Thoughts From A House Move

This morning, I was aware, in the quietness of a waking day that I was rousing the old wood in the cottage, and of its lazy creaking responding to my steps, welcoming strange feet. I wondered if the old new house we had left was as welcoming to its tenants.

The location of unfamiliar light switches to be learnt. Fumbling in the dark to find the toilet short lived by the miracle of memory.

A co-existence with nature the early morning birdsong accompanies the rhythmic rainfall on the conservatory roof. A relationship the old new place never allowed.

As I sit, the mountains that may have needed to be climbed yesterday seemed a non event, in fact they never appeared but we were protected. The precious magnificence of the preparing mind having already built unused foundations to cope if needed. We feed the dreams of a thousand situations. If we could but feed only these that really happen how much easier it would be.

The theatre of life moves on. A new act in the production, characters scarcely known to us dip in doing huge things in our lives and we trust them with the preciousness as they carry the table unaware of what’s behind the cup stains upon it.  The removers removed themselves. We gave them thanks. Our roles in each other’s play short by necessity. Closing the door on them leaving the crossroad of our time together begins to distance.

Loved faces joined later. Those who also understood the meanings of cup stains, and the rest of the plot. Safe, we’d gathered and shared fish and chips and heavily buttered thick sliced bread. But this was not until their work was done and they knew they had made us comfortable for the night.

So what of the days ahead, what love of life will be found here?  What has been carried from whence we came to be used in the new old place.  Our minds, our faith have moved with us as an ever present. But childlike we meet the unexplored, leading us to new things and mixing them with our experience and wisdom gives them our shape. The aroma of salt and vinegar and the red sauce stain remain reminding me again of last night’s communion at the breakfast bar. We have already produced an event to begin our history in this place. The first “do you remember when” moment?

The days of comparison will disappear. There will come with time, a moment of grounding, the concrete realisation we are not going back. The acceptance that there is loss of what we had be it bad or good, it is still loss. Our world will never seem quite the same again.

Don Russell

I Give You

 

I give you your stimulation,

But not my mind.

 

I give you your meal,

But not my labour.

 

I give you your wants,

But not my love.

 

I give you your way,

But not my truth.

 

I give you your importance,

But not my agreement.

 

I give you your visions,

But not my visions.

 

I give you your memories,

But not my dreams.

 

I give you your keys,

But not to my door.

 

Don Russell

Archie’s Gone.

Bones idly drew a line with the heel of his battered boot in the dust of the floor in the derelict. He sighed. Looking over at his companion he broke their silence.

“The kid could never keep his tin lid Bert.”

“He don’t deserve this Bones.”

“I don’t think the cop had a choice. The kid had been on the sniff and juice all the day before Bert. “

“Bones ah seen him afore, that cop. He’s a big bruisy bastard, keen with the baton. I tried to get the kid away. Get the fuck here Archie I shouted! No use he was on fire. Dent on the back of his head you could have rested an egg in. I went down to see him. Morgue on 27th and 5th.  I walks in. There’s a princess sitting in the waiting room. I say’s to the guy at the counter I’ve come to see Archie, I started to fill. I don’t know his second name.”

“Rogers, says this princess from behind. Archie’s mouth, sister or mother, quite tasty. Hooking up crossed ma mind but I threw it out before it settled Bones. Ye know, dignity and that.”

“It wouldn’t be the first time it happened Bert.”

“Na Bones, this princess had class. Outta place down our end.”

“Archie never said much about anything really Bert. Did you ask her who she was?”

“Nuh!”

“Did ya get to see him?”

“Ye Bones I seen him. I seen Archie, just lying there peaceful man, shaved, in a white robe, looked like Gabriel, washed long golden curly hair. The man at the counter told me the funeral was Monday over on the Jersey side. I’m not sure how we’d get there.”

“We knew the kid over this side, best leave it at that Bert.”

“She was still sitting there, the princess, when I came back. She looked at me kinda, sad. Ah remembered ah still had his cap, it fell off in the struggle and ah’d picked it up. Ah fiddled with it a while in ma pocket not sure, but ah took it out. Ah turned and handed it to her, I told her it was Archie’s and that he was a nice kid. She took it, kinda smiled, but said nothing.””

“That was a good thing to do Bert, have a slug of ma juice, calm the nerves.”

“Ta Bones. To Archie!”

“Steady with the bottle Bert you snake, you’re not that nervous!”