Thursday, October 05, 2017

Three geraniums

The dark creeps in on you and suddenly the days are no longer long. On the train back from London last night, I realized that at 6.30pm it was almost winter. I love the train; I do all the things you aren't meant to do, like stare at people, make eye contact, sometimes chat. I have my little telepathic ideas about everyone. I told a woman the other day that her hair was fantastic. It was curly and wild and she wore it well, without worrying about it. I longed for such confidence.

I wake up in the dark now, in my cozy bed with its Hudson Bay blanket and the two real live furry hot water bottles around my legs and feet. You can hear if it's raining by the sound the cars' wheels make on the road. Mostly it's just drizzle. But today there is wind and from my kitchen window I can see that the trees are veering into yellow and orange, and I dream of Maine and Vermont and pancakes with maple syrup.

I am alone but for the dogs. (Potential burglars: the small one will kill you, no problem.) My darling man is in London as it was the opening of the London Film Festival last night. It's strange not to wake up to his lovely face. He sleeps like an angel, quietly. My French Bulldog snores more than him.  Secretly, I like to be alone. I like to make my own tea, to start slowly, to venture out early with the dogs, to drink in the day, to bathe in nature, like a fool, to be renewed.

Slowly, slowly, I am finding my people. My friend with whom I had tea yesterday, an imp of a woman, smiley and wise, says that it takes two years to find your people when you move to a new place. She is my people. She has somehow managed to rise above class, a notable feat in this country, so that when I speak to her, I feel as if I am speaking to an American friend. There is no barrier, no layers to negotiate, no flinty passive aggression to beat down, just an openness that I understand and appreciate. It's a jungle out here, I tell you. There is just so much stuff to get through, so many little hints and notes that may have meaning (but meaning is always denied; "Oh, it's a JOKE!" or "Oh, no, I'm FINE.") It's snakes and ladders for a foreigner and believe me, I am a foreigner here in the land of my birth. Nothing is dealt with straight on. Which is both good and bad. I am reminded of the way my father asked for the salt to be passed. "Darling, would you like some salt?"

So being with my impish friend, who is a writer and, I dare say, an empath, over a lovely big cup of Darjeeling in a hotel filled with the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen, displayed in various sized milk bottles, is like sitting by a burn in the Scottish highlands, in the sunshine, splashing water on one's face. I'm refreshed and I have a lovely warm feeling, as if I have been eating Ready Brek.

We are two nations divided by a common language. I could write about this for a long, long time. It pulls into focus one's idea about identity, belonging, class, ways to live. I used to believe I spoke both languages fluently. Now, I wonder.

There are three rose-scented geraniums in my kitchen window. I was in house full of plants last week and decided that as winter closes in, we need to bring more green things inside.

Three geraniums. Two potatoes.

And one more thing:

"We are all just walking each other home." -- Ram Dass

I think this is a good thing to remember in these dark times. I think that's what I want to spread about liberally. We are here for a very short time. There is only room to love each other.


Lou said...

Have you ever considered writing a book? I first read your blog around the time you wrote about the abandoned day dream of growing old, sitting with your (ex) husband on Adirondack chairs, reading the paper. The image stuck with me. You have an uncanny knack of capturing things for what they are. The heat of California and now a perfect summary of the British autumnal gloom as it moves into winter. Drizzle! Only here! Lovely to see the transition. Lou x

Lorely said...

I like reading your blog when I can- thank you. I live in Ireland, where even less is said directly, and much time has been spent, over the years, trying to fathom what someone meant - or didn't mean. I lived in London for a long time. It is wonderful. Enjoy! I love your quote at the end - we are only walking each other home. How true, and so much enjoyment it to be had from any walk.