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  • I sat on the beach looking at this stick that some intrepid explorer had plunged into the swirling muddied waters of the Pacific ocean. The mangroves that lurk just across the bay are the reason for the water's lack of crystal blueness, yet within those waters dark shadows move whilst above birds float on invisible thermals.

    It was the stick though that caught my eye ... made me pause. The way it was stood, an ever weakening position, caught between fluid and solidity, earth and water. An uncertain vertical existence, no longer a master of one's own destiny but subject to external forces outside of one's control.

    An elegant visual metaphor for me ....

    Over the past two years we left home, moved across the planet, found new lives, new relationships, new problems, new opportunities.

    At some point I lost myself. Lost faith in the person I used to be, scared of what I might become. Nothing that others haven't felt nor experienced, but hell this is my reality, so it was unique to me. I found myself lost, isolated, disconnected.

    I stumbled upon Cowbird by chance, finding a virtual community. Found myself tapping at keys without fear for the first time in a long time. Then like all good relationships I needed a break, I found myself staying away, ignoring the emails fluttering in every day. There was no real reason, no real meaning, just the act of absence itself. Losing myself in a realm of short stories and unfinished/unstarted manuscripts.

    However without Cowbird I wouldn't have even tried to write fiction ... So thank you all, for the inspiration, support and space to find myself again.

    My name isn't Image Ronin, it's Andrew and I wrote this the other day
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