Bloggers of the world united yesterday when I met up with Meg and Letha in London. We had a wonderful time, running around Oxford Street, having a boozy lunch in Carluccio’s, scoring the obligatory celebrity sighting (Naomi Campbell in Topshop surrounded by an impenetrable throng of minions), buying glittery girlie eye shadows and swooning over the luscious scents in Liberty. We ended up in Soho where we drank more wine, ate more food and fell in love with each other a bit more… in short, it was the perfect day (and my two beautiful friends are as gorgeous and inspiring in real life as they are on their blogs).
Thought of by you all day, I think of you.
The birds sing in the shelter of a tree.
Above the prayer of rain, unacred blue,
not paradise, goes nowhere endlessly.
How does it happen that our lives can drift
far from our selves, while we stay trapped in time,
queuing for death? It seems nothing will shift
the pattern of our days, alter the rhyme
we make with loss to assonance with bliss.
Then love comes, like a sudden flight of birds
from earth to heaven after rain. Your kiss,
recalled, unstrings, like pearls, this chain of words.
Huge skies connect us, joining here to there.
Desire and passion on the thinking air.
~ Carol Ann Duffy, Rapture
Light fell on me this morning as I read all your comments ~ Thank you. Today the clouds have lifted outside the window, and inside me too, and as I sat down to work at this computer the idea for my second book dropped fully formed into my head. Can’t explain it any better than that – one minute I was thinking about the work I had to do, the next I could see an entire story, and as I made rushed scribbled notes to keep up with my thoughts, names appeared, situations, meanings and connections. It was a little like watching a film; in fact I think it would be safe to say I literally downloaded the idea. So strange… and so very exciting.
For more poetic inspiration, go here. Image borrowed from here
I’m almost reluctant to post this tonight as I worry this blog is going back to its old ways, the days when it was gloomy (maybe it always is?) but sometimes it’s hard to shake off the grief on my shoulder. God, how I loathe that word – grief. I wonder if it’s perhaps more depression these days – though I do have bright moments, smiling days – but this blog tends to reflect the darker places I inhabit rather than the lighter. I was talking with Madeleine last night about how we present just one facet of ourselves on our blogs, how, if you were to meet me in person, you’d perhaps wonder where the sad eyes were, and indeed she and I have got to places in our lives where we can laugh at what has gone before, the ridiculousness of it all.
Today has been so overcast with heavy clouds I’m already missing the sun. It reflects my mood perfectly. I’m struggling with corporate work I don’t want to do, I’m worrying I won’t have enough time to complete these chapters… I’m wondering if there is any light ahead in this tunnel I feel trapped in. Yet I’m trying to live moment-to-moment – right now, I am sat at my desk and the table lamp is on. I have a cigarette between the fingers of my left hand – I have a glass of wine to my right. I’m thinking about what I should make for dinner. Right now I am okay. But in the next moment I may not be; that’s the worry that consumes us isn’t it.
I know these thoughts are swimming in my head because the anniversary is coming up. The anniversary of the last time I saw him. I should be used to this by now, yet each month it gets harder and harder. I feel the guilt that I am still here, the guilt of all the things I didn’t say. I feel the anger that he is not here for me to shout at, that he abdicated all responsibility and slipped off into the night. And I feel so very sad that I cannot see him anymore, that there are no more feathers, no songs, no coincidences happening to let me know that there is more to life, to death, than I can see. I worry that this is really it – an existential crisis on a Wednesday night.
Thank you if you are still reading this. I’m writing it for myself really, but it would be foolish to pretend I post words for the hell of it – the connections with others means a lot. I know tomorrow, next week, next month will be different, but I’m so very impatient to get there. But you won’t be there is the next thought in my head. I’m bored of this now – won’t you please come back?
I dreamt about him last night. It wasn’t a dream where we met – those dreams seem to have been pulled away from me like the tide – but he was there, ethereal, insubstantial, but there. I was lying down and he came up behind me and ran his hands down my back and whispered words against my skin; I forgot them the moment I woke up, of course.
Grief comes in waves, ebbing and flowing as you go about your day-to-day life. I can no longer afford to allow myself the luxury of wallowing in my sadness; bills must be paid, work must be done. But when you think you’re okay, when life is moving, shifting, changing, that is when the grief comes back. It no longer incapacitates me, it is simply now a part of me, an outer coating I carry on the surface of my skin. It is almost sixteen months since I last looked at his face yet the smallest things can trigger a landslide of memory. On Sunday I read a blog post that mentioned Marilyn Monroe and whoosh – I was back in my flat in London, curled up in the sheets of my bed. He was standing by the bedroom door with a bottle of wine in his hand for us, and before coming to the bed he paused and looked at me lying there. He told me I looked like Marilyn Monroe – at the time I laughed and told him not to be so silly, but now I think about it, I understand what he meant. On Sunday I googled for pictures of her and found the famous image of her posing naked in Playboy. It was taken, I think, before she was platinum and famous, and looking at her curves I could see my own body shape of two years ago. I saw – finally – what he saw. Why didn’t I see it at the time?
Writing this book is triggering so many memories. I worry that I am masochistically trying to recreate him on the page, though I don’t think I am – as I said in a previous post, the characters are taking on a new life of their own and I’m happy to watch them fly away from my story… our story. But this week… today… right now, I miss him. Maybe he has a blogger account now and can read what I write? I hope so, as I have so many things I want to say…