Friday, 23 June 2017

Conversations with a self

I want to write something.

But you haven't written in so long. 

Better now than never.

Well it better be good then. A grand return. Sweeping and majestic, capturing all that has happened since you last wrote.

I'm not sure I can manage that.

You'll have to, it's not worth it otherwise.

I can't capture it all. The vastness of the changes. The votes and the outcomes, the subsequent actions taken (and not taken), the way the world seems to have swallowed a whole packet of crazy and be spewing it up again, relentlessly, carelessly. I can't even capture all of the micro, the year plus of being back in London, the long hours spent in a new job, the seemingly fleeting but joy-packed evenings and weekends rediscovering the city, and further afield, E at my side (or, more accurately, long legged as he is, always a few paces ahead).

Maybe I can just write the things that I know to be true.

That the outcome of the vote a year ago today still breaks my heart, though the rawness has lessened, as these things do.

That I feel like now more than ever I am struggling to make sense of the world, and my place in it.

That simultaneously, I am happier than I have ever been. Living under the same roof as E, building a home together. A home where our bikes rest tail to tail in the hallway each night, where taking the recycling out is a shared duty, where we try (and sometimes fail) to keep the basil plants on the kitchen windowsill green and perky. Being back in London, my city, my love. Closer to friends, to family, no longer the twice yearly frantic whirl of social calls, squeezing dear ones in for a snatched coffee and pleasantries. No longer being there just for the big ticket events of weddings, and Christmas, but also now for the little ones, the midweek suppers, the impromptu picnics in the park, the things that weave a friendship together, tighter.

That two nights ago we had an impromptu picnic in the park, celebrated the summer solstice on Primrose Hill. Took tablecloths to sit on and rhubarb gin to drink, a bag of ice and a mishmash of friends collected from university, work, Congo. Made a picnic of olives and Kettle Chips, pizzas collected from the place down the road, fat, glossy Kentish cherries for after. Watched as the sun set and the city lights came on. Grieved for this city, and all that it has been battered with these last few months, loved it unconditionally.

* * * *

A few other things:

Don't be fooled.

- Poignant photo essay here. ("Wednesday brought both the longest day of the year and the hottest June weather in four decades, a combination that seemed to intensify the strangeness of these times - when the hours feel precarious, and every morning brings fresh and unfathomable news...")