A sudden brightness in the rolling breath of time. (The time I met you all)

Dark red leather chesterfields, endless blue wallpaper with a texture that reminds me of the border around school and university photos. A steam punk alternative reality/ computer game.

Over there, leaning against the wall, wooden crosses (stakes!). Opposite me, at eye level, the wooden wheels of a small horse carriage. Sunlit fields and forests on the front of remembrance photo albums. It reminds me to do something about the piles/ boxes of photos we have at home. Grief rituals are healing and while one may never completely heal, these mini processes, cycles can make us more connected with the memories of the dead and the living – ourselves and each other.

Sliding along the luxuriously smooth rice-pudding-hued seats of the jag, I filter out what seems like an inappropriate thought: What a nice car. I wouldn’t mind getting to ride around in a car like this… To my surprise, my friend voices my exact thoughts.

In the protective membrane of the vehicle, we move along the start of rush hour traffic. Rain on the dashboard confers and scatters. For the entire journey, ahead of us, a photo of my friend’s mum attached to the back of the hearse beams affectionately – at us and anyone watching from the street. She is attended by a choir of white lilies around a warm aqua blue, her nose wrinkling into a cheeky smile, responding to a joke from the cameraman.

Amidst the tears, my friend’s best brother jokes about him worrying about his hair getting wet when it rains. The resulting uproar under the rain sprinkled windows seems to reflect the sweet and hearty sparkle in the portrait we are following.

“Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole transforms the mourning space into a 50’s romantic movie. The celebrant – grey pin stripe suit over a dog’s collar, voice like an East End gangster character from a 60’s film – tells us that the shepherd is an outsider but is a symbol of the leader. The greatest of them all is love. I looked this up later, and apparently in the King James Version, it says, The greatest of them all is charity. Makes me wonder if the church was collecting for a new roof at the time.

My friend’s eulogy, a masterfully written, moving and humorously presented bouquet of anecdotes about her mother. Quick-witted, God-thanking, compassionate and courage woman. Determination against the many storms of life. Un-PC, “blue-tongued”, film-devotee. My friend’s impressions of her mum make us laugh and channels her personality.

Afterwards at the wake, I am talking to an old friend I haven’t seen or spoken to for a long time. I admire her coat. She’s always had amazing style. Today, she reminds me of someone from Blade Runner. She says her neighbour’s sibling was stabbed over a disagreement. The assailant immediately repented but it was too late. I’ve been to quite a few funerals over the year. It’s my funeral coat, she says.

We talk about our daily lives, and go for a second plate of food. I worry that I’m being greedy. I have no obvious appetite but I can see my fingers reach for food. Types of cheese I haven’t eaten for ages, strawberries, cold pizza, tea.

I realise something. After all the years of my friend’s gloriously vivid stories and impersonations, it really is the first time I’ve had chance to be in the room with my friend and all of her siblings. Eating, talking, laughing. And almost her mother too. The face in the turquoise background is smiling at us. A sudden brightness in the rolling breