Saturday, 12 January 2013

Those EYES of OLD look at ME...


... and, through the haze of your futures, I look back at you.





I can remember those shoes; the feel of elastic over the bridge of my foot, my fingers curling over the smooth, slightly ribbed texture of the soles... and the smell of rubber and dust... and the coolness of the painted tiles. 

        I remember when buttons felt as big and as creamy as deep-glowing moons of coloured fire, slipping hard and soapy between my fingers and how they defied the narrow, buttonhole slits in all my clothes.

But then again - perhaps - I don't remember... 
          not really...
                          ... only the awareness of vague formless sensations of experiences collected through the dream-time avenues of memories and the songways of my past. 

       What sounds could you hear in that place of sun and laughter? Were there bees humming? Was there the clink of a Sunday morning mechanic busy about his car? Could you hear birds? Ice cream vans? Lawnmowers?


I struggle to remember in the same way that I struggle to recognise in you my heart, my veins, the water of my eyes, the beat of my soul... 
               ...and I also fear that neither would you be able to recognise in me the 'I's that we both know and are.

_________________________

So I sit here - looking across the calendars of my years - and all I want to do is to reach out and protect you: 
       To put my arms around you and to hold you in that sunny, laughing day. I want to shield you from all those days that are my memories and that you have yet to live; from those careless, thoughtless words of youth that you will hear and that will bury themselves deep within you so that you will never forget; those voices that will stay with you and bend the paths you take; the glances given (perhaps not even really meant) that will take away that laughter...
... oh, it will return. That laughter WILL return many many times, but never in quite the same way as it was then. 

You will discover things that will make your world grow dark and you will learn to fear and when you look into the night skies you'll cry. For it was in Eden, before there was ever any fiery sword of exile, that we first learnt about fear. Little man, you will hurt people (though you never wished it) and that hurt will remain with you and you will make so many, many mistakes...
       
                   ... and, you see, I want to save you from all that...


_________________________                     

.....But is this the father in me speaking? Wanting to protect, wanting to keep safe a young flame who doesn't yet realise how tender it is.

And yet I see you there - sitting on that sunny porch - and I realise that I am not your father. I am in no position to be your guardian. It is YOU who is MY father. I am grown from you, not you from me. I am YOUR progeny. What I am, in part, is because of what you were/are and all those thousand upon thousand other 'me's caught millisecond by millisecond in the flickerboard of my life; each one taking over where the other leaves off.

Now I understand what you are saying to me. You have others to care for you (and they cared for you well) and those others will dry your tears (when those times come). I see again the spontaneous, unselfconscious laughter of one poised on the edge of a glorious world. I see once more the little child who laughing opens his arms to the world and say's, "I'm here, what wonders will you bring to me?"  

That little laughing lad will one day, through film and pixel, sit across from me and say, "this is what you have come from. This is how your journey started - with laughter and open arms embracing the world. Finish it too with laughter and open arms."

I am glad you were there - little man...
        Your heart still beats within me.



16 comments:

  1. ...blessed be! ~ dear kindred brother...(:

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    1. Thank you, Samantha. It is lovely to have you back.

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  2. Life, realisation and recollection in a moment of words and memories, stunning :o)

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    1. Thank you. Yes, it is funny how the mind works and how a photograph can create a kaleidoscope of memories and futures, isn't it?

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  3. goodness, how much I do love this. nostalgic and moving.

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    1. Thank you, Amanda. I am really pleased you liked it.

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  4. I have done quite a few journeys this past year to my younger self. You do just want to hold that child you were and tell them that they are loved and truly all of the experiences that they will endure will be for the best. You look back and see all of the potential and possibility, but then the true harshness of the world sets in. You are right though, our younger selves still beat within and so does that potential. Beautifully written and inspirational. :)

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    1. Thank you, Mandy. Yes, these 'encounters' with our younger selves are such strange and potent things. It is amazing what deep wells they touch in us.

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  5. This is an amazing interior monologue
    with the past, the present and the future.
    It is a text which deifies the words
    giving them a sense that are able to touch every reader.
    For me it is a text that connects Beckett's writing with the writing of Poe passing it through the beaches of your great soul.


    I'm very glad I read it!
    I am very happy that I waited long
    to read a text of yours again.

    Have a very nice week.

    Yannis Politopoulos

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    1. Wow, Yannis, thank you so much - Beckett and Poe!!! I am deeply flattered by your comment, particularly as it comes from such an accomplished writer as yourself. Thank you.

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  6. "..through the haze of your futures, I look back at you."

    simply by reading that line i knew it was gonna be good.
    look at you..all blond hair and smiles and full of mischief. what a wondrous picture ;)
    this letter is heartbreaking in it's beauty and sentiment. i love the idea that he is your father, in that you grew from him. i am always fascinated with memories and why we remember the things we do and the picture they paint of our pasts and how accurate they are. these tiny frangments that we collate which ultimately compose a history that is our truth.

    your letter brought tears to my eyes. yes, he's still there. his heart is your heart. and it is nowhere near ready to finish beating.

    *

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    1. Ah yes, my blond phase!! I have one picture of me on mum's lap and my hair is platinum white!! What was going on there?
      I just love the idea of our past and future selves weaving in and out of our journey.
      Have to say that re-reading it, it all does sound a bit final at the end, doesn't it? Perhaps I should have written "continue it too with laughter and open arms"!!

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    2. "And how have I lived? Frankly and openly, though crudely. I have not been afraid of life. I have not shrunk from it. I have taken it for what it was at its own valuation. And I have not been ashamed of it. Just as it was, it was mine." ~ jack london

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  7. Thank you for a wonderful journey through the utterly mysterious relationship of our Selves to our Selves at different stages of our lives. I am sure that you are totally right to liken the story of each of our lives to the mythic journey away from Eden. For myself I felt that I caught a hint of the "happy fault" of the church's hymn of praise at the Easter Vigil, the Exultet, which seems to get buried there as if the resurrection never happened (sigh!) I guess I hang onto some sense that the divided mystery of ourselves will one day reach a fulfillment that will delight in every part of our stories, even those that we weep over now.

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    1. Thank you, Stephen. Yes, I too share that hope that even those parts of our stories over which we now weep, we will one day find fulfilment - perhaps that is redemption at its most pure.

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  8. I have become a fan of your writing .....Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece.....God bless you....

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For your voice is important... and words that are shared grow wings.