Today I went to the old Scrooge’s Parlour (Above the Arts) and saw my old mate Johnny read a strong complex literary monologue about Michel de Montaigne. He was a forward thinker in the Renaissance. He was a diarist and willing to expose his guts. Maybe he was the Renaissance equivalent of some prat who blogs daily, airing his spleen in public, exposing the gap between reality and pretend.
His wisdom is unmistakable. “When someone says “I’ve done nothing today,” I say “What? Haven’t you LIVED?” This life is hard, strange and unpredictable, but miraculous. It was lovely watching John work. And someone bankrolled a couple of glasses of wine for me, which were very well received. After Jersey I’m on the wire. Every card I have is maxed. But I’m sanguine that change is gonna come.
My hands hurt. My body hurts. Last night was a trauma – (If you fancy joining the trauma just read yesterday.) But outside of that shitstorm it was lovely to be back in the island. It’s funny how one negative experience can take over memory. There was a lot of joy.
I don’t spend much time with my brother Max. We used to be one single organism. We scavenged through gardens and worked the world out together. We rolled and punched and laughed and loved and attacked one other. We had deep running shorthand. We still do. Codes. Fine tuned understanding. All of that is still there, but life stops us from remembering. Releasing the car from yesterday’s shitstorm is an example of our shared spirit. It genuinely looked impossible. We both embarked on it hopeless. We took strength from each other, tag teamed with each other, and emerged messily victorious through mutual galvanisation and hard painful work in the face of the unknown. I see a similar fellowship in two of his three kids. I certainly see myself most in his youngest. I don’t see those kids often enough though. They’re great. And Sasha, Max’s oldest, is a molecular biologist about to finish his PhD and is just a marvelous human.
I love my bro. He’s done well. Even if life has thrown a lot of shit at both of us over the last couple of decades. shit is relative. We aren’t in Gaza. But for sickeningly privileged white people in London, we have had enough shit to help us towards perspective instead of hardening us into our personal “Osbourne” prism of experience. Now we are sorting through the wreckage of our lucky childhood. It was huge to go back to Jersey. The sun came out – I would say “for us” but it was a coincidence, It wasn’t for us. The weather gives no shits about our petty bullshit. Lucky to have a nice day though. Every other day has been rain, we were told. I’m trying to imagine how we’d have coped with the car last night had it been raining.
In a few hours we did a lot. We dug with our hands into our mother’s grave to put three Daffodil bulbs in. We disturbed worms in the process. “Careful of the worms, they’re kind of family.” Who knows what the verger will make of it.
Then we hit the beach at Green Island. Here’s Max, looking triumphant., where we used to clamber on rocks as kids. We clambered on rocks.
Despite car horror, it was a good day. Lovely to go back home, even for such a short time. The island has definitely shrunk since I was 10…