Old friends

I think often we have to work out what we think by saying it out loud to somebody else. They will query it, interrupt you, find inconsistencies, make jokes and generally be another person who doesn’t share your brain. The more certain you are of something, the more important it becomes for you to try it out with somebody you trust who thinks differently. So much is subjective… We learn more through humility and listening than we can ever learn through certainty.

Minnie and I have been “sorting it out” friends for so long now. Back when we had just left college that involved drunken calls at 2am, long evenings of too much wine and dancing and saying the difficult things as the dawn broke. We took each other through the various heart aches and heart breaks. When I think back it all felt so loaded with meaning. I guess it was. Shakespeare’s seven ages of man and we were at the stage he called “the lovers”, with our woeful ballads made to our mistress’s earlobes. Then we shifted to soldiers. Seeking the bubble reputation. And there’s plenty to talk about if you want to dig into fairness or the lack of it in the creative professions. I sat at lunch with somebody just a day or so ago as they told me “But you enjoy your work. You shouldn’t get paid to play.” I tried to explain that it’s my job, and we all have to earn. They were having none of it.

But Minnie today… She’s heavy with child, her second, and still so deeply enamoured with this work we have devoted our time to for so long. As we all can do, she’s wondering if she’ll ever work again. It goes like that. One day we feel unemployable, the next day we’re in Eastern Europe dressed as an officer. It’s the way of it. I’ve somehow avoided a brood so there’s only one mouth to feed and I still know that constant pressure.

We walked around Ladywell. I was curious about the well but it’s been developed over. There’s just a plaque. Ladywell likely existed long before the Christians showed up.

There was a lady from an earlier folklore – Brigid the blacksmith. She would’ve needed water for her work. Bog iron to make swords, water to cool and harden. Maybe the Lady of the Lake was a blacksmith. Anyway, this well was consecrated to the Virgin Mary like most of the holy wells. Then when we all got taps it got buried in some foundations somewhere. There’s a good fecund park there though, the trees well bracketed with old fungus. Water running in the substrate. All the plants connected through liquid and mycelium, sharing nutrients and wisdom. Minnie and I walked in the park and did something similar for each other. Somehow, after a morning reconnecting with my friend, I feel a little lighter.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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