toes. But apparently every seven years you shed all your skin and are new again, so maybe she was ghost upon ghost, held in the substance of borrowed forest.
She loved that wild-populated woodland. But there were times when she wondered if she could love herself too. Perhaps one day she would go gypsing to learn whether mountains lay lovelier on her skin, or farmland painted more beautifully her various scars, or moors could be soft over her heart.
Someone told me recently that it's hard to hold on to happiness and fulfillment when you're an empath, but you can more easily keep a quiet ground of inner contentment. My own sense of fulfillment is like a wild sky, and yesterday in a northerly I decided it was time to change my instagram name (again). But I could not figure anything that would cover all I loved, at least not for long. So I went back to Knitting the Wind. Might as well have it here too, and be consistent across platforms. It's good enough (for now). I can be content with it.
Creative writing is also hard when you are an empath, I find. It's not so much that there are too many enticing stories (there are) but that there are too many writers one could be. I realised lately that it may be better after all to not write from the heart, giving something of it to the world, but to write for the heart, with empathy towards oneself. Perhaps this leads to a truer giving, since one is writing not an echo of the forest and the deer and the sorrowing badger, but the woman who stands amongst them, the song beneath her skin.
illustration henry ford