Sunday, 13 May 2018

So, I seem to be on a blogging roll, or maybe i just need to get words out of me. I don't know if the words are of worth or not but sometimes just laying them out on a page allows my thoughts to fall into place, or, if not exactly into place, like in "52 card pick up" the act of flicking them out into space at least means they have a moment to fly. 
I've been overthinking, thinking and thinking and thinking, and sometimes that gets a thought to where it needs to be, and sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it gets a thought to where it needs to be but it feels like a long drive without rest-stops and that afterwards the mind is a bit shot and dull. I think maybe that's how i've been feeling. 
Sometimes i wonder if that's how i've always been, thinking, my brain always buzzing with ideas but not always good ideas or ideas that come to anything. And, because before i act on one idea the next pops up and then i'm off on that one, and when that one finds itself at a dead end or somewhere i don't want to be i have to back up and try to find my way back to where i was, or where i wanted to have been, or where it was that the idea or notion went off course or germinated but return is never quite return because the light is different, or the nose, or gathering. 
Today I took a day off thinking. Or rather i stopped trying to nudge or direct my thoughts and let them go where they will. I mean i do that, but i guess, of late, they have been focused on Jon, and then intentionally focused on something else so i don't think about Jon all the time, and then also sometimes other stuff will come up and that will take up my attention, but that gorgeous free flowing space that feels like flight hasn't really happened much of late. There was insane just after Jon died, and now maybe to counterbalance i find myself steering towards sensible reality, sensible is good, it is steady and functional, but where i like to be really is somewhere in between, arms held out wide to help me keep my balance and my feet carefully treading the centre line. 
One of the things with having been so nuts after Jon died is that then it's hard to gauge how sane you are later. Often people who seem super-sane on the outside can feel un-nerving, a bit Stepford,  sort of borderline psychotic in there normalcy. I mean who is normal, what is normal, normal is not the same thing for different people. And normal in the uk seems to depend upon fairly fixed circumstances, like running water, supermarkets, electricity etc take those away and most of us would be stripped back to an inner being which may be decidedly less cute unclothed.  
Yesterday morning i heard a folk singer, apologies i forget her name, being interviewed on radio 4. She spoke about touring with her family; with her parents, who were folk legends, and i think her brother; and how families have a way of relating that is absolutely normal to them, or perhaps more likely to which they are accustomed, but once you've been stuck on a tour bus for 6 months you forget how to relate to the real world and don't know how to talk to people. 
We've probably all been there, in other people's families observing, uncomfortable, working things out, this is their normal but maybe not yours and likely our own family is met similarly by outsiders. Worlds collide. Each one of us is living in our own little world that revolves around us and our way of being, doing, thinking. How we are, who we are may or may not feel absolutely right, or maybe it feels ok but there is some yearning that draws our focus away from our family. Another lover, or an alternative lifestyle that looks more exciting or less exciting than our own, something which seduces our senses away from the everyday get-on-with-it functional reality that is the lot of the living. 
This gets me back to reality, which is one of the things i wanted to blog about, because despite my decision not to think, thinking happens. Well, reality, and time, and i guess normal too are all elements that have strange edges. On the surface they can seem quite fixed, but look closer, begin to explore time, reality or normal, and it becomes obvious that these apparent boundaries can bend and stretch, become tight and constricted or counterwise open and extended. They are not definites except by consensus. And consensus is also not definite because a shift in the make up of the those who create the consensus can change the consensus.
I was thinking when i went for my walk on Jon's birthday how small a life is, how brief a life is on the grand scale that is time, how what seems of such great consequence is not really anything. Life feels easier when i feel small and insignificant. And yet on another level i was thinking yesterday as i was walking home from the art school library how being seen is also important. I think maybe the desire to be seen varies from person to person but that being totally unseen unless you have chosen that course is uncomfortable. I often think that if i could have a super-power being invisible would be a good super-power, but would it ? Would it actually be quite lonely ? And in many ways are all of us going about our day to day mostly as nobodies to the people we meet, therefore more or less unseen. Unseen except by those who love or care for us.
I've been blue-sy this week. This that and the other, stuff causing me sadness and anxiety, and feeling odd after visiting Bungay too, lonely maybe, or just unseen, un-met. Jon met something in me that i had not had met before, i guess it was something he reflected back at me that i didn't know existed until i knew him, and i miss the way he did that. And by the same token i also feel a bit frustrated that he has eaten the past six months of my life up, that sounds odd, i think i'm frustrated with myself for still loving him maybe for not picking myself up and getting on with things, for not moving on, for being slow and not brisk, but also frustrated with myself for losing the something that was special between us, like missing the beat in a dance class and then always being a step behind and unable to find my grace. I've always been terrible at counting. And choreographed lines. Terrible ? Well slow to pick up choreography and often off count. Maybe Jon was very good at leading the dance and so falling in to his rhythm gave me a false sense of my abilities.
And then later on yesterday i was thinking about time again. Thinking about jumping back in time to when Jon and i were good. And to just before he died when i had finished a busy summer and was feeling like i was waiting at the crossroads for something to happen something to guide my way, my "if" time. In hindsight I wonder if i was waiting. Waiting for Jon, not knowingly but deep inside, it is odd that two people noticed my hand oddly shaking in the week or so preceding his death, in fact the second time was the morning of the day he died. The shaking stopped after his death. Did i already say that in a previous blog ? Sometimes things happen and in hindsight they feel like they were more prescient than was realised at the time. 
What if all those moments are all still happening, are still ongoing, all of them, as if they are one moment, even the moments that contradict. So there is Jon alive and well and showing me the flowers in his garden, or smiling and catching me in his arms as i walk through the door of his house, and offering me a cup of tea, eyes light and kind, or maybe i'm in a time before we knew each other, as a young mum, or way back in my childhood, playing in the sandpit, or learning to ride my bicycle, or picking blackberries and then i'm picking blackberries with Jon and making blackberry and apple jam, or crumble, or later after he'd left picking blackberries to dye cloth with. and all those times are one and the same because time is very long and a lifetime is very short so why make so much of it. 
And what if there are other realities. It's a balancing act living between alternative realities. There is the concrete reality which it is helpful to hold on to, concrete reality is accessed through the senses, i see, i hear, i smell, i feel by touch, i feel bodily, i taste.  And then there is less concrete reality that allows us to know that what happened before was once real and tho' it now exists as a back space on a linear scale it is still accessible in the now and still has some ties to concrete reality because the memories are often founded in sensual  and/or emotional experience. And there is the future which is unknown but made real in dreams and projected hopes or fears. Death is a bit of a gate crasher into that party because death steals the dead from the future, their place in the future no longer exists, they may be there but as an ethereal being which is all very nice but not the same as an arm around you or whatever, it easy in grief to wander the path of "if", it's quite a labyrinth, but it's a step out of concrete time, space, reality, it's a sweet, and sometimes a resting sanctuary for a sore heart/mind/body, but it is no way to live. A wraith's existence.
