It starts with tears in the bath. Tears, and the comfort of familiar music playing in the background. No alcohol: though later, i might reward myself with a frivolous drink. Limoncello, perhaps. Or campari.
My relationship with booze has never been entirely serious.
I drink quirky, sweet substances. Pastis, anyone?
But it begins with tears.
Warning to children…
Not sad, exactly. More tears of awe that we are alive and part of the “greatness, rareness, muchness, fewness of this precious only endless world in which you say you live” (that’s Robert Graves, if you’d like to go google it).
Tears that celebrate life, not regret it. Though there is much that i could regret if i so wished.
The accident that gave me a body so at odds with all my hopes and desires, and the grief that flows from that. The life that, consequently, i never lived.
Girlhood and marriage and a soul mate, male or female, is probably part of that loss. Though not the press of hot messy sex. I’m owed that by none and i curse with every atom of my being that pernicious maladapted slogan, “the cotton ceiling”.
But motherhood. See: the tears flow again, this time, there is grief over and beyond measure, despoite all that i have already: a daughter that i love and of whom i am most proud, even if her daily life seems most closely to approximate some ditzy comedy heroine of the 60’s; a beautiful son.
I have friends. Fiona has been named more than once on here before now, so i shall embarrass her by mentioning her again. And two more a little to the north and left of me (you know who you are!).
These are good. Very good: and i suspect it is over them that the tears flowed initially.
Otherwise, they are tears of sorrow at the hate and hurt that we humans seem constantly to wish to perpetrate on one another. Leave twitter alone, jane: its toxic and full of instant thoughtless bickering.
Though it has its uses, leading me, from time to time, to instances of beautiful intent.
…and kittens and kindness
Emergency kittens. (Oh, Jane: how ridiculously maudlin of you!).
Also, though, there is the more thoughtful. This summer, i was bowled over by a tweeter by name of @boodleoops, who wrote in favour of:
“a norm that says we will treat people with mutual respect, kindness, charity and compassion, provided they do the same for us. We should assume they will do the same for us until they give us good reason to believe otherwise.”
What could be more simple?
I also love my films. Simple, blockbusting, Hollywood simplicities, of course. I’m not sophisticated.
My fondest wish, this week, listening to supposed allies tear into one another with no respect, no kindness, is that they should be forced to sit and watch one of Clint Eastwood’s better offerings: “The Outlaw Josey Wales”.
It is, as afficionadoes will know and the filmically challenged won’t, an inverted revenge story. Two sides, with every reason to hate and tear apart.
And at the end, meeting briefly, passion spent, a simple acknowledgment: “the war is over”. Because in the end it always is, and we must move on, get on, make peace.
Yet more sadness lies in my church, whose bureaucracy appears to be leaving me in temporary exile. A shame, because i celebrated St Francis in my teens, when i suspect he was but a twinkle in the present pope’s eye.
I spoke the words of his prayer (in Italian) at my wedding some two decades ago. And now and then, when i need to remember, to re-dedicate, it is his words i return to – tonight, as so many nights before.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, the truth;
Where there is doubt, the faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
We are not here forever. We cannot solve everything or make everything right. We do what we can.
That is all.
In manus tuas, domine…
Now, where’s that limoncello?🙂