Monday, 31 December 2012

As the wise man said

... geography is now history, and it is hard traveling alone. 

Forty five years of your life are unknown to me, but here you are, familiar. There's nothing cosmic about my love for you, it's only too particular: I love your arms and your skin and the smell of you. I love the rawness of my chin when it's been raked by your beard and the way you make me laugh, the simple things you place in the picture you paint for our future, your handwriting. These foolish things. 
It is bizarre to think of the separateness of the worlds we currently inhabit, but no more bizarre than to contemplate the two of us as we endeavour to weave our lives together, here on the cusp of the new year. 

There is a story, always ahead of you. Barely existing. Only gradually do you attach yourself to it and feed it. You discover the carapace that will contain and test your character. You will find in this way the path of your life.
― Michael Ondaatje, The Cat's Table



Recently, I have found myself thinking about inconsequential things - or seemingly so, amidst the carnage of other developments. I have been walking through the house and village thinking about what will be shared, what needs attention, what new things must be bought or prepared for. And it becomes apparent that deep beneath this frozen ground of winter, spring is awakening and stretching in its endless possibilities. Invisible and undetectable to those who can't or won't acknowledge the power of dreams, it nevertheless is preparing the ground and whispering to the seeds that their time will come - and far sooner than can be imagined in these cold days.
So I potter and gather the small but happiest of thoughts and think of my Madelaine, and how this needs to be changed, or that bought, and know that spring has already come to me in my soul and I hope she will feel it too. The new year is on us, there are so very few days that truly belong to me to get these small things underway ... and if I blink I will be on a plane flying to our future.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

To endure

How often must we steal ourselves against outside hostility, and against even the chance to speak in our defense my love?
I will not forget the love when we spoke - even tonight, and the reminder that it is the precious things that often do find a way to prevail.

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind

And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
                                         William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream

And I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve; blessed with love from a beautiful, loving and generous spirit. 

It is a generous love that bears, believes, hopes and endures so very much, and I am deeply thankful. 
Happy Christmas, my sweet angel.


Friday, 21 December 2012


: a use of spells or verbal charms spoken or sung as a part of a ritual of magic; also : a written or recited formula of words designed to produce a particular effect.

And every time I hear it, my heart sings. 


Staying close


Thursday, 20 December 2012

Flying to be still

Madelaine is settled, connected, still. I am flying – riding on gusts of energy to meet every tiny job that has to be finished before I can be settled, connected, still. And this flight is powered by love – otherwise I would be scrapping along the bottom, battered and bruised from a term of tiredness and intensity that has finally taken its toll. So, powered by Madelaine, who is settled, connected, still. And that is enough for me to be happy.

Things can change in a day

I went out with my camera today and got lost in the play of light and shadow, of shape and colour; and sometime later, as I was sat in my favourite coffee shop with its hidey holes, kooky decor and quiet jazz, I realized that I'd reconnected with my inner self, the stillness at my core, and there, too, I found you, and knew that I am happy in your love and happy with the fact that I have begun to share the world with you, Dave. 
This is my geography, where I need to be. 

It is after all so easy to shatter a story. To break a chain of thought. 
To ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain. 
To let it be, to travel with it, is much the harder thing to do. 
Arhundati Roy, The God of Small Things


Tuesday, 18 December 2012


One button, tuppence away.
Remembering the weight of you,
Our 4 a.m. finesses.
Stillness and flaring recognition,
So much to share
Sheltered within the canopy of your arms.

But I'm new here,
Will you show me around.

And two things from John Berger that I want to share with you, just because.

According to whether we are in the same place or separated from one another, I know you twice. There are two of you.
When you are away, you are nevertheless present for me. This presence is multiform: it consists of countless images, passages, meanings, things known, landmarks, yet the whole remains marked by your absence, in that it is diffuse. If is as if your person becomes a place, your contours horizons. I live in you then like living in a country. You are everywhere. Yet in that country I can never meet you face to face.
In the country which is you I know your gestures, the intonations of your voice, the shape of every part of your body. You are not physically less real there, but you are less free.
What changes when you are there before my eyes is that you become unpredictable. What you are about to do is unknown to me. I follow you. You act. And with what you do, I fall in love again.

How to measure
a season
the calendar of your absence?

How to measure
the stream
of my tangled light
in the mountain
of what has been
and what will be?

The balance is never made.

Yet in the night your eyes and mine
sounding one another
show no trace of vertigo.


A poem in the key of D major

Here is where we meet
Bearers each of a slim volume
Bound in burgundy and gold.
A story of crossing paths,
A pledge
As we stand on the frontier
Waiting to cross into unknown territory;
Without let or hindrance.


Monday, 17 December 2012


I had a chance to hear Louis Macneice’s poem Snow last week and and was happily taken by it’s seasonal conveyance of the 'other' which is shaping our lives as the fundemental reality. The world’s plurality is undeniable and of course there to be embraced. Its size and disinterested care of our private and privatised lives is at least something to acknowledge. How do I react to such knowledge especially when I think of Madelaine?
The oceans are there and they can be deadly to my hopes. But I have my boat, my convictions, and a determination to live. The ocean is what I have been given but my choices will be my stars.
And of course I have chosen you. X


The room was suddenly rich and the great bay-window was
Spawning snow and pink roses against it
Soundlessly collateral and incompatible:
World is suddener than we fancy it.

