An Ode to Mental Health in 3 Creative Pieces

Mental Health Awareness Week has almost reached its end, but as most people might know, it can never be over in a week, nor should it be confined to one. Nevertheless, if for one week we make a tiny amount of difference, then it’s a victory we will take; for now.

Here are some picks from the past issues of Cobalt that showcase the brilliant ability of creative writing in letting out our emotions and feelings, as well as its ability to put a smile on people’s faces.

Orange Sky by Jonella Vidal, Issue 1

I witnessed the row
Which threw your pride to the ground
(and it still sticks there)
I saw that brick smash your brow
And I am still there,
Standing on the crumbling ledge
You are falling,
Falling to the ground.
Red sky at night,
every night, every night.

Despite the sirens and the years
threatening gravity and the tears
battling weakness and the fears which try to coax me back down,
I am still standing here,
On this crumbling ledge,
Watching you falling,
Falling to the ground.
It’s the beginning
Of an uncertain end,
Maybe I’ll fall and smash,
following the trend or maybe,
maybe I’ll wait here, until the sky changes again.
Orange sky, orange sky, orange sky.

The Autumn of Discontent by Irene Zahariadis, Issue 6 

The seasons change and I do not.

The summer brings with it an expectation that I can barely comprehend, the start of my re-birth, the start of something new. And yet, minutes pass into days, days into weeks, weeks into months and before I know it I am walking down the street and it is autumn and the leaves cripple in my wake as they once bloomed upon my arrival. For several years there has been this lingering, lingering, lingering…There has been a withering that I cannot shake. A vine grapples through my heart and pierces me, but the seasons change and I do not.

Autumn seems to be more of a compromise than a season, don’t you think? The warm embrace of summer is overshadowed by winter’s encroaching clouds. I felt the same way when we met and you told me, “Darling, darling, don’t you love the fall of the leaves?” I suppose I don’t because I see too much of myself in them; fallen objects for you to trample on as you tug me down your iridescent path. But what will you know of how I relate to a season that is merely a compromise? For now is the autumn of our discontent, and I longed for you to show me how pessimistic I was, but you only proved my realism…

We are walking down the avenue now, running through the peppermint air and you tell me how you love the stores, the shops, the knick-knacks, the things I’ve never looked at…You are a walking, breathing poem. You are something so romantic and stereotypical I wonder who will be lucky enough to turn you into the verses you’ve always known you could inspire. You are, I guess, what the lingering sought…perhaps you will cure the withering. You bring me along and we run through autumn and for once the season seems to make sense. I step on leaves without noticing, and follow you until the path takes us to the arched building of a church. We stop before it, side by side and gaze upward into the vastness, and now, it is true, the seasons seem to make sense.

The honey-hued bricks stack together perfectly, and the same red vines I thought pierced my heart drape around the sides of the building. Perhaps I was never pierced at all. Birds line the ledges of the church and gaze down at us, their grey outlines like miniature statues that bring out the crimson colours of a season I for so long disliked. But the building is a shrine, and I laugh at the idea that of all things, a church illuminated by shades of orange was all I needed to compare myself with. Its oldness, its vastness, does not change throughout the seasons, but its promise of glory glares unknowingly through its ebb.

I look at you to see if you experience the same feeling, and all you say is “What an ugly building. I wish someone would tear it down.” And it is then I realize; you were always more chiaroscuro than iridescent, and that I never cared.

Banana Man by Hannah Froggatt, Issue 2

And this one’s in the hope that we lighten up your day…

Banana Man flew across the city looking for banana-related crime. Was a fruit stall being robbed some-where? Was anyone feeling deficient in potassium? Finally, he saw a boy fleeing through a crowded marketplace, clutching a floral bag. “Stop, thief!” Thinking quickly, he peeled himself and threw his skin to the floor in front of the running boy. “Looks like you slipped up when you chose to mess with Banana Man!” But the boy hadn’t slipped. He stood staring at the naked superhero, along with the still and silent crowd. Banana Man got five years for public indecency and drank himself to death after prison, and that’s why you’ve never heard of Banana Man.

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