05 January 2013


Driving aimlessly the other day, it occurred to me for the umpteenth time what a lovely place I live in and how easy it would be to have sad memories of those 5 years 8 months.

My Anna was here for a mere 2 months and I'm always passing places we visited and lumps jump. Even songs on the radio kick-start smiles and humming and steering wheel drumming.

I shouldnt really be able to go about my routine day without sinking reminiscenty and wistful - but God works in His mysterioso way and both savaged, enslaved - saved me.

I don't, obviously, set foot around the garden because every prospect displeases, every path carries an enraging reminder of some unwilling chore on that treadmill of futility.

But even driving around, I remember some argument or misleading instruction, some blah blah fah blucking fah drone burble about gardenry; the shopfront I was chauffeuring past when the topic turned to my daughters; the Kommeno garden centre to which i was summarily instructed to drive during my agreed 'work' period when I'd been doing accounts or wrestling with some legal tangle.

The wonderful moment when maman appeared in the doorway, bag in hand, and said she was "waiting" to go to town.

"Well, this is my time in the 'office' and we did agree to economise on petrol by making journeys with at least three objectives ... but sure I can make time - see? Easily done."

With that, I lifted the papers on my desk and dumped them in the waste-bin. Her face! Fire with fire.

I'm asked, "I expect you're hoping to leave as soon as possible ... the memories?" - but I assure them that it seems not to be working like that for me: now free, I'm able to 'live' the house and the island and erase the unpleasantnesses simply by making new memories and stamping on old bitterness.

The wonderful image of the garden being a brutish retainer able to bully me under the old patronage, now left to rot and starve somewhere out there. Payback time. How are the mighty fallen! The treadmill rotting.

Glorious day today - but no summons to grab trowel or clipper and waste the hours. Glorious.

And the silent meals!

No sitting there trapped under a deluge of rambling dementia repeatia 'til i rose from the firing line and sauntered over to the bookshelf

Down with a suitably glossy book, preferably one that sounded as if it also covered the subject I had just walked away from in the kitchen - then calming rip wrench of however many pages I clenched ... then back to the drone, clear plates, fill dishwasher, still full mumble, sucking the life out of me.

A little music to go with the mood and the day.

... and with the music, gorgeous photo by Sinbad, much praised in the comments and rightly so.

1 comment :

Simon Baddeley said...

A change. 'Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu the blue really begins. All the way across Italy you find yourself in a landscape severely domesticated - each valley laid out after the architect's pattern, brilliantly lighted, human. But once you strike out from the flat and desolate Calabrian mainland toward the sea, you aware of a change in the heart of things: aware of the horizon beginning to stain at the rim of the world, aware of islands coming out of the darkness to meet you.' Was ever a place better described?