In life there's a fair whack of "suck it up" it doesn't come to everyone in equal measures. We meet ourselves in moments of great joy and great disappointment. In winning and losing. We find the company that keeps us going, we find the company that takes us down, we learn who to trust, who to not trust, who cares, who doesn't. Suck-it-up situations ask us to pick ourselves up, sometimes a helping hand, or guiding hand, makes all the difference. Alone we are vulnerable. We are vulnerable alone in triumph or defeat, and knowing ourselves to be part of one big body system allows us to play a socially co-operative part in the construct that is life. Life is bigger than us. Life is not birth to death it is birth and death, before and after, and all that is. 
I suppose that reality and time both feel quite infinite to me. How can infinite be quite infinite ? I mean infinite is infinite the quite defines the level to which i feel able to take them without totally losing the plot and finding my feet have lost the ground and that i am floating into outer space with only my imagination for company. 
Normal is maybe infinite too but perhaps normal goes inward, or maybe that's just how it feels to me, that normal reins in the imagination demands physical definition, that physicality is cellular, or particle, interaction and as the cells/particles become smaller the inside of infinite becomes apparent. Normal is sweet and comfortable, it sits in habit, but too much sweet and comfortable, too much habit, makes both mind and body flabby and slow. Too much normal can lead to sense of confinement which i guess varies according to how much the normal you are living suits/fits you. So again it's about finding a balance. 
And those balances are ongoing. All the balances are ongoing. The shifts and changes that happen to a lesser or greater extent have to be taken in and assimilated, or allowed to pass, understanding comes with time and practice, it doesn't stay the same because new layers, new stories, new narratives , new understanding supersedes the old. 
Sometimes i wonder what life is all about. I think what the hell am i here for ?  Much of life hurts. And then i think that life just is. That life is about life. That life is life. That it is all ongoing. And that whilst some hurts some too is pure light and brilliant and beautiful and that if the hurt is the sacrifice i make for the bliss it is  a bargain well made.  
I think that lives come together sometimes momentarily and sometimes for longer. That we are made up of scraps of moments, that life is those scraps of moments, each life a scrap of moment. I think maybe that life in the short term is  perhaps about what we do, but maybe more importantly that it is how we do it, how lives touch each other, that what we leave when our bodies part this world is the impression we left, the way we marked our journey through life, the presence we left. 
I wonder if the present is infinite and if maybe our presence too if infinite, if our presence is the air we breathe, in, out, the air we share. I think maybe air is life. 
I always struggle to know how to close my blogs. I guess if my blog was just a journal i'd stop wherever and it would make no odds. But because i put them out it means other people may read them and i want to finish them better than i do. It is something i need to learn. How to stop. In the mean time i will have to end with my threads still trailing. Maybe it is not until all those threads are caught up or cut that the end is finally met. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Yesterday, May 8th, was Jon's birthday. He would have been 51. I emailed him in the morning. There is no point in emailing him, no-one receives those emails but it's a slight connection to the man i loved, as a lover and then later as a devoted friend. 
The sun was shining and i had decided over the weekend to mark his birth date by treading some of the paths we used to tread together, reflecting and negotiating with the ongoing sadness that is mine since his death. Negotiating with death is an odd conversation. Someone dies, their material form no longer exists except perhaps in their possessions or objects connected to them whilst they were alive or places where memories were made. 
The memories count for most i think. It seems that i was able to scourge many of my bitter memories of Jon before visiting Gozo. While there i was able to reconnect to the life we had that was beautiful, the beautiful in him, in me and in us. That was a holy relief and since returning has been a source of spiritual uplift. 
There's regret in me that he isn't able to hear the glorious birdsong that this May has offered but it is met by memories of listening to birdsong in his arms, in my home and his and in various holiday cottage bedrooms. And the same as i walk in sunshine, on streets or green pathways, i know that once upon a time he was beside me, holding my hand, looking at the flowers and the butterflies and other bugs, enjoying life. 
I cannot change his physical absence, it is what it is. His death has in some ways allowed me to recall him with all the love i felt for him in our first few years when it felt like the honeymoon would never end. When you break up from a lover it is best not to give too much time to those memories because it makes the loss of the loved one harder to accept. In death it is different, the lines of conflict no longer exist, i no longer need to protect myself from further hurt and now he is dead the demons that took hold of our relationship have retreated and no longer threaten my wellbeing in quite the same way. 
For his birthday I took my usual bus. I walked past his house, his home, the home we shared for six years and took the path up the hill to the field that he took me to the first night that i slept over at his. I'll admit to a few tears. I loved him. I wish, of course, that he was still alive even with the pain his living being hung around my neck. But there it is he isn't and that's life. Death is going to hit us all sometime. And even if we'd lived happily ever after for forty years one or other of us would have had to go first most likely. 
I walked over the field to the road that leads to where the black dog still lives, old and slow and more portly now, still barking but not so game to greet or harass. Then took the short path that connects the road to the wide concrete strips that i assume are ancient war relic aerodrome tracks. There were buzzards flying in the bright-bright blue sky, and skylarks, and i stopped to watch a female orange tip on the short purple flower that Jon and i always forgot the name of and looked up in books after our walks. A bugloss maybe, i don't know i haven't looked it up. The sun was hot, the shadows sharp. I thought what is the point of marking the birthday of someone who is dead. I mean they are dead so they no longer have a birthday, who knows, if they have been reborn they may even already have a new birthday. But still a birthday is a calendared mark, maybe Jon's is more important to his blood family who generally took it on with a gathering from which i was excluded after the first year. 
After a while of walking i got to the tree that was one of our walk markers and sat and smoked a roll-up, and ate an apple, and thought about the fella, and the life we had together, and was thankful for the time i knew him even tho' it was not long. Then back past his house again, to my bus stop, enjoying the apple blossom and the ducklings and the horse in the paddock that let me stroke it's nose and forehead. All very soothing. Of course it's still sorrowful. I'm mourning. But my mourning has softened lately. I have a feeling that i will always miss the sweetness of him, but since Gozo that has returned to me as days and days and days of memories and nights of memories too it feels a bit as if he is with me anyway. Not in a creepy way, just as a kind of benign spirit holding me upright when i am finding life difficult, lonesome or sad. 
So there it goes. Jon's birthday and i hope it won't seem too silly that i marked the day or that i've blogged it but as my blog is kind of my journal it seems to make sense because Jon was important to me, he was important just because he existed and i loved him, and in all truth he remains important because he existed and i loved him, his death hasn't changed that. I think love transcends death. It does not cease but changes to accommodate the new circumstance.  

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

More dreams. A dream about whales and water, and a dream about being late for a maths exam and an adopted baby. My unconscious is clearly asserting itself. In the first dream i was looking out to sea over a cold harbour wall, somewhere close to the arctic circle, in the distance a head popped up, a seal, all eyes and whiskers, then, closer to, a young orca came into the harbour and was swimming, playing, suddenly a great tail emerges and I am nearly caught in it's down thrust as a sperm whale rises up into the air and then plummets back into the water and swims back out to the ocean beyond. A hunter, a man, wants to kill the whale, he kills the orca and hides in it's skin with a gun waiting to kill the bigger whale, he craves the meat of the whale. I only want ice-cream, but the ices the vendor sells are strange, just blocks of flavoured ice with things floating in the ice. I settle for one with pecans in it. Lord only knows what this dream means. 
And then later in the night, after a dream i remember having but of which i can recall no details, i am in another dream, at school as a teenager/young person, i have an exam to sit but i go home first and my neighbours have just adopted a baby just born, we are thinking about the baby and i am late for my exam. Again the meaning is unclear. 
Dreams are a visual pleasure, a living cinema. I have been thinking much about fairy tales since the beginning of the year. A personal project that has allowed me to focus on something other than Jon's death. Before studying my long held desire was to illustrate fairy tales which are a passion of mine. And after Jon's death i had an image of a book in my head, my head was so lodged in the wilderness at that time i do not know if the image came to me when i was awake or asleep but it has stuck. Recently my calling has been to return to the realm of faerie to take that journey and to see where it leads. My frustration is that i am fairly awful at drawing, that the pictures i have in my head when i try to put them to paper come out weak and loose. 
I know that this is often how things start, that first steps can be discouraging and it is at this point that I am wont to give up, to go back to safer territory, places that i know, where i feel more secure. But what is security if it holds me back from where/who i want to be ? A tether. A prison. A known. But is the known really more fixed than the unknown ? And stepping into the unknown creates a chance to know more. And what, if not knowing more, am i here for ?
So here it is. If, over the next few months i post lame scribbles as i try to illustrate the fairy tales i grew up with and have collected for the whole of my life, please be kind, please know that i am trying, please know that if my footsteps meander, are tentative, or leave negative imprint they are no more than any other "hero/heroine" stepping out from their safe space. 
Since January I have read and researched and doodled work on The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Aladdin's Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Theives, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. There are five because for February i accidentally wrote down Aladdin and the Forty Theives which meant i had two stories in that month. 
Today I begin with Puss in Boots. Thus far my exploration into these stories has been both art play and meditative. The meditations are paths into the deep that afford me access to my own relationship to the characters, the places, the happenings. By building a relationship with the tale within i am finding out how i meet the beast in me, or the beauty, what i am feeling when i sell my voice to the sea witch in return for legs and the chance to love and be loved by the prince I have given my heart to, I have met with the clever slave-girl who saves Ali Baba, and the princess in Aladdin who also by using her wit saves both herself and Aladdin, and considered the troll and the goats in The Billy Goats Gruff, and the bridge that parts the goats from the field of their dreams. 
Having just spent two months with fairy tales in which the main protagonist is female it will be interesting to take to the road with a male character and his side kick. Is the side kick the male character or is it the cat ? After a day spent yesterday with my good friend, artist and illustrator  Janet Cranness, looking at her work I am setting out on this month's story filled with inspiration and ideas about how to make work that is more finished. I don't know if i will accomplish that but i will try, and i will keep trying because trying is one step forward and one step forward leads to the next step forward and who knows where those steps will lead.      

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Last night i had a dream. I dreamed i was in my garden. I was in my garden and my garden was flowering as it is now, all cow parsley and cherry blossom, and honesty, and bluebells and forget-me-nots, it was coloured white, and purple-pink, and blue, and green, green, green. There was darkness in the dream, perhaps night falling or a storm cloud passing over. I am me, but i am also a younger me, a me with a baby, my third and my two older children are children as they were when my youngest was born. And my mother is there as she is now. And two police women. The police women are benign figures, comforters not disciplinarians, they are there to help. One is more distant, but one is talking to me, trying to understand some deep problem that i am trying to unearth. They are talking about depression. I cannot get past my words, after a while fall silent. When words cease to be useful communication they are not worth uttering. The police woman asks if she should talk to my mother to hear her story. The problem seems to go back to when my older two were very small and i was left alone to fend for us and we really did not come out of that situation unscathed. My younger one knowing no other life was less disturbed but my daughter and i learned feral ways, survival instincts that perhaps no longer serve us but which are ingrained in our being, as marks and stains and scabs and scars and still open wounds and ticks that we are barely aware of. But all is not bad. While the police woman talks to my mother, and the other is stood closer to the house by the lilac tree, which is covered in unopened flower, determining from a distance and held in a patch of light, I go further up my garden with my two older children and we begin digging around a rose bush that Jon and i planted. We are digging the rose bush up, not to kill it but to tend to it. As we dig we discover new buds forming on the roots, masses of of deep red sprouting shoots signifying new life and abundance. This is where the dream closes. 
Dreams, i think, are born out of felt knowledge, knowledge that is obscured and ambiguous. They rise like steam from a cauldron of soup emitting mixed scents that act as sensual guides. I had a dream the night before last too, that dream was not like steam. Some dreams are meant to be recalled and some lurk as dark ghosts. The dream i had the night before last was more disturbing. I dreamed i heard an intruder, the cellar door being opened. I dreamed i was frightened and went downstairs. When I went downstairs i could hear people in my garden and see the light of a fire, i was scared of the people and did not want to confront them for being in my garden, drinking beer and lighting fires and talking in loud aggressive tones, taking ownership of my space, i did not want them to see me, i went back upstairs and made myself wake up and go back to sleep. That dream felt like opening a jar of darkness and fear and waking up was like quickly closing the lid, was an "i don't want to know, i cannot stomach that yet" 
Listening to someone else's dreams is rarely as interesting to the listener as it is to the teller because the teller has the back story and the listener is given too much and not enough. Apologies, I am guessing that reading dreams is much the same but i am going to allow myself to wallow in self absorption and speak of a month of dreams i had last summer. 
