(Note: Even though I live in France, I am basically British, and in the UK we call what Americans call a “Teeter Totter” a “See-Saw”; and we call what Americans call a “Merry-Go-Round” a “Roundabout”. At least we did back in the last millennium when I last lived in the UK).
I have in my mind’s eye one of those playground attractions
A blend of a see-saw and a roundabout
They actually do exist
I have been on at least one – probably not as a young child
But either as an adult child, or even a middle-aged child
I have long loved big swings and even some exciting slides
But I once fell off a roundabout when I was 6 years old
When living in Swansea, and broke my leg
(Fractured actually, but I understood the word “broken” better)
And I considered see-saws to be boring and static
But ones that swing around as they go up and down?
Much more fun
Until the sensation is no longer simply pure joy
Rising up and up and up
With an occasional bump back down to keep the
Instead it’s now just the occasional up
Out of a vast, all-encompassing sumpRead more
It is the middle of May, now, and we are moving toward the anniversary of your death. Sunday, May 24th, is the day the police came to tell us they had found your son, dead, in his flat. I remember that moment as if it happened yesterday. It was a Saturday afternoon, and we had not long returned from our weekly shop. We were relaxing on the sofa, and watching a silly show. You put the show on pause to answer the doorbell. Our doorbell was set to the melody of "It's a Small World," an apt tune, for us.
This past week or so I have been feeling very melancholy.
This grief thing is a very difficult business. Will we ever get the hang of it? Will it forever be a process we can never escape? Will we always be struggling to slog our way through? The ever-changing game of it all is simply, some days, exhausting. I often feel as if death will be ever lurking; a grim reaper constantly whispering some dark, unintelligible secrets just out of my line of sight like the droning of a wily, invisible mosquito circling my head.
Spring has sprung in Northern England, and everywhere life is blooming. Magnolia trees burst with pink and white flowers, their sweet scent wafting along with the evening winds. Baby lambs, their legs still wobbly, hover near their mothers' stomachs, with tender young faces that seem to be smiling. Birdsong fills the air, the cacophony so loud at first light that, often, it startles me awake. The sun warms dark black dirt in the allotments nearby, as gardeners turn the earth with their shovels and hoes to prepare it for planting. Our spirits are uplifted, our hearts filled with hope that, perhaps, the long winter is behind usRead more
For most of my life, I have yearned to write. I believe and have been told that I have some talent, yet I have let other distractions keep me from pursuing what, if I am honest, I have always felt to be my life's calling.
I have built my entire life around the fear of loss.
I’ve had a string of losses, in my adult life, perhaps more than most. Each loss dug deeper wounds into my heart. Each loss wove more fear into the sorrow I felt. Each loss added layers of protection to my spirit.
I came to England in a flight from grief, after the loss of my sister and my mother, within a year of each other. Twelve months and two weeks after my mom died, we lost my sister-in-law. All the women in my family. Gone.Read more
Last weekend a friend who is dear to me and was dear to Mike since nearly the day we moved to Kona in 2001 had a terrible asthma attack. This young man was 11 when we met him. He is now 25, so we have seen him grow up into a young adult. He and his mom were devoted students of Mike’s for many years in martial arts, and since his father was not present in his life, they became like family very quickly. Mike’s death has just wrecked them both, I know, and it has been a long journey of grief for all of us, losing his powerful and reassuring presence in our lives.Read more
Before my mum and step-dad passed in 2008, they would often have discussions about the stuff in their farmhouse and outbuildings.
My mum would always say "we need to consolidate", to which my step-dad would reply "you mean throw out". Yep, that's exactly what she meant. But he just couldn't do it, so it never happened and it was left to my sister and I to sort through. The amount we've subsequently held on to is still considerable. So I had all this hanging over me when Ian died, and 15 months later, his mother died.
I was stuck for ideas the other day in art class and the teacher was trying to help me brainstorm. Make it autobiographical, he said, in his cheery 20-something voice, about the movie poster I was assigned to create.Read more