World is crazier and more of it than we think,
Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
The drunkenness of things being various.

And the fire flames with a bubbling sound for world
Is more spiteful and gay than one supposes–
On the tongue on the eyes on the ears in the palms of your hands–
There is more than glass between the snow and the huge roses.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Not for the fearful

Distance is not for the fearful, it's for the bold. It's for those willing to spend a lot of time alone - except you never really are - for a little time with the one they love. It's for those who know a good thing when they see it, even if they don't see it nearly enough. 
We are separated by 9,592.75 kilometers, as the crow flies.

I don't miss you alone, I miss you and me together, and missing you gets easier by the day because though, with each passing day, I am one day further from the last time I saw you, at the same time I am one day closer to the next time I will.

On ne peut pas vivre d'amour et d'eau fraiche

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

                      e.e. cummings


Each flower began

in the palm of a hand,
each petal
in origin
a gesture an action
a touching.

Put your garden to my cheek 

your five fingered garden
in another city 
to my cheek.
            John Berger

Four is an inauspicious number here in this country that I currently call home, but five is a good place to pause. 


The ground beneath my feet...

... shook violently today and as I held onto the door frame waiting for the lurching to stop - the experience of last March playing across my mind's eye - there was tumult, too, in the region of heart and lungs, at the possibility that this shake of nature's fist might keep us apart just as we have begun to come together. 

Happiness is human, not divine, and the pursuit of happiness is what we might call love. This love, earthly love, is a truce between metamorphs, a temporary agreement not to shape-shift while kissing or holding hands. Love is a beach towel spread over shifting sands. Love is an initmate democracy, a compact that insists on renewals, and you can be voted out overnight, however big your majority. It's fragile, precarious, and it's all we can get without selling our souls to one party or the other. It's what we can have while remaining free... All treaties can be broken, all promises end up as lies. Sign nothing, make no promises. Make a provisional reconciliation, a fragile peace. If you're lucky it might last five days; or fifty years.

In the end such prophecy is useless. You just have to live your life, make your choices, move forward until you can't... One either loves, or waits for love, or banishes love for good. That is the full range of possible choices. 

Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet


Friday, 14 December 2012


Sometimes, when I lie curled up in bed late at night, drifting between wakefulness and sleep, I can feel the weight of your body enveloping mine and, for a brief moment, I imagine that if I open my eyes I will see the view from your bed; and while the noise from the road makes it difficult to sustain that vision, your imprint remains and I can feel your breath on my skin.


If loving you is wrong

I don't want to be right.

Love is not time's fool...
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error, and upon me prov'd
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

                                Shakespeare, Sonnet 116.


Thursday, 13 December 2012


... an amorphous and only vaguely acknowledged sense of anticipation even before I boarded the plane that heightened to a pitch as I got into the car and drove for the first time the route that was to become so pleasurably familiar over the course of the three weeks.

... the sudden attack of nerves that hit as I sat just out of sight in the lane and picked up the phone to check I was in the right place, and the shyness in that very first greeting.

... an almost imperceptible shake in a pair of hands being used to guide me through the house.

... standing in the kitchen on that maiden morning, in sunshine, watching Dave make the bacon sandwiches that were to be our only sustenance that first day.

... hesitancy in conversation and covert glances, and the growing ease as our dialogue extended.

... walking across wintry fields, toes tingling, cheeks flushed, gazing out towards a line of skeletal trees silhouetted against a brooding skyline, talking, listening and slipping very naturally into and out of companionable silence.

... and then the snug: hiding away in the depths of a joyously unspoiled rural pub and feeling a delicious languor steal over me as the warmth of the wine radiated through my arms and hands, down to my legs and feet, and the space narrowed between us.

... and, of course, those first tiny, tentative kisses... it's not that we have hope - we shelter it.
"In reality we are always between two times: that of the body and that of consciousness."
John Berger

Cassandra Wilson on the radio:

  I just want to see you
  when the sun goes down.
  It's as simple as that
  I want to see you when the sun goes down
  no more than that.



What a beguiling start to the end of such an intense year. I found love, and fell in love too. Firstly through correspondence and then in person with the gorgeous Madelaine. I must take some responsibility for this state as I clearly engineered it as far as I could but events still surprise even if they are hoped for. Three weeks of ‘madness’ in an English village and occasional days of the pure bliss that kind weather, walks across sun streaked fields, and pubs with warm hearths give. Just the best that a rural English autumn offers.

And now of course we are parted and separated by time as well as distance. Correspondence starts again and all the arsenal of modern technology is commandeered to breathe soul and energy into romance. February is the next time we shall see each other and be able to touch - there is so much hope and excitement for that time that it makes the intervening days seem irrelevant and unwelcome, even though there is so much to do and enjoy. Madelaine has turned my world upside down even as I have done the same to hers. But we have correspondence, and now a blog to recall, record and annotate. It shall have to do. xxx