Victoria Riddiford - Gathering


She sits, unmoving,

Her eyes softly closed

Watching the breath

Go in… and out…

The bell chimes once

Its crisp sound lingers

And then, stillness.

She turns her attention

To a figure she knows well

Who stands patiently

Waist-deep in a millpond sea

Gathering her nets.

She watches as the woman,

Seeing a scattered thought

Sparkling in the shallows

Gently draws it closer

Tangled in the folds.

She leaves it safely captured

The breath goes in… and out…

Focus on each hand, the soles of the feet

Feel the soft sand beneath.

Ah… a distant glinting jewel

Has captured her attention.

For a moment, she was far away.

Gather it in, collect it, save it carefully

Focus again on the fingertips

Gently brushing the smooth, cool surface

Making slow figures of eight.

The sun warming her face

As she waits and watches

For the next shiny distraction, and the next.

She is always waiting

Breathing in… and out…

The bell chimes crisply

They will meet again tomorrow.


Victoria Riddiford has always kept a journal, and dabbled in poetry and storytelling. Nowadays, she's getting brave enough to actually show some of her work to other people! One of her poems has been accepted for the forthcoming Bloody Amazing anthology, which is very exciting. She is studying for the Metanoia MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, and loving it. She's also a counsellor, so she gets to witness other people’s stories and strength all day long, which is a privilege. Writing helps her step outside her own feelings and experiences, and make something solid and satisfying from the tangled mess.


How writing has affected Victoria's wellbeing: "Whenever I open a drawer, or explore the back of the wardrobe, I seem to unearth an old journal from years ago - a little time capsule that tells me what my day-to-day concerns were, back then.  My worries, insecurities, joys and hopes - some of them radically different from today's, some remarkably similar!  I've always turned to writing in times of turmoil or sadness, but more recently I've discovered the satisfaction and enjoyment to be gained from a regular writing habit.  Nowadays, my journal contains the day-to-day concerns, and also impromptu poems, ideas for stories, the odd haiku I've composed while out walking, counting the syllables on my fingers.  I'm studying for an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, run by Metanoia, and it's not exaggerating to say it's changed my life.  I'm now helping other people tap into their creativity, as well as enjoying creating and crafting my own work, and even daring to release it into the world."

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