This just seems right...

I'm a person with a lot of faith - but no "Faith" if that makes sense - underneath my pessimism-stained defences lies a bright hopeful heart.

This poem says a lot: it's speaking to me right now... And I hope it's speaking for me, too. I want it to be a comfort, to console and to apologise and to be an olive-branch of hope... (I want a lot from a poem, don't I?)

[Thanks again Carol Ann Duffy: preposterously, humanly talented poet that she is...]


Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims sung by a tree, a sudden gift.

Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.

Pray for us now. Grade 1 piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.

Darkness outside. Inside the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre

Where to start? ("Heer be dragons")

Early cartography didn't always get it right either" The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

I'm not sure what has been going-on, to be honest, except that it isn't what I thought was going on. I am making very little sense these days I find. It's liberating to realise that you don't really make sense and that the sense that you think you've been making is in fact built on a false premise. Liberating - like releasing a caged bird and watching it circle for a while before soaring - and terrifying at the same time.

So where to start? Possibly the best question I could ever ask - and the hardest to answer. Should I start at the present and work back or the past and work forward? (I'm circling, see... I might not be soaring from some time...)

OK. I'll start with the "dramatic" bit. I nearly willingly hurled myself over the edge into a very dark place; bottomless, remorseless and without end. I was saved by a moment of -
actually, I can't really give the moment itself a name. I'm still confused about that bit. Scratching my head, looking in a mirror and muttering, "what the fuck?" Anyhow... I was saved by a moment- a moment of love whatever form it took, of friendship whatever the intention, of simplicity and unthinking - nonetheless.

Tailspin. Freefall. What was it Yeats said,

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold..."

These lines resonate and ring clear to me, that's for sure. You can't hold on when things spin so fast. You lose your grip. I lost my grip...

For the entirety of May, I have been more chaotic than usual. Reeling, bouncing, glowering and burning icy cold. There is no easy way to say this: it is all to do with grief and anger that I have been (am?) holding in for years. I think I let it out from time to time, but actually I just give it air in order that it is fuelled further. For years I have been growing colder, keeping this angry grief inside and nursing it tenderly as though I would miss it were it gone... I have been taking out on my wife, lover, partner for years. Silently, conspiratorially, secretly, ever increasingly angrily.

Rage and self-hatred have poured out of me in equal measure to tears. (Oh, I'm sure there's still some left, don't worry...) But along with the rage has come honesty. For the first time in years I have been speaking honestly: not hiding, not dulling the sharpness of the words I use, not trying to hold back or resist hurting, too tired to guard the cold angry grief and letting some of it leak away....

Anyhow, having turned away from my wife, lover, partner, having contemplated throwing myself - cage and all - into the dark remorseless place (maybe even selfishly/lovingly taking someone else with me) yesterday I had a sudden realisation: I didn't need to be angry anymore - it wasn't some nameless, amorphous anger: it had a cause - a real cause - and thus, perhaps, a cure. I am starting to turn back: I am starting to come home - I am moving away from the edge: I don't like it there anymore.

I am not fixed, not yet - but I can see that I am broken- more broken than I had thought- and that's a start. I want the cold, angry, burning grief to go away. I can't hold on to it any more. I want to fly again, without this weight dragging me down. I know I will make mistakes, I might not get to soar - I might just flap my wings sitting on top the cage and maybe that would be fine too.

It's liberating to realise that you don't make sense, that you don't have to make sense - and it is terrifying. I am terrified - but still here.

My Way Home

All it took was the time it takes
To smoke a cigarette or jam on the brakes
I nearly had it in my hands and now it's gone
Am I complaining 'bout my luck again?
Well it seems to me I was the one
Stood moaning in the morning sun
And now it doesn't matter much wherever I may roam
I keep feeling, feeling my way home

Now you see me, now you don't
You say you will but I know you won't
You nearly had me in your hands but now I'm gone
But not complaining 'bout my life again
No sirree, and what I've got belongs to me entirely
I look left and I look right and I cross this road alone
'Cos I'm feeling my way
I may go up, I may go down but wherever I may roam
I keep feeling my way home

Shall I explain away my life again?
Well it seems to me it's too far gone
To wonder where it all went wrong
I get up and I get down but I get there on my own
And I'm feeling my way
I look left and I look right and I cross this road alone
'Cos I'm feeling my way home

(Kirsty MacColl - from the album "Electric Landlady")

OK. So I'm back. Well, sort of. Almost, anyway. Soon, perhaps.
Did you honestly think I would be gone forever? Oh, the pointless, needless, needy things I have to tell you, anonymous-reader-type people...
You will laugh. Or maybe cry. Or maybe find another blog to read...
Oh, you probably won't even notice or care much...
-Oh the pointless, needless, needy things I have to tell you...

-But they'll keep.
I'm going nowhere. Not for a while, at least...