Withdrawn within myself I feel safe. Alone and warm and safe.
I wrote that back in, oh, 2007 or so, but every now and then I recall the words and the feeling that accompanied them. It is a wintery feeling. It brings to mind a dingy room with a whiteboard and tiny cramped seats, a black-and-white dalmation notebook and the quiet comfort of chemical reactions. It brings to mind cold weather and wandering about in a garden while waiting for the physics tuitions to end and our chemistry ones to start. It brings to mind huddling and wrapping myself up, within hoods and swathes of warm fabric in my real life, within dim reflections in my own head.
The A levels were perhaps the lowest, most depressing point of my life. They were also the point at which I was most aware of my own mindset and my own desires, and most in touch with myself. It was the point in my life when I was furthest from confusion, from outside influence, from the chaos created by communication. I cut myself off from people and I enjoyed it. My own calm, quiet, contemplative company was mostly enough.
I need some of that withdrawal these days.
(The route to the hospital I work at these days passes D-6. Perhaps that, and the cold, and the general solitude at work, explain why those words conjure up those memories in particular. Or maybe its the other way round, it is the memories of the chemistry classes that drag up the words. Who cares? Not I.)