Some events shake you – meeting a man who was born in the adjacent maternity ward to me and my sister. Albeit four days after. A very interesting man. We’d known each other at primary school and would bump into each other during drunken excursions in Guildford. That smothered jewel of the south – smothered like so many southern towns in boredom and prosperity. We made a good living there as teenagers with alcohol. In gangs and back to houses to smoke weed and revel in music. This was J and I and now we were meeting at a wedding in Kent.
There’s not much more to say about it, but it shook. There was a wonderful moment when myself and J, his mother and sister were retelling who I was to his Dad. I had been round to play at their house several time up until the age of eight and so knew thme all from a different perpective. His sister who used to take her knickers off in front of us, was now a trainee barrister.
We were telling this story. Yes – this is Simon, he is a twin and was born next to J….and then it clicked and five of us stood in combined wonder nodding our heads and agreeing: “That really is amazing.” And it was.
I also that weekend met a girl who I had asked out for coffee the same week I asked out another J – the beloved of some five years – our for coffee. This girl couldn’t make it and J could and we ended being as close as two beings can be. Funny to see this Swiss girl at the wedding and reverberating back to a kind of clock reset. Naturally I reminded her of our near-liaison. She declined a leisurely walk round the garden. It was seven years since that coffee and seeing her through the night I was glad I made the right decision.
Home and Sunday and contemplating the week. Of work, of tasks let go to be picked up. Performing, pressured, feeling the heat.
And gradually it’s wearing me – more through perseverance than passion – into a more effective man. I dont say this lightly. I am becoming better with tasks and a literal effective power is being written into me. Giving force to feelings, though it does feel like a boot camp and there’s a fair ton of shit you have to learn to pass you by. We’re making it OK though and the worthwhileness of the projects I am finding, is more in the quality of their execution that philisophical purpose. By this I mean that I have given up trying to work out if this is doing any good and try to make it as good as I can.
There’s a small “let-go” when you’ve got something nailed. A plan or water-tight proposal. It’s almost as if, after considering and defining, you offer it to the divine. “Take this small offering, it’s the best I could do, but through me make it better” goes the unsaid prayer. And you will see a relaxation. The prayer is no longer you and the work can be more detached.
This is what I am learning in three months. Relaxation in precision.
This diary is on a tender note. I am not sure how many more of these there will be. It depends on a) enthusiasm of comments received and b) if this can fulfil its aim and become a nourishing community. It would be great if you would feel so moved to tell your friends about this page. Email them a link or a sample of writing that interests you.
I would be most grateful.