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Hi friends, 

I'm back at my desk after a glorious long-time-coming week off work. I've been hiking and wild swimming and paddle boarding and celebrating birthdays and graduations and engagements, and to be honest, I feel as if I need a holiday from this holiday. BUT. It's been everything I needed and more. I feel like I've felt life between my fingers and toes, again. Which, again, has been a long-time-coming, but we move!! We move.

Enjoy today's essay :)

 

***
 

I step on the train and as it chugs further along the tracks, I begin half shutting my eyes and half whispering up prayers. 

 

Please let this night pan out. Please allow me the faith to believe this can be pulled off.

 

All whilst the smaller part — the part that keeps one eye open, that doesn't dare clear her damn throat to really say what she needs, even to her own God — that part already knows.

 

And more importantly, knows it is a battle not worth calling in the big guns for. 

 

Because as much as it is humiliating to step off a train and find not a trace of the man that is supposed to be waiting for you there. As much as I shake with rage, shocked to my core as I sit with a large glass of Sauvignon at a table alone, the realisation that I have not only been stood up but entirely ghosted in the process. Well, a part of me knew

 

A part of me knew, when, I hadn’t heard from him all day. A part of me knew when, I stepped on the train anyway — a futile blank phone screen in one hand and blind faith in the other. 

 

Because, as it turns out, throwing faith at shit is still going to come out stinking.

 

And still, a part of me didn’t care.

 

Here’s the thing: I have gotten on many trains. Have spent a solid chunk of my life daydreaming on them. Commuting to work at 5 am, sitting on carriage floors when there have been no seats left, carrying 20inch pizzas home with me whole. 

 

Have gotten ones to meet new loves and ones to leave old loves. Missed trains because I was too busy kissing. More times than I care to admit. Cried on trains that I’ve boarded, running away in the middle of the night. More times than I care to admit. Evaded train fares to uni most mornings. An impressive amount to admit. 


I deserve shares in the national rail. 

 

When I was big into affirmations, travelling through rush hour London, I used to say to myself: I am travelling with ease. I am travelling with ease. I am travelling with ease. 

 

And well, I have become accustomed to knowing when I am simply not…travelling with ease.

 

Where I’ve been travelling somewhere and all I’ve felt is resistance — a small tug against the tracks. Distance amounted but not quite won. Destinations I was forcing myself into, places road-mapped with signs telling me I was no longer welcome; swimming against the tide. When what has been waiting for me on the other side was silently screaming it to be a bad idea long before I ever stepped foot on its land. 

 

And when there have been silent screams of good ideas, too. 

 

Sometimes there are train journeys that move with the ease of a magnet pulling you to the places you are headed — a coming together. Like you can’t quite get there quick enough and the universe is doing all in its power to hit the accelerator. And you look out of the window, blink, and think, this is right. I am moving towards what is right. 

 

In May I hit snooze on my alarm clock. I don’t go back to sleep but neither do my sheets let me go. And before I can reason with them, it is decided. I am getting on a train. I am going to see my best friend who lives three hours south. My sheets can’t argue with that. I pad to the kitchen, stick a bagel in the toaster and my eyes swell. I silently weep for my best friend, whom, it feels so right to go to now. A split-second decision. An I’m coming. A train ride that can’t come quick enough, a magnet pulling us back together after eight months. I don’t know how I have lived. Maybe I haven’t quite. But I am moving towards something now. Home.


 

***

As always, I love to hear from you. If you liked today’s newsletter, want to carry on the conversation or have any thoughts or feedback at all, do hit reply. Thanks for reading x


🍄Songs, Songs, Songs🍄
(click to listen/follow on Spotify)

Hi. — Lauren Sanderson

Kindness — MØ

American Eyes — Promises Ltd.

California, Pt. 1 — Godford

When Will We — De-Tu

The Moments I’m Missing — Nina Nesbitt

Cheer Captain — Charli Adams

All I Wanna Say — Lontalius 

Latter Days (feat. Anais Mitchell) — Big Red Machine

Happier Than Ever — Billie Eilish

 

Esme Rose Marsh is a writer, artist and the founder of Hook Magazine. She publishes a bi-monthly newsletter called I’ve Been Meaning to Say… which contemplates what it takes to live a meaningful life and her collage prints can be purchased in exclusive drops throughout the year. Esme is a recent cat-convert, a current adoptive ginger and a frequent user of the em dash. She has contributed a variety of creative works to the likes of The Coven, Restless and CONKER and is available for freelance commissions…

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Esme Rose Marsh, Retford, Nottinghamshire DN220BU
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Esme Rose Marsh · Hook Magazine · Nottingham, Nottinghamshire DN220BU · United Kingdom

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