Hit a nerve, have I, bach? Nosying around in the corner plot of your mind, like? Seeing the spray of your wild ocean hitting Constitution Hill, eh?
Never like that in our day, was it? Sea like off-cuts of grey silk – but maddened by the green and evening gold of the Atlantic; not soft or biddable or calming. No, no: Not a stretch of waving water you could sunbathe by or puddle out on the undulating lilo. Crazy, Cariad.
Like you. There! I’ve said it straight. Straight as Plynlimon where the orange heathers bide in sunset’s weepiest mauve and the old hikers chance their luck against crags and misleading ease.
Straight, I say, as the road running, so potted and peaty and prim with squeaky reeds, between Llancynfelyn and Borth: lovely, going a tonne on the back of the ancient Triumph Bonneville, hands clawed in exalt round Meirion’s tough tussock of abdominal muscles.
How the memories tumble, flocking like sheep, aimless-like, no Border Collie to round them up! And you, Llio, always in the centre – gentlest of all, un-canny, windswept by fate into the present day’s turmoil.
What did they enact upon you, love? Those fearsome hills and butterscotch rocks? Those sun-dappled pools in high up forests and eagle-shaped promontaries? Was the caw of silence too much for your hollow bones and fragile wings? Did the symphony of beauty taint, jar, confuse?
Who knows? Your mam won’t say. The house along South Road, pursed of mouth like a Chapel-going Elder, guards your secrets. The angry tide on South Beach, which rasped your body in – striated with sea scrape, more dead than alive – all those years ago keeps its thoughts to itself.
But I’ve hit a big, vibrating nerve, haven’t I, Llio bach? I’ve stirred the cauldron at the centre of you – and the froth is seeping and leaking over the sides now, no stopping it. Your wiry little hands rip and scratch and draw blood.
All I did was sing out the ancient notes of Cantre’r Gwaelod – and your soul unfurled, a parasol of bright pain, and you parrot-screamed until the needle did its trusty work on veins as thin as embroidery silk.
I hobble out, along the stone corridors of the castle, taking the tapestry of our time with me, its vibrant colours warming my hands.
Nerves sometimes only heal when torn first, don’t they, Llio? And you have hung upon your mind’s gallows for far too long.