In the news Mentals

When you are only one thing

We each comprise many things: we are people, first, and then perhaps we are people who stand in courtrooms or people who find gum behind chairs or people who carry children on their backs or people who stand in wind tunnels. Perhaps we are people who pluck kittens out of drainpipes, or people who put kittens into drainpipes, and perhaps we are people who sit alone in a room, or people who look into the room.

I comprise many things: I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, a lover, a friend. I am someone who writes sentences for the joy of it, and someone who sits close to the fire, and someone who will cook all day long, and someone who sits under trees, and someone who opens doors for other people, and someone who watches TV in bed, and someone who eats the last biscuit (and all the other biscuits), and someone who sneezes. And I am someone who reads on rainy days, and someone who does scratchies with her dad, and someone who is short on patience, and someone who wears black, and someone who leaves her shoes in the kitchen. And I am someone who buys fresh flowers, and someone who has a lasagne recipe, and someone who calls her nanna, and someone who has never finished university, and someone with horrible toenails, and someone who thinks deeply about the absurdity of breathing,



I am only one thing.


In the supermarket when everyone is staring and the room is spinning and the ground, the ground? who knows, it is somewhere far below me or maybe next to me, or possibly a tedious manifestation — I am only one thing.

In the midnight when the house is asleep and infinity is looming and the sounds crash into me, like I’m wearing an ear horn and they are shouting into it with a megaphone and I am having every thought I’ve ever had all at once, I am only one thing.

In the crackling instant between being okay and being completely and in all ways not okay, in that very spitting moment when the air smelled strange just for a fraction of a second and that was all it took to cross the threshold into being only one thing …

… the important part is not the one thing, you see.

It is the sometimes.

I am those other things too.

We each comprise many things: we are people with sweaty hands or people with tight chests or people with a rope around their windpipe or people who cannot even grab the world well enough to find the direction of the surface but we are not defined by our fear and we are not defined by our fear and we are



by fear.

Tara Moss’s book, The Fictional Woman, is many things too, but you’ll have to read it to know.


“Anna Spargo-Ryan returns with another impressive novel that will have readers feeling every emotion experienced by the beautifully written characters.” Books + Publishing

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I’m Anna, a digital strategist and writer who likes to drink 'Ice Tea' but doesn't understand why it's not called 'Iced Tea'. By night and occasionally morning, I eat things, write things, berate my children, walk my dogs and hug my chocolate.

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