If you've read my blog for a while, and i'm not really assuming anyone does, or that anyone gets much beyond the first couple of lines before they drift off to more interesting things. But if you do then you'll maybe recall my month of being a sculpture at the Waveney River Sculpture Trail last year. This was a change of foot for me, a new way of making art, of creating dialogue about art. It was also a coming into being, my being, a natural passage, but not an expected one, from the piece i had made for Cley '17 that I called Love is a Long Road, in which i tried to depict my experience of unconditional love, of loving unconditionally and allowing myself, maybe for the first time, to love myself without conditions, to love my self as a whole rather than cherry picking the acceptable bits and refusing to acknowledge my flaws, my fails, my ugly, allowing myself to see them and understand that i too am imperfect and yet still maybe lovable. Trust me, give this a try it is really hard to love yourself unconditionally. 
Strange things happened over the summer. of 2017. They maybe didn't feel so odd until after Jon's death but afterwards they have haunted me. Peculiar connections were made and creatures crossed my path or made impact, different creatures, a humming bird hawk moth, a swift, a hare. Forgive me if I am giving too much weight to common occurrence. My relationship with Jon had a  fairy tale quality and encounters with creatures are significant in fairy tales. As are certain encounters with people. And there were dreams that summer too. I cannot remember the story dreams, maybe i blogged them maybe i didn't, but what i can remember is night after night waking up to banging on my door, thinking "it's Jon at my door", it wasn't Jon, it wasn't anyone, it was me dreaming that Jon was banging on my door, i put it down to wishful thinking then. I wonder now if it was deeper runnel of quantum energy, a secret flow that ran between us whether we wanted it to or not. 
Over last summer, from April in fact, i had made myself give up on Jon. He had a new (maybe not so new) companion and I figured she would be better able to build a relationship with him if  his stupid ex was out of the way. I was a bit jealous. And he was being nasty about her, and to me, and goading me to fight. I didn't want to fight with him, i loved him. And i thought that if what made him happy was drinking and sleeping with women he claimed not to care about then maybe i had to let go and let him be happy. To back off, to withdraw. I actually paid myself not to make contact with him, like you'd bribe a child to be good with stars on a chart, or how you might give up smoking by putting coins in a jar every time you don't have a fag when you want one, i was aware that on some level i was hooked on Jon. 
Another peculiar thing that happened was discovering that a stranger-friend on facebook, a blogger i used to follow, was actually the partner of Jon's ex-wife. That was a very odd moment i wondered if he had known who i was but just because i read someone's blog doesn't mean they read mine so likely our closer-than-comfortable connection was unknown to both of us until that time. It was another fairy tale twist. I wonder if they told Jon that I had said he was the love of my life and that every day without him was pain. I doubt it somehow. The blogger told me to "move on" his words still echo through my head. 
I'm talking about Jon and maybe it seems like after visiting his grave in Gozo i should now wrap up, say nothing, let go, move on. And moving on isn't a choice. Moving on is inevitable. Layers of life accrue. Initially coming home from Gozo i felt as if i'd tied up some loose ends. Arriving in Malta airport i hit up against hard rock emotions, regret, pain, ifs, and this continued for several days until the day that we went to see Jon's grave and the village he lived in for the last few years of his life. After that i was curiously more at peace. I wasn't sure if the grave i'd given flowers to was his grave as it had no headstone and it was conceivable that his family had given me the wrong "address" but i said goodbye anyway to the man i loved and saying goodbye seemed to help. 
We stayed in Xlendi which was the place Jon had holidayed in just before we broke up. Our choice of residence had been determined by price and chance, but staying there allowed a circle to close. Jon had asked me to come with him but my focus was on my degree. I thought, wrongly, that we'd have plenty of time after. 
I wondered when we arrived if i had gone with him in 2013 if things would have turned out differently, if in a new space we would have recovered our well being, who knows it wasn't what happened and reality was something our brief trip allowed me to encounter. The reality of Jon's death, the reality of physical rather than imagined existence. Walking paths and streets that i knew from his emails that Jon had walked, in Xlendi, in Victoria, and Xaghra and also Ramla Bay afforded me a glimpse of the life we might have had, the life he actually had and how far imagination falls short. To hear the birds and the bees and the sea, to see the flowers and butterflies and quick lizards, to feel the warmth of the sun and talk to locals, to meet the light, and the sound of the wind and thunder and lightening and rain, to try living a little as Jon would have lived, initially as a holiday maker, then as a new arrival full of expectation, and then later still as an inhabitant was too much experience to crowd in to one week. And no one knows what another experiences, shared experience offers connection. But this was something Jon denied me. Maybe that denial was a kindness. I came home from Gozo feeling like i'd found a part of me i'd lost years ago, a piece of me that maybe Jon had kept safe for me by taking it away, a piece of me i found with him, in his company when we were beautiful together. Going to Gozo to see Jon's grave opened up a treasure chest of memories. I will never see him or speak to him again and that hurts but i was lucky to have the time i did with him. And maybe his leaving was the only way those memories could be held intact.   
Also, and this is perhaps something i should have begun my blog with, going to Gozo made me feel loved and thankful. Firstly to my daughter who took time out of her life to be with me and make sure i was ok, she was kind and patient and super organised and got us from one place to another with very little fuss, i am quite timid and a bit flittery and delicate, her sure-footedness was much appreciated. Also my lovely ex-husband drove us at the crack of dawn to Gatwick and picked us up just after the rush-hour from Heathrow. And my youngest son looked after my cat. And my mum paid for our air fares which were more expensive than i'd hoped and she didn't even wince when i told her the price. And friends who have troubles of their own messaged me to wish me well. Kindness makes a big difference.
Perhaps this is some of the new growth on the roots of the rose.  I love many people. I loved Jon, i still love him, but i also love Archie, and Jessamy, and my sons, Richard and Amis, and my grandchildren Luca and Elidi, and one love does not preclude other love. And love, i think, helps the world to keep spinning. 

Monday, 2 April 2018

All of this time I've been talking about a man who has no face. So i thought i would give the name a face. This was taken in the last year we were together 


Sunday, 1 April 2018

April 1st, Easter Sunday ... it is still dark outside. This is a day i've been dreading. It is a day of anniversaries. April 1st is when Jon and I got together. And it was on Easter Sunday last year that our relationship finally broke beyond repair. I think this may be a dark blog. Although i may refer to events that happened before Jon left me my aim is to focus on the four years when we were apart, sometimes unconnected and sometimes not. It may offer explanation for why i am grieving so hard. A grief that often seems foolish and incomprehensible even to me and i'm living it. 
Here just for a moment i'll flick back into our time together as lovers and say that from the beginning of 2010 our relationship became incrementally worse, 60% good, 50%, 40%, until by 2013 when Jon left it was really at best a mean 10%. I held to that 10% he held to the 90% bad i think and that determined the outcome of our relationship. 
