Walls closing in

I remember the small island thing now.

When I was in my early twenties the sheer size of the actual world blew my tiny little mind. I’d traveled pretty extensively but in a protected manner. I had mostly lived on small islands and in exclusive resorts, in rarefied atmospheres. I auditioned for drama school from inside a tiny tiny little bubble of limited life experience dressed up as knowledge. God love Guildhall for seeing and getting behind that very gauche individual. I still carry scraps of him.

Thinking back to my grandparents who had lived in Jersey many years, they were in a small enough bubble that social things magnified quickly. Things felt bigger and more important than they were. A casual unguarded comment in a place like this can lead to a bitter almost Shakespearean level family feud that never abates and takes casualties. There were people my grandmother thought of as dreadful who I saw no harm in whatsoever. There were doubtless people who thought of her as dreadful too. Often it was to do with members of their friendship group. “Merty Plocket said that my cousin’s brother’s best shirt looked like it was from charity. Your friend Bink is friends with Merty Plocket. That means that Bink is a nasty rotten evil BASTARD. How dare he be friends with Plocket. Come on, we’re leaving.”

This island is considerably smaller than the one that contains London. Smaller things feel bigger.

I wrote about my old house and less than 10 hours after it was published it seems the current owners read my blog. As you know I don’t put this out widely at all. I’m not shouting and retweeting and hashtagging and linking. This is almost enough of a fanciful journal and a braindump that I sometimes forget that its public at all until I have a reminder like that. It felt odd that somehow so quickly a reasonably nonspecific day’s write up warranted a phone call. I guess it was trackback on the link after they got a few unexpected hits.

Either way it made me feel the walls closing in. I don’t like to think of things as small. It is an experience that has helped me get some sort of closure on one of the early wounds in my life – I was always devastated that we left that property. I was happy there, covered in mud with my mischievous grin and my fragile innocence still perfectly intact. And everybody was still alive. I didn’t know I was born. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

There are things to connect to here in this island but they don’t need to take in that land. There are intact memories. Shreds of nature. The sea, the sea!

Life is big and my perspective has exploded since I left here in my early twenties and the world happened. I don’t like it when things feel small nowadays. I like to view things as an explosion of possibility. I think maybe if I did move back here I would almost immediately eat my own arms and start a cult.

That’s not to say it’s off the table. Carol is delightful and the audiences are a constant pleasure. I just have to examine my actual needs and desires without getting distracted by all the shiny nostalgia. I don’t have property over here, and it’s not cheap even if you’re not looking at mansions.

Solstice full moon is helping shine a slightly more pragmatic light on things that have only existed in the realm of ideas until now. My job is stories but I’m not one. I need to do some practical thinking and a spot of what they like to call “adulting”… We’ll see where that goes. Meantime I’m supposed to be shopping for Christmassy things.

Tired Santa Al

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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