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I watch Helsie descend the stairs towards the airport exit. Hours of journeying ahead without her. I have been left to pass through the check-in gate at Bristol alone several times in the last year. It’s a desirable and lonely predicament – goodbyes and mind in overdrive, free as a feather blown loose from its bird.

I’m feeling very small. A pinprick of spirit on a palette of blue. I don’t want to think too hard about what I’m doing right now – how fast I’m moving, what isn’t supporting me. Where I’m going.

Onto my lap I pile two magazines, my iPod and computer, an array of overpriced snacks, and a book about the Tarahumara tribe. Through the window celestial mountain ranges of cloud, whipped and epic. Europe’s peaks thousands of feet below – craggy, barren, bear, and peasant. We fly east. I can’t touch the white land. I am buckled, I am listening to drinks-cans fizz open and screaming children maddened with claustrophobia in the sky. The smell of human skin slathered in suncream. Turn my music up. I have folded myself into the first slew of package-holiday makers.

2014 has been a leap of faith. A time to journey alone. I’ve been selfish and ungrateful, flinging friends off me like a wet dog. I need my coat to be dry and shining again. I’ve been moody. I’ve felt the flip side to all that Goddess love.

At Paphos Airport I panic grab my rucksack from the carousel and make for the exit. A taxi takes me out into a black night and I feel vulnerable as ever in his backseat. His hands on the steering-wheel are thick and strong. I have no idea whether the roads we are driving with take me to the Cyprus College of Art or not. I trust him.


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