The phoenix was written after my return from Afghanistan in April 2009. I had just come out of a very difficult relationship and I was reeling from the sheer number of emotions that were spiralling out of me in response to a year and a half of battling to keep someone afloat. Love is dangerous but where angels dare to tread I will go too, where angels fear to tread I will go there anyway.. so, I had tried...and tried... and in the end I think we were both exhausted. It's not for me to judge someone negatively. All I know is that I tried to rescue someone who didn't want to be rescued, I should have realised that only he could rescue himself anyway, and that in the process of trying to lift a dead weight out of the water you can occasionally drown. Luckily though, for those of you who were worried that the phoenix had died completely, the story has a happy ending:
Downstream the river turns and widens into the sea, from the sea a distant rocky inlet leads amongst mountains sheer into the water and here the fatally injured bird is held and absorbed into the force. Amongst the branches and twigs of the funeral pyre the phoenix is able to sacrifice life into the next life. A body consumed by flames has lost only it's earthbound physicality; from the dying embers a dusty feather shakes and ash trickles from a smouldering pile, a small movement, a twitch and then a quiver of char. From the ashes emerges a hint of gold, a little red, a stretching feathered wing and then a burst of vital energy, arising from the debris. Appearing for the first time, renewed and filled with light, the phoenix is reborn.