Someone else’s family. Pheasant cooked in red wine. A fawn running through the snow in Lord Mountbatten’s estate. Sedately drinking through a whole bottle of nice tequila out of tiny teacups. A jukebox loaded up with ‘Killing In The Name Of’ and ‘Last Resort’ for Christmas Eve. Waiting for a son to come home across the Atlantic three days late. Mulled wine at a pub built in 1420, frequented by Wilde’s Bosie, still with the same low doorways and open fire. Family photos where everyone else is real and I am just a head in a box.
Some things don’t change: the Doctor Who Christmas special made me cry.
I hope you had a lovely Christmas. xx
Image: Andy Goldsworthy
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5
Images from the Hubble Telescope, via The New Yorker
To Have Without Holding
Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.
It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.
It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.
I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.
– by Marge Piercy
Reposting via SomethingChanged
“Shall I tell you?” she said, looking into his face. “Shall I tell you what you have that other men don’t have, and that will make the future? Shall I tell you?”
“Tell me then,” he replied.
“It’s the courage of your own tenderness, that’s what it is: like when you put your hand on my tail and say I’ve got a pretty tail.”
“The grin came flickering on his face.
“That!” he said.
Been reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and thinking a lot about courage and tenderness. In the day to day, love can be hard to practice when you are alone. It all seems vague and it’s so easy to get distracted. But tenderness and courage,they seem a bit more at earth-and-hands level. If I could just learn those two things. I think it would all be alright.