People wondered why I traveled to a remote part of Wales for a writing workshop when there were a limitless supply at home or in touristy places in the US. I could tell them I was impressed with the two teachers, I could say I was to be in Lloyd George’s home. I could say all of that, but in truth although I didn’t know it when I registered for the week living in as close to a monastic cell as I ever want to get, the real reason was to have an afternoon sitting on a window bench in the conservatory looking out in the distance at the Irish sea a house cat curled in my lap, my notebook slowly filling as my pen ran dry.
In yet another sign of age I realize I simply cannot enjoy much of today’s music. I know it has merit, I know most love it, sales and downloads don’t lie, but it doesn’t work for me. I want the music of the 80s, the 70s, or even the late 60s, but with, dare I say it, a bit of a twist. I want the older music to come from a different room of the house the older the farther from my ears, as though distance and time were intimately related, and when one song piques my interest I can walk back into my youth to hear it more clearly as I did when it first touched my ears.
My history is like an ill- sewn quilt, odd pieces of parents stitched loosely together, always ready to come apart, fade or be thrown away.
Perhaps my history is more like a beloved old pair of jeans, holes appear and are patched, patches wear out and are replaced, or the hole is just left, as if it were somehow a fashion statement.
There is little normal when you are adopted, loved perhaps, but always on the edge of being an outsider, and when that is repeated, the distance grows exponentially, until you find a birth parent or two and the holes are patched with dreams of what might have been.
Then there are the days when I play the buffoon, the juggler whose balls come crashing to the floor bringing tears to the crowd of joy or sorrow, I cannot hope to tell, for this day I can only flail about, the circus clown, and you had best keep your distance lest I break you as well.
We will always be friends, we said, probably half meaning it at the time. How many times have we said that or somthing akin to it, knowing that the promise to call, to stay in close touch, was at best half meant and almost certain not to come to any reality.
I have a catalog of friends, who I told I would never give up, distance notwithstanding, we all do, and mine is replete with both good and bad intentions, each and every one a failure.
I did not say this to my ex-wife when we divorced, and I must say that while I failed at the marriage, or so she said, I did not ever fail at not being friends after its end.