My husband is currently home between chemotherapy cycles. He has not yet completed a full break, with complications and infections always forcing him back to hospital early. But this time feels different. This time, I’m sure he’ll be here until Friday.
I have been writing to Love. Not my beloved, although I do write to him as well, but to the Great Love. The Love of the Universe. Collective Consciousness Love.
I have been talking to Love and praying to Love. Because there’s not much worth being here on Earth for, except Love.
And then I found this song. But before I’d even listened to it, the title punched me in the throat. I had been writing to Love in an effort to dispel Fear. But what if I wrote to Fear? What if I spoke to it softly? Soothed it with a song? What if I couldn’t dispel all my Fear by writing to Love, what if I needed to write to Fear as well?
And so I did.
I wrote a love letter – a lullaby – to Fear.
When the miles are much too hard
And roads are too long
If my face in your mind
Is an unfinished song
And you’re sure that the right
is all heading for wrong…
Won’t you write the fear a lullaby
Remind her it’s okay to cry
And find me in the folds of your desire
Tell the worries in your way
To try again another day
Shut up and love me til they all expire
Coz I’m not done with you yet
And this weight around my neck
Is nothing but a make-believe goodbye
So write the fear a lullaby
maybe we’ll get forty years together
It’s a short, sweet week. My words are being written elsewhere at present and I have none left for this place. I haven’t much of anything left. So today, I’m trying to live by music.
So whether music or madness
We live by one of the two
Songwriters: Nick MulveyFever to the Form lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC
On May 14, 2014, I wrote this of you. The date is important because it would be less than two weeks later that I’d meet G.
“Thank you,” I text, after an arduous afternoon, “for everything. Always, for everything. Love you. xo.”
“Thanks for the bunny!!” you reply, referring to the chocolate-Easter-bunny-egg thing I’ve been carrying around with me for weeks because each time I see you I forget to give it to you and this time, I finally remembered.
I laugh to myself at your reply. But moments later, my phone beeps again. “I love you, too.”
This time, I don’t laugh. A smile teases my lips and I push my head back into the head-rest as I drive, listening to…something. It doesn’t matter.
It’s true, I say to myself because you aren’t here, I do love you.
And I wonder what might have happened if I’d gotten my heart together, stitched it up, only to let it burst wide open with love for you way back when your heart was curious. But these are idle thoughts. Merely observations because I don’t long for things to be different. And I wonder about all the things that have happened since. And the only truth I’m sure of, is that I am so grateful for your friendship. For your steadfast love and care. And, for you, looking after my cat.
On the weekend just gone, you came to visit us; G and me, and my cat. Years ago now, you introduced me to Ludovico Einaudi’s music and late last year I saw something pop up in my Insta feed: Ludovico Einaudi in his first Australian outdoor performance. “Come,” I wrote to you, “please? I’d love to see this with you.” So you booked flights and I booked tickets. And on Saturday night we sat entranced at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl through Einaudi’s latest creation: 7 Days Walking.
Of course, he couldn’t not play one of his most recognised compositions, Nuvole Bianche. And so in the encore, he did. As he played, I pondered the last eight years. You were so good to me at a time in my life that was particularly awful. When I was particularly awful. And again, I was reminded, that I am so grateful for your enduring friendship. For your steadfast love and care. And I love you.
A friend I haven’t heard from in a while got in touch today. Our contact is sporadic but consistent. I have loved him in all the ways it’s possible to love someone over the last 21 years. I love him still. He’s had a rough month; a sliver of the hard news, his cat passed away in his arms a few weeks ago.
I once wrote a poem about her. Or about him. Or about us. Whatever it was about, it was called:
His cat is whoring herself
out to anyone
with a warm lap.
She chews on a belt loop
and looks up
when prodded to stop.
She sighs, stands, turns around and
returns to sleep.
It is surreal
or perhaps just
to think that life could be
She wakes again
murmurs and bathes
without leaving my lap.
Circa September 2010
Sleep, baby Piper. You were loved. You will be missed.
It’s the 23rd December 2019.
I tell you this, not because you asked me what the date is – I’m sure you’re capable of reading a calendar – but because today marks five years since I packed up my VW Golf, drove from Sydney to Gippsland one last time, and moved in with G.
It’s forever and five minutes, all at once. And it always will be.
And time fell away
With the sound of each step
If the stars align then
For us they were meant in the lunar sky
It’s Monday night and I’m at work again. On overtime. Again. I’m not sure if it’s a hard day’s night or a hard night’s day. Either way, we are short on people at the moment and it’s hard on everyone.
By the time this song was put onto a mix tape for me, Jeff Buckley had already been dead for two years. He was only 30 when, late one night in May 1997, he waded into the Mississippi River and drowned while going for a spontaneous swim. His body was found a few days later, upstream in Memphis.
As 2019 draws to a close, I’ve been watching the rounds of photos comparing people’s current self to their self from the beginning of the decade. In late 2009, I had just turned 31 but was severely entrenched in anorexia and yet to choose recovery. I didn’t believe I’d see the end of year, much less the end of a new decade. By the end of 2010, I was attempting recovery. Cautiously, with only a little hope.
Life has shifted many times over the past 10 years. Many things have changed but unfortunately, some have not. I’m in treatment again and have been for a year. It’s 25 years since Jeff Buckley released this song, a year after I first developed anorexia. But this time, I’m hoping that with the right treatment, I can say the Last Goodbye.
…smoke your little smoke, drink your little drink, and try to make sense of the things that you think…
Spotify has been throwing songs into my daily mixes from the new — well, relatively — (The) National album. Back in 2010, when today’s Music Monday song was released, I tried listening to The National but couldn’t get into them. Their new album, however, features numerous female vocalists, adding layers and a depth to their music that I haven’t noticed in the past. And it’s growing on me.
Even still, any time I hear “The National” mentioned, I cannot help but think of the song by Ben Folds, Nick Hornby and Pomplamoose.
But in the event that you haven’t listened to the new National album either, here’s a trailer for it.