In 2013 when we broke up, it could easily be said and seen that we were flogging an almost dead horse. My hope was that after i graduated we would spend time together playing after years of intense work, that we would soften into our successes, his and mine, give ourselves time to hang out, hang loose, i felt that the world was our oyster, that we could work through our problems, make new memories (jam for the cupboard), and so and so on into a benign old age that would see us glowing and happy at the end of a long and fulfilled life. My hopes were played against his reason, things had gone wrong, it was not worth fixing, it was better to bail and get a brand new life. Was he wrong ? No. My hopes were fantasy, romantic and dreamy, they required work to make them come good, but without that work they would never have come to anything. His reasons were valid, our relationship was awful at this point, if we had gone to Gozo together our problems would have surely come with us. There was no escaping the reality our relationship needed work and determination to survive. I wanted to give it time and space in the sunshine, he wanted time and space in the sunshine but he wanted it without me in the picture. 
The fact is a relationship is a mutual agreement and if one party does not want to be with the other it's a pretty much done deal. This is a dance we are all engaged in all the time, with everyone, at work, at home, in our everyday lives, to a greater or less extent depending on how close we are to those we are dancing with.
So there we are, Jon's reason trumped my hope and he left in a blaze of virtuous glory, off to a new more glamorous and exciting life. I too had a brand new life because all my hopes and dreams and plans had been taken from me, i too was starting anew but not out of choice.
At first i was like a bird whose cage door is open but who quietly sits starving on the floor unable to take the freedom it has been given. I didn't know what to do. For a while i was furious and behaved very badly. I wrote emails, raging, yearning, pretending i was fine. I sent some emails, no doubt as deranged as the ones i sent Jon, to his family. Of course I wish i hadn't, they didn't reply, i was Jon's godawful lunatic ex that he was well rid of. I didn't understand. I didn't understand anything. Jon's departure from my life had wrenched my heart from it's bearings. I didn't care what his family thought of me. I wanted him/them to see me. I couldn't stand the awful cool superiority any more. I imagine it just made his family feel more cooly superior. This is a hard thing to say, but looking back Jon's leaving could be seen as an act of kindness. He let me go.  
He let me go, and yet he didn't. His response to my crazy fuck-mess weirdness was magnanimous, his new happiness vindicated his decision, "you are the love of my life" he said "but things hadn't worked out". I, in my heat, thought "damn you, if i am the love of your life and you are the love of mine, why aren't we together loving each other". I wanted to know that all the other women in his life had been called the love of his life so that then i could discard the notion, put it in the box marked "empty words". Who knows what the truth behind those words was, maybe one day i'll meet one of his ex-partners and they'll say "oh yes, he said that to me too, it's just a string along phrase he threw out to keep his options open". 
And so and so and so on. I drive myself mad with my round and round thoughts. I don't really know where i'm going now. There are parts of the four years when Jon and i were apart where our stories do not link. Our lives went their separate ways. I know my life but the details of his that i know are few and sketchy. I know that at some point between our parting and our reconnecting he began to drink again. I don't know when it became problem drinking but i'm guessing it was a fair time before he and i reconnected in 2015 because he was hospitalised not long after we began a fragile exploratory friendship by email in early summer that year. I think he had injured his foot which had stopped him walking, he said that his girlfriend had wanted too much commitment, his sister in law said that his girlfriend had not been able to cope with his drinking. None of that belongs to me, it is his life with another woman. But suffice it to say by the time Jon and I "re-met" he was not well. 
I had continued to email Jon while he and i were out of contact but he had not answered and so i assumed that my emails went straight to his junk, or that he had a new email address. I don't know when he stopped responding maybe around autumn 2014 when i briefly was kind of seeing someone, kind of not really, walking and kissing and touching and eating together, a thing, but not a thing which lasted maybe a couple of months. Jon had informed me that he was seeing someone new the summer before which had put a full stop and a capital letter on to the end of our lives together. We were both moving on, as you do, as you have to. 
But in the summer of 2015 i was burgled and Jon was one of the first people i messaged. And he got back to me. Almost immediately. At first i didn't know what to do about his emails. For so long he'd been out of my life, and i'd begun picking up the pieces. I loved him still but i was scared. I was at that point volunteering with a support group for recovering addicts led by a gentle and generous woman who in lieu of wages got her volunteers on to a host of courses about addiction. This learning was eye-opening, i'd gone into my relationship with Jon in a state of innocence. When he'd told me about his past life i took him as tabla rasa, a blank page, not realising that the rest of his life was written on the back and sometimes the pen had been pressed so hard it had forced it's ways through to the front. So it is with everyone but to a greater or lesser extent the marks on the back of us make more or less of a difference to our life ongoing. I had not taken into account how Jon's life before me as a drinker, an alcoholic, would affect all the other relationships he had that were important. Naive to be sure. 
Back to the moment his name appeared in my inbox. I was grieving him. After i was burgled one of the things that i struggled with most was finding, a day or so later, the bundle of love notes he'd given me scattered and tumbled out of a draw that the burglar had rummaged through. That and the loss of my dad's camera made me feel sad everything else was replaceable. But there in my inbox was the name "Jon H" it brought me out in a muck sweat. 
I didn't open it immediately, fear and longing wrestled within me. I had spent two years getting over him. Earlier in the year I had submitted a proposal to the curator of the Waveney River Sculpture Trail for a piece of work that had taken me back to the early days of our love affair, making the piece had involved me re-treading the footpaths and life that we had shared. I was still in love with him. But I was also deeply wounded. Did i want to reconnect with the man who had left me so callously two years ago. In the end love got the better of me. I opened his email and so began the next stage of our knowing each other. 
He made no mention of his drinking at this point, i think he thought he could hide it. But just weeks after he fell down in the street and was taken to hospital. I emailed his sister-in-law to let her know. They didn't know. She got back to me told me he'd been ill, ill how ? drinking again, and so i found out.  
So that was the deal. Jon was in hospital for a few days, i think he then discharged himself, decided to go to Venice, asked me to meet him there. I wasn't going to go to Venice to meet a drunk ex who had dumped me without care even if i did still love him. That he thought I would pick up the threads with him just like that as if nothing had happened is a sign of how out of kilter with reason his mind had become. And anyway my son Richard was once again off to foreign lands, Singapore for two years, i was making the most of his last days in relative proximity, and also the WRST was up and running and i wanted to keep an eye on my work to make sure it stayed good and to watch how it weathered. He had built a new life, and i too had built a new life. 
Jon went to Venice, and came back very shortly because he got bored. We emailed. We emailed more. He made a will. Went to his barbers to get his hair cut. After his death an old colleague said that he'd said we were back together, we weren't we were just emailing but the intensity of our feelings for each other was still apparent. Our relationship had picked up, but how was still ambiguous, i asked him to come to England to meet me for coffee, for a walk, i knew my family would hate it but we had unfinished business, i was offering friendship, my trust had been broken, i loved him, i wanted him still, but i was wary, very wary, and needed him to meet me in my space. 
