5 September 2013
Sometimes I think the morning is going to start with a bang, but I’m lucky being left with a whimper. I closed my eyes and didn’t see the morning slipping itself away, curling up neatly into a ball. The hours cycle slowly, a gentle unfolding to no particular end.
Andrew bought a shoe rack and set it up next to the front door. Every time I walk inside, I think it’s a catalogue of our different feet, our journeys and the miles stuck between the treads of these soles. Souls. I can never think of shoes without thinking of the journey of the spirit.
I stepped on a piece of onion in the kitchen, remnants of last night’s dinner. It missed the rubbish bin – wasn’t even discarded into the right place. The stiff smell of gritty sweetness. I read an amazing poem about onions, maybe a month ago, but I can’t remember where I found it. Yesterday, I read a statement about nature accepting science and art in equal measures, but I can’t remember where I read it. It was on the lower half of a right hand page with a picture. I think I can find the book, but it’s swimming in amongst the many others I am still reading.
Memory, even in the rest of us, is a shifting, fading, partial thing, a net that doesn’t catch all the fish by any means and sometimes catches butterflies that don’t exist.
– Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
There is a change in the mail system. We got a letter in the postbox. The West End of Edinburgh has seen a drop-off in letters, but a higher volume of packages. They are restructuring our delivery schedule, and we may no longer have the same postman. Which is fine, because I didn’t know him anyway. But it’s slightly unnerving to think that our mail could be delivered any time of day now. No consistency. When will it come?
In the Lake District, we drove past a house that was for sale. In the outside wall of the house: a postbox. A real, working postbox, attached to a house. I wanted to live in that house. I wanted to have my own postbox. I still want to have a friendship with the postman, with the people who sell me stamps, with the workers who pass on my words, changing hands, spanning globes. If I sent a letter to myself, would it get around the world, or would it barely make it down the street?
Sometimes I think I am more myself when writing letters and nothing else comes close to that.
I read your letter on the poetry blog. It was beautiful and eloquent and necessary. And greatly received. Never doubt that people love and support you. You’ll never be able to imagine otherwise.