Ferodo – Forget me not – Alice

cordell-forget-me-not

Alice was back in my house again after seven long years. She’d arrived just the last week on the doorstep, looking older and hoping I’d be able to rejoin our fractured lives again. So far I’d let her in but we hadn’t really connected.

We’d been parted abruptly, we lost each other suddenly like when a glacier finally cracks after years as a moraine and melts and falls into the sea. I’d gone first, melted by a sudden change in the weather and left her behind still frozen the status quo of life we’d become. Sure I loved her, but having melted away, I could not go back. Try as I might, I could not remember or feel the same things or go back in time.

So it went on like that. In the first year of our fracture I’d been to Japan and saturated myself in Saki, Sushi and to recover, climbed the slopes of Mt Fuji. Every day I’d look for a dose of exotica to help cover over the memories of the life I’d given up. I went to India and up and down streets with crowds of Hindu at holi festivals, but never once to temple.  Which I probably should have. Still I’d been faithful to her and I knew eventually we had to get back together.  It was just a question of time perhaps.

Having melted into the ocean of possibility, knowledge and experience, I’d lost my structure and purpose.  I couldn’t get Alice back or my life for that matter. Even the travel, although refreshing didn’t put it all back together. As the years went by it became easier, but colder and more distant, even from myself. Anyway, here I was in my fairly comfortable home and Alice had found me somehow, yet so far I hadn’t really found her.

I opened the door to get some fresh air.  It was dark out but I needed to walk. Down the path a little and around toward little creek at the back of the property. Flowers seem to have a glow and brightness as the sun retreats for the night.  In the evening under stars flickering their petals glow softly but defiantly against the surrounding dark.  Dark full of sounds of frogs and moving things but still with the chill of the night air. There the flowers stood bravely against the darkness, and the star centered scented flowers shone quietly into my mind. I hadn’t forgotten her, I’d missed her badly, but she that I missed was not the one that I’d left. But there was music there, that uncanny Dido’s Lament came to mind.  Where Dido laments that she be remembered, but not for the way she left the world.

I turned then to go back to the house with that lament by Purcell running through that blue petals image in my mind.

“Remember me, Remember me,

but ah ah forget my fate,

remember me but ah..

forget my fate.”

How sad would that be, I thought, that if only we were parted forever, that I should forget her fate. We really must try to find it again. The lights were on and I slid the door open and stepped inside and still there was Alice, looking carefully at my face … smiling…hopefully.

Photo: “Forget-me-not” copyright, Diane Cordell, used with permission.

Brittle Cold Metal Spire

The photograph crackled when i looked at it the second time. The first glance was fine.  I had printed a heap of them, only to find this one of a tree with a blank grey Northern sky of late winter. I’m sure the photo was fine, but then a great metal crack appeared zooming through it. Like it couldn’t restrain itself. It just had to be. Life is so like that at times, everything seems fine and then an irreversible crackle sounds suddenly and you struggle to mend the cold enormity of it and maybe even pretend it is not there.  But it is, real and larger than the tree you so carefully cultivated for years.  You see that evident sometimes, divorced people tear their brittle life photo memories apart, or fold then in half and keep their ex facing the hardboard of the picture frame, while they cheerfully look out into the room from a scene from way back. Perhaps the folding types want to keep the ex there, just in case – perhaps they can mend the whole thing somehow.  Hope to mend the love that was, now lost in an instant.

Still the crack itself is not a gap, it’s a thing dividing the brittleness of the scene.  I went back there, to the park with the tree in it.  And yes, i felt i had to go an touch the metal of the tear in the air, spiking up like lightning in reverse.  It was cold and heavy with condensation to touch and I felt no calm with its seemingly infinite jagged height. Made of hardened stainless steel and welded together, it’s permanency in the face of future storms looked assured. The rent in the photo had turned into a real thing.  A spire of substance, permanence and worth.

Still there is hope and a faith in mending. Love is something which can be rebuilt and mended. There is still time to take another photo of the tree. Just the tree this time, steady in focus with my back leaning on the cold of the spire. And so the new photo shall not crack.

Tear the Air