Over that summer i'm guessing he was drinking but maybe picked up a little, we emailed regularly, did we speak on the phone ? i'm not sure, it was still all quite tentative on my part, i was there for him but i needed to know he was there for me too. By autumn i think we were likely emailing most days. Both of us often up in the small hours of the morning we would check in with each other, we'd talk about life and love, it was flirty and sweet, there was old tenderness and new tenderness too. Our relationship at this point was still rooted in our love affair. There were times we'd argue i remember  but distance meant that our fights were more quickly resolved,  his silences were not so commanding, and his spite more easily repudiated and what could he do that was worse than leaving me and taking up with another woman ? 
I remember Jon as someone physically well. We never saw each other after he left. In my head he is still the man who left me, strong, handsome, lordly. He sent me a photograph of himself that summer, well two in fact, a selfie of him in his mirror, face obscured by the camera but wearing shorts and looking ok tho' in shadow. The other, he sent while he was in Venice, it was a picture of him on his balcony with a chameleon on his shoulder gazing lovingly at someone, not me, i didn't look at that picture long, I didn't want to see it. I thought it was probably taken by his last girlfriend and was their affair and not mine. Later when my friend David took pictures of me i didn't send those to Jon, not the good ones or the ones where i'm gurning or looking fat. My relationship with David was as friends not lovers but Jon was funny about our friendship. He was cross about me going for walks and visiting churches with David. I thought he had a cheek being jealous quite frankly. 
But I skip forward. There must have been a point in our re-acquaintance when we re-connected as something more than ex-lovers catching up. That he was drinking was clear, we had occasional phone calls that year 2015 when his speech would be slurred, and sometimes his emails were obviously the hand of a drunk, mis-spelt, mis-worded, sexually gross. I had known Jon as someone very careful, sober his spirit when dark erred towards mean-ness, drunk it became base but also sometimes i'd catch a glimpse of the light that i'd known when we were first together. Lux lucet in tenebris. It was this light i sought to reflect back at him. It was a dangerous game perhaps to have entered into but not one that i thought about. Our relationship was rooted in our love affair, that we talked about sex was not weird it was part of our knowing each other, it wasn't the focus, i would flip him pictures and songs and articles, names of bloggers i liked, we talked about books, films, life, walking, art, poetry, Jon was very clever. I'd tell him about going to the library he started going to his library and i think this was a life saver for him. And our relationship became a meeting of minds, in a way it became deeper than it had been before, without the softness of shared physical experience, touch, taste, sound, sight, smell, we were forced into an etheric connection, a meeting of consciousness if you will. We merged as we had when we were lovers but our merging was spiritual, he'd been my soul mate before and that soul bond became more entwined. I gave him my light, he gave me his darkness. Sometimes i gave him my darkness and he gave me his light. 
All this time he was drinking heavily, he said that he was living on vodka and milk. We emailed every day, quite often i emailed several times a day, not long emails, images more often not, not stuff that required a reply just nudges to let him know that someone was thinking about him and cared if he was alive or dead. Later after his hospitalisation in 2016 he said that my emails had kept him going, that otherwise he'd have had no human contact, and likely be dead, he said he was eternally grateful but Jon's eternally grateful never did last long. 
After his hospitalisation he seemed to plateau. He was still drinking, sometimes a lot, but he seemed to be out of his hole. I knew that the last hospitalisation had come after he'd given up drinking cold turkey, and i knew from the courses i'd done that he could easily have died and that he hadn't had been a lucky chance. After his death i read the term kindling which is used to describe the effect of these near misses, each time they happen the nervous system gets more broken and the chances of survival slimmer. Dark matter. 
But there, so Jon did survive that hospitalisation, that was the one where his family told me not to bother them again and that it was up to him to stop. I had thought that if only we could have pulled together and got him into rehab i could have got him long distance walking to take his mind off things, maybe that was my saviour complex kicking in. Maybe Jon needed and wanted to die, maybe he had stopped coping with life. He said when he left me that we couldn't fight our demons, i was cross with him about that i thought "i'm fighting my demons lets fight off our demons together" but maybe he knew that his had got him and that he needed to leave life as he he had led his life prior to our knowing each other drinking and sleeping with women who gave him no mental distress. 
I'm diary-ing. Am i being very boring ? I think i may be. But I'm getting out of me that which i am no longer able to carry, or carry alone, releasing by recording, and in so doing giving space in my being to life after Jon. There is no way i can set down the whole of the ten years we knew each other or put on a page the intensity of our connection, the page would burst into flame. But the little i set out may one day serve me as a memory jogger when the life we shared is trod over, invisible and overlaid by new experience.
I had begun this blog with the intention of taking it up to Easter Sunday last year which is when we lost contact again. But I realise that the events that led up to our losing contact are still too close for me to give form to. I suppose in all truth i am thinking of the year and half before he died really, from his hospitalisation in 2016 to Easter Sunday 2017 and then to his death later that year on October 11th. I have three unopened emails from Jon. One from Easter and two from about a month before he died. And an unheard voicemail on my phone. The emails sit ticking in the folder marked Jon, buried under the mountains of emails i have sent him after his death and the emails i made myself not send him and so sent to myself in the months between Easter and the time i knew he was dead. Will i ever read them ? will my regrets and my sadness ever be soft enough to let me witness the last few scraps of time he gave me ? The email from Easter is likely to be unkind. The two from the month before he died charming and sweet, tho' I cannot be sure of that. All of them will hurt i think. I have a feeling that one day i will hear the voicemail by accident and that it will drop me to my knees. RIP Jon. RIP Fella.  

It is gone 11am now  


Friday, 30 March 2018

New blog. I have words battering up against the side of my head and they have to come out or else i'll go mad so here goes again. There are two chapters in the story of my love affair with Jon that  i need/want to write before i go to Gozo so expect another one to follow this shortly. I do not know which one I will write at this moment. This is the moment i make that decision. And that decision is ...
2009
2009 was the year i look back on as the year Jon's recovery broke and our relationship began to break down. When i met Jon in 2007 he was in recovery, he had just bought a house, he was working in a workplace that supported him where he had friends and most importantly a boss who knew about his drinking and took care of him, way over and above the care that most bosses would. We met just as his mother had fallen ill, his father had died the year before and his mother died six months after we began seeing each other. That is another story and one i will save for a later date because this blog is about 2009.
