All posts tagged: grief

37

Age doesn’t necessarily bring anything with it, save itself. The rest is optional. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson Last week mainly took me to places I didn’t want to go. It took me to being 37, the age that for the longest time I have not wanted to be because at some point being 37 will mean being older than my father was when he died. I used to be suspicious of people who were 37. They were never as grown up as I thought a 37-year-old should be. They didn’t have all the answers any more than I had all the answers, but I knew that they should have them because they were 37. Then, once I was in my 30s, I realised the impossibility of being as wise and sure and grown up as a 37-year-old parent is to an eleven-year-old child, which is, of course, wiser and surer and more grown up than any 37-year old — or at least this 37-year-old — actually is to themselves. The day after I turned 37 I found …

Eclipse threads

All I have today are loose threads. Strands of thought. * We were all excited this morning about the eclipse. At school drop-off people were talking about where they’d been in 1999 for the last eclipse. B and I had planned to walk to Cornwall to see it. I asked him to remind me why we were going to walk rather than, say, get the train & he made the peace sign at me. Anyway, we didn’t, but we can’t remember why. His sister’s wedding maybe. Or maybe we decided it was going to be cloudy anyway. Or maybe we realised that walking from London to Cornwall was going to take a while. Who knows? It was our first summer together. Sixteen years ago. This morning, though, was totally cloudy: white-grey sky. I walked into town with Popsy, bought a coffee & we ended up on the Cathedral green just before 9.30. It was cold, very cold, and there was a small scattering of people standing around, trying to work out where the sun would …

Postcard from now

The Pip-Pop is sleeping. The Moose is trying a full day at school. B has cleaned the loft windows and the sky is dazzling in its clarity. The cloudscape is crisp and beautiful — thin trails of cirrus against perfect pale blue. This morning was cold and misty. Always the change surprises me when it comes. All those months of walking to school with bare arms, wearing sandals. Today I slipped on shoes, knotted a scarf at my neck, showed the Pip-Pop how to put on a cardigan. We walked past glitter-dusted cobwebs, no spiders in sight. The children marvelled at seeing their breath in the air, then disappeared into their lines clutching their book bags. Back home, with ten minutes before we needed to go to the doctor’s surgery, I went into the garden to capture the webs there. Orb webs, mesmerising in their geometry. Beautifully intricate tangle webs. The first leaves of the magnolia turning papery brown. Thick seed pods blushing red. After school, there is swimming. Now there is ironing to do …

We receive & we lose

We receive and we lose, and we must try to achieve gratitude; and with that gratitude to embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses. Andre Dubus II, Broken Vessels We arrive by accumulation. Time twists us by the shoulders until we’re positioned to die, looking backwards. Twisted into the ground. from ‘The Day of Jack Chambers’ by Anne Michaels September is my favourite month.  Days like today: sky high & blue; air like a long, cool drink. On Tuesday, the Moose started school. He was such a sweet boy in his red and grey uniform — so eager and handsome. He pulled up his long grey socks to meet his shorts. The dimple in his cheek showed as he posed for photographs with his sister, with his book bag, ready to go outside the front door. He’s started part-time, so I pick him up at 1 o’clock, after his lunch, and just before the Pip Pop’s nap. This means that I am still never alone. But, even so, I sat …