The Place I Know My Face

ocean with mountain in background

The sand sizzles under the beating sun as she dips her toe into the icy water. Waves tumbling gentle and steady between the rocks. She counts down from five. The trick is to move on two. Before she has the chance to hesitate, she runs and plummets into the water.

The cold jolts through her with a full-body bellow, urging her to carry on. To push through the pain, carrying this insurmountable numbness. It’s this numbness that anchors her in place, allowing her to bear the cold that’s so harsh it burns.

In an odd way, that’s all she’s ever wanted. To feel grounded in the currents of life. Steadfast like the looming boulders in the ocean. They almost look dignified in their salt-and-pepper stubbornness.

But even the rocks erode. As time goes on, it feels less like yearning for strength and more like begging to endure.

She never got it before but she gets it now. The giving up. The enduring of people who turn to drinks or drugs, shake hands with depression and sign a life-long contract to stay broken. Their souls are already so far outside their bodies that they may as well tether it to something else. Anything else, really.

An invitation to deepen the chasm. A self-destructive urge to obliterate beyond the point of surviving, beyond the point of recognition. As if being completely whole in this life isn’t just excruciating, it’s incomprehensible.

She wades out of the chill, back onto the blistering sand and collapses in a heap of languid limbs. Bones melting, cells evaporating, lines blurring, a soul dissolving and a heavy, heavy hush.

The pieces of her mingle in the sand with a humbling confession to the Earth. And in this thorough destruction of everything she is, it doesn’t feel like falling apart. It just feels like coming home.


  1. Callum Sey

    Don’t you ever give this up!

    • Katherine Pannell

      Thanks bud x

  2. Oryctolagusman

    endurance is the path by which all things are shaped given time and opportunity. True destruction is denying and resisting THis process. May she stand amid the roar of the waves and find peace, and not dwell on desolation ever again.


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