In 2009 events in both my life and Jon's meant that both of us lost stability. In truth that stability was wavering as we ended 2009. In the autumn i had begun an art course that would take me to university and to where i am now. I give credit to the teacher for the skills i learned from her. But that teacher was a bitch. I am not a confident person and she razed my confidence to the ground in the two years i spent learning from her. Thankfully i met with two other art teachers within that time who were more flexible and open to forms of creativity that deviated from their own and it is they that kept me afloat creatively during that two year course. But suffice to say my confidence was on it's back foot. Add to this a momentous change. My middle child, Richard, decided to move to China. I baulked and that caused a row between us, thankfully now mended, but at the beginning of 2009 he left for China for eight months and tho' we maintained contact our relationship had hit a serious wobble. On top of that over the christmas of 2008 i experienced flashbacks to the violation perpetrated on me by my first sexual partner (i won't call him my lover tho' he was my boyfriend for about two years). Jon was amazing while i was struggling with these flashbacks, his sympathy and kindness went far beyond anything i'd experienced before. He responded with care that was healing and generous. 
But in 2009 the fates threw their lot at us and both of us being fragile and tender we were unable to hold our ground. It began early. Maybe new years day, i think it was new years day or maybe the 2nd or 3rd of January but i couldn't vouch for the date tho' it will be on record somewhere. It will be on record somewhere because the day that i speak of marks a death. First thing that morning Jon decided to walk to the supermarket to pick up a newspaper, i think, and maybe some breakfast things. That wasn't our normal pattern, normally we'd go together but he took that decision and i stayed in bed waiting for him to come home. I waited, and waited, he took a long time. When he came home he was in shock. This is the story he told me and as i can remember
As he had been walking he passed an old lady who was sat on a stone looking frail, he spoke to her and asked her if she was ok at which point she keeled over. He began to practice CPR on her and i think some other passerby or maybe two came soon after but he was the one who saw her die and tried to save her. I assume ambulances were called and after she was passed to their care he came home. An experience like this would knock anyone off their stride but bear in mind Jon was a recovering alcoholic. And also someone who was aware that as an alcoholic and someone with a prison record he was vulnerable to accusation. Actually the family of the woman were grateful to him and sent him a letter thanking him for the help he had given their mother but i know that he felt his position in life was precarious because he had spoken about it before. 
He did not speak much. Jon was not a talker but that his boat was rocked was clear. Later that day we went for a walk as was our wont most days when we were together. I said that i had a feeling 2009 would be a difficult year and that we should book a holiday to keep our spirits up. When we returned my daughter called to tell me that i was going to be a granny. 
I love my grandson, but i was overwhelmed at the thought of being a granny at 42. Actually being a granny is completely amazing but at that moment it made me feel older than my years. I was worried she would find herself alone as i had done. And i was not sure at all about this new role that sat on my shoulders. To say that i felt my life had spun out of my control is putting it mildly. 
So we booked a holiday and i got used to the idea of being a granny, it took a week or so, but when my daughter came over, not long after she had told me, i put my hand on her tummy and felt my grandson flutter under my hand and loved him and i have loved him ever since. In fact my love for him saved my life. And he and my granddaughter who followed not long after are bright lights in my life. What nobody tells you about being a granny is how much you will love your grandchildren, how incredibly great it is being a grandparent. 
But, so, back to the year as it happened to me and Jon. Me, reeling with the huge concrete changes in my life. And Jon drawn in after his brush with death. To add to it my mother, bless her also reeling with the changes happening in my family, threw weight at me and that further unbalanced me. 
I knew that i needed a job and an ad for a part time shop assistant in the local whole food shop came up in the window and i applied. I  got an interview, but was not their first choice and did not get the job, but then after the owner called me to tell me my application was unsuccessful he rang me again and offered me a job covering someone's maternity leave which i gladly accepted. I was green going into that job. I have spoken to people less green than me and they too have struggled with it as a workplace but with no work-skin on me at all, my work had mostly been self-employed or childminding prior to that so i was not prepared for workplace politics. To say it threw me is an understatement, it sucked the life out of me, and i didn't feel able to quit, as a job is a job is a job and i thought the problem was me. Thinking the problem is me was then my default position. You can see now how helpful Jon's statement "no one cares what you think, want, need or feel" was. Poisonous yes, and not said kindly. But it kind of takes away a person's self importance which whilst deflating is also blame-defeating because your lack of worth makes your being mean less, for good or for ill. 
But that's that, let's go to March 2009. Before i got the job as a shop worker Jon and I had booked a holiday in Cornwall. I had always wanted to go to Cornwall, it was where i hoped to escape to, had built up as an elysian paradise where i could run away from all my troubles. Jon and I had played the right-move game of looking at houses in Cornwall, in France, all over the place, it was part of our relationship this plan to move elsewhere, to go journeying. 
Our holiday in Cornwall was incredible, we did what we did, made love, ate and walked, all week the sun shone and we were both wildly in love, it was the sweetest, easiest, happiest holiday i have had to date. We were as one with each other, no-one can take that feeling from me, the memories i have of that week are beautiful. I loved Cornwall it was much as i had imagined but going there also made me appreciate the seas i'd grown up with, the big norfolk skies and expanses of sand. Cornwall was wonderful, Norfolk was wonderful, anywhere could be wonderful in the right company. And for me that right company was Jon. I adored him and would have done anything for him he made me feel like anything was possible. Driving home, he was thoughtful. It's a long drive to Cornwall. He had started to see his daughter one to one over the past year for the first time (i think) since he and her mother had broken up, and he was enjoying getting to know her. After a while maybe halfway through our journey home, he said "i can't move to Cornwall, i need to be close to ********* (his  daughter)". Now, i love my children and his needing to be close to his daughter was an eminently reasonable need that needed to be met. It clipped the wings of my dreams but was a need that had to over-ride all other needs. A parent's bond is special and incontrovertible. And so our lives as a couple changed. They changed to revolve around his family life. The day that he was given every six weeks or so to spend with his little girl. I will say at this point that having altered course and accepted a confinement it was somewhat bitter pill when he upped and left for Gozo. But that is a different story. The reality is that he stayed true to ********* up to the point when her mother told him that she and her partner was planning to move to Orkney for a job taking ********* with them, thus rendering him once again powerless. At that point his resolution to stay was made irrelevant. In fact they did not move but the die was cast. 
Aagh, and so it goes on. Long blogs. Lots of words, are you still with me ? We come back home after a blissful holiday, life continues i start work, it's new learning and all the while i'm doing my art course and my son has moved to China and my daughter is getting more pregnant and Jon is working and seeing his daughter. He starts to complain that i'm working on Saturdays, our weekends are more broken up because my older son is not about to look after my cats and so we spend time hithering and thithering a bit and i'll confess sometimes Jon feels like a burden and i get tired of watching the same t.v programmes and never going out, and Jon starts to place new rules on us, he doesn't want to drive on Sundays because he drives every other day, again not unreasonable but another curb on our freedom, and when we go walking he tells me, as we wander under great skies bathed in skylark song, catching sight of hares and other creatures, that there is no god, i think "this is my god, please don't destroy it" but he is determined.
