Archives for posts with tag: time travel

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I used to walk a lot in the early days, I’d drop my son at school and then head back across the field near the top of my town. I started writing there, sat on an old bench, avoiding the mashed bubble-gum and smashed late night bottles. The parish council took my bench away after a few months, replaced it with a picnic table, where I leaned and wrote and watched the pigeons on the wire.

And the tribe of dog walkers came, I didn’t know the owners but grew to know the dogs by name as they called out for them, as they ran. My favourite was called Bailey, a daft springer spaniel, who would come up to me and say hello, fuss around me with his damp fur and snuffling nose and I’d think of you. In those days your blog was still quite new, a big part of my week, like it became for so many of us and I learned whatever I was feeling, was similar to others, that we were bound by an invisible thread that your writing underlined.

And I’d sit in the cold, in the rain, in the sun, seasons moving around me as I wrote, and when the landscape had done its job, when I’d aired the feelings that were too big for the house, I’d wander home. I’d hug a warm mug while I edited, and you were there at the click of a mouse, behind the scenes in my inbox, with a solidarity that comes from pain. Your messages helped me carve out the life that I have now and I want to tell you about it. I want to tell you that I’m waiting, any day now, for the result of my degree, I want to chat with you about the new projects I’m working on, but I can’t, not in the way I used to.  I want to hear your news, open up your replies, to read your words and stories.

And today I can feel others preparing, its moving around us, the memories, the triggers from back then, timelines plaited as they travel, to be together because of you.

I think about my walks in the field while you wandered on the Heath but I never owned a dog. I’m too allergic to their fur, but I love them. I love their wild abandon, their joy and verve and loyalty. I think of Bailey back then, charging towards me, desperate for the connection, the need to nuzzle and say hello and just for that moment, I’d take his wet head in my hands and ruffle him up, then he’d spin chaotic circles around me because he knew. He knew I needed to sense his spirit, his energy urging me to live again, to run with him, to stop and sniff some detritus that’s he’d spied and to be free.

And when I sat in my field, nodding to dog walkers, I used to think of you and Boris, his russet coat shining in the rays and you striding out, churning thoughts of blog posts in your mind, and we’d inch forwards together. Stumble backwards, stand still then creep back out again, all of us, with or without a dog to guide us and now we’re here.

Here, in this morning and in the stillness of the house I think of friends, some I know well, some I’ve chatted with and some I’ll never really know and they head out, bound together in our stories and the linking up of hands.

It’s cold today, bright and clear, the tail end of autumn, calling winter. I want to be back in the field, hanging on the internet and blog posts to lead the way. But I’m inside. I’m still in my parka, hat and scarf, I lean up the radiator and imagine myself on my bench. I look out towards the Cathedral as the mist clears and you march out towards me, smiling, lead stretched out in front of you with Boris scampering, his paws kicking up the dried leaves, the sunlight caught in the flecks of dust around you as you walk.

 

With love to your tribe, travelling,

With love to you for the difference you made.

Thank you, Helen, so much.

Jxx

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I stepped inside an old place recently, faces I knew from before I carried this and I was startled by their lines, their faces that had aged while I’d been away. And I looked out of myself at them and their uncomfortable smiles and we all did our dances, our little false phrases and retorts and they passed by on their way home, in their world, that I used to know when everything was safe and dependable.

And we carried on in ours, our son laughing, rolling down the bank with his friend, his new good friend who knows us now and I stay outside it all, watching with my face on. And in the places he didn’t see, I saw us all there, the last time, the only other time there, ambling around chatting to friends at car-boots and picking up that book for 60p, the book we took on that holiday, when you watched the world go by – and it did.

And I stood by the tight privet hedge where I’d smiled, last time at the bands and the music, before the women who annoyed me with her ways, flounced by, annoying me with her ways. But now everything annoys me, the view and the people, the little matchstick cliques parading around without this, this solid stone that I lug around me on these events, in-between their chiffon smiles. These lilting light and frilly sun drenched days when the laugh of our son lifts the weight a little and I sit inside my body feeling time and all its nonsense while I look out from within at the job I have to do.
Yesterday in pieces at Summer fair.

Later:
The wasp is outside today, motoring to get in, he sounds loud and insistent but he doesn’t bother me. I focus on the cool air on my foot, last year’s flip-flops hanging on to their form and the carefree gush of water, churning round the rubber, unleashing itself into my teeming pond.

In the sunlight, with layers of time echoed patterns, this symmetry, sitting on my shoulder.

x

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