It has been a beautiful, sunny day here. The green, lush trees and grass of the UK contrasted against the unexpected blue of a cloudless sky. The children splashed in the paddling pool (filled via bucket because of the hose pipe ban. Before you all dob me in to the authorities and get me a £1,000 fine for using a hose pipe. Bucket. I promise. M'kay?) The air smells of the boys next door's cigarette smoke and long ago teenage music festivals and someone in our neighbourhood sings Happy Birthday over a megaphone. I wonder if that is ironic given my reading matter but decide that I'm not clever enough to make that call. One of those words that the ill-educated probably shouldn't use.
I've been dipping in and out of the other posts here over the course of the day. Amidst the heat and the pool and the sharp sunlight. Reapplications of sun screen. Requests for juice. The removal of stones from Reuben's gummy jaws. I disappear from the garden, becoming only an echo in the wires. Visiting with my first child. I emerge with reddened eyes.
Although, even as I read, I'm aware that I am doing all of you an injustice.
Reading your words but unable to give them the full appreciation they deserve, that your children deserve.
Because surely I should stop, over every post. I should pray.
Or make something. With golden wires and intricate turning parts. Or carved from plain stone and smooth driftwood.
Or perhaps I should destroy something. Burnt offerings, smashed crockery.
A ceremony, a ritual, a mark, to make a mark upon the earth. That vain human wish.
I try to absorb all the details, the stories, the photographs, the love. I raise a fist to the sky (not literally as I am overlooked in my back garden and I'm too English for fist waving under the possibly observing eyes of my neighbours) and I cry. But what I leave with, is the love. It is the love that reddens my eyes. It is the love that makes me feel that surely all of this cannot be contained, cannot be entirely in vain, that our love reaches them, that it finds them. Because it seems to stream out of my computer screen, into this garden in the English suburbs. Where the sun is shining and a woman is crying quietly, so as not to draw attention to herself. Some peculiar and sad magic, bringing all that love into this small patch of ground, to this nondescript woman sitting on her square of lawn.
I'm relatively old here, in this corner of blog world. It is the love that keeps me here. For those achingly brief children of ours. The love that at once rips at the skin over my heart and wraps me up in the embrace that should have been theirs.
The love I have for my own daughter. A love that has no doubts, no reservations, no fears. So unlike the rest of my life. I doubt everything now, from my choice of sandwich filling to these words on the screen. I doubt myself, the bundle of failings and guilt that I so often seem to be.
But not her. Never her. There is no room for doubt when love and death follow so hard upon the heels of one another. It's now or never. And today I am reminded. Of that fearless, strong love. It runs through my readings of this project like a strong, steel wire at the core.
I still seem to need to witness, to listen, to echo. To, as Sally wrote so perfectly in a recent comment, to pay my respects. So here I am. Right here. Reading blog posts in this corner of the internet. Today. 3 years, 8 months and 27 days later.
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I've posted this song before but it is where I am, again, today.
Watching the flares travelling down the wires.
Some moments last forever but some flare out with love, love, love