Life begins to get grimmer. Jon starts sniping at me. Our relationship which had been about 90% good drops to maybe 70% but 70% is still good isn't it and everybody has grumpy days and you work round them, no relationship is perfect, i commit to staying with it, i know Jon is worth it, I have known the best of him and the best of him is brilliant.
But I begin to get unhappy. I am studying under a teacher who is unable to veil her dislike for me. I am working in a workplace where the backbiting comes down from the top and is non-stop, i am always anxious, i stop sleeping. My son, who is my funny guy, is away and we are still not communicating well. I am beginning to lose the plot. I have no sanctuary, I didn't know then as i do now, that i need time alone, all my time was being eaten up by other people and I had no time to myself to rest and recharge. I was pouring out energy to other people. Haemorrhaging happiness and getting not much that was good back.
In June there is another major hiccup. My three month probationary period at work comes up, i am kept on but i wasn't sure of being kept on, my grandson is due. And simultaneously an issue arises with Jon's family. Over the months that Jon had been seeing his daughter he'd started to take her swimming, this was one of my suggestions to him when he first started seeing her, that and canoeing. Initially he'd been scared of the time he would spend with her asking me for advice but by 2009 they had got their groove on. Her birthday was coming up in June and he was looking forward to taking her swimming in Woodbridge where she lived and buying her cakes as he had done before. But his ex-wife and sister in law decided to use that day for a family get together. I remember him telling me how he had picked up the email from his brother informing him and how he'd been watching the Chelsea flower show and when the music came up at the end he had burst into tears. I think he knew that he had lost control. Up to then he was doing it, he was sober, he felt loved, lovable and loving, he was proud of himself for his degree which was going well and his relationship with his daughter was going well too, he would say "I wish my mum and dad and nan could see me now, happy in love and doing well". 
The family get together not only broke him (i believe) it also broke me. At this point Jon and I had been together for over two years. I had yet to meet his daughter which i was sad about but understood that he was building his relationship with her and also as he said building trust with his ex-wife who had reason to feel guarded and mean after his years of drinking and more than one infidelity when their daughter was small. I was shocked not to be invited. I know, maybe that is silly, i took it initially. It hurt and it resonated with a wound in me that came from my family, a deep feeling of being left out, it triggered my outsider complex if you will. Perhaps it did not help that instead of holding me softly and saying that he understood that my lack of invite might be uncomfortable he started to take out his temper on me, began picking at me and belittling me. 
After he told me of the re-arrangement we went to see a plot of land he was thinking of buying. This was his latest whim, he thought he might buy a plot of land or tract of woodland, we looked at loads, it never happened. As we were coming home we passed the Bathstore near Sainsbury's and he seemed to be about to say something, i asked what he was going to say and ... wait for it, it's another Jon gem .. he said "i was wondering which of your friends i would fuck in the shower" .. it was not the moment to pull that line out of the bag, I was feeling snubbed and humiliated, he had form with infidelity, and his family had not invited me to a family gathering which made me feel like a cheap slapper rather than Jon's fairly longterm partner. The irony is that i was working the day they'd arranged i'd already changed my work days with another woman at her request knowing that Jon was seeing his daughter. And even if i'd been free I'd have asked if he wanted me to come, and he'd have said no it's not worth it and would have regained some control. I wanted him to speak out for me but he didn't and in hindsight i can see that he didn't want to make waves with his ex-wife in case she stopped him seeing their daughter. But the whole matter escalated, both of us had been triggered, and it was really the beginning of the end of his recovery and our relationship. All for the want of a horse-shoe nail. 
And tho' that seems like a little thing, sometimes it's the little things that set the ball rolling. We never really recovered. I nagged because i needed him to make good and he couldn't. And he withdrew because I was nagging. We did have happy times after but they got further apart and we'd eaten the apple from the tree of knowledge and our time in the garden of eden was over. 
And so there is more. We did make up, we still did beautiful things, skinny-dipping at Thornham sticks out, he had never swum naked before he said. But in the autumn of 2009 he developed a back, or shoulder, ache (i forget which) and unknown to me began self medicating with the morphine based medication his mother had been given when she was dying at the beginning of our days together. The upshot of which was that he landed up in hospital after taking an accidental overdose. He had driven to work in a bit of a haze and then driven back home and i think then called an ambulance. I am so glad he survived but i knew from that moment that he was not well, that his alcoholism was not licked, I knew i could not safely tie my lot to his, particularly as he refused to talk. I was isolated with this information because his family had, i thought, made it clear that they did not want to know me and i had no contact numbers for them anyway. I still loved him but from then i guess i was aware that he was unreliable. I realise as i write that I have blocked out this episode, likely because it was so out of my normal i couldn't take it in, so it has floated around like plastic in the sea of me, alien information that is not of me, or part of me, and yet belongs in me. 
Is that the end of 2009 ? Not quite. The sequence of events as i've relayed them is pretty much accurate as i recall, but it's all a long time ago, and mostly held in until now, the year whilst dotted with specific dateable events also has a moving felt layer. Now Jon is dead i need to release some of my story of Jon into the world so the world can take back what once was ours but now is just one more soon to be forgotten history, to tell that part of my history so that it is out of me, out of my body, returned to the ether from where it was begat. I think if i had companionship in my grief, my grief would be contained within that companion group but i don't so the page is my witness.
Is that the end of 2009, it isn't, i neglected to speak of my beautiful grandson who was born on June 12th after a long labour (three, maybe four days, it was worrying but he came out alright and my daughter too), my grandson was the light in the darkness in 2009 always bright and happy, his star kept me alive as i suspect Jon's daughter kept him going. And because of Jon's overdose i realised that i needed to give up my job in the whole food shop because it was making me unhappy and i wanted to give Jon more of my time and attention. Actually the shop pipped me to the post and got rid of me first which stung and left me smarting and ended up being another hiccup, rejection sucks, but that belongs to 2010. I also put in my university application which i'd been umm-ing and aah-ing over, it is sweet sad thing perhaps that i only recall now as i write, such is the grace of putting words down, Jon said to me that he wanted to support me through university, he didn't really, but i think the intention was there in him, his darkness took him over i think, but for those wondering why i stuck by a man who really wasn't treating me right and why i am grieving now, it is because i knew him as someone extraordinary, someone of rare and wonderful beauty, and i feel honoured to have shared some part of my life with him, and broken hearted that the beauty of him is no longer a part of the living world except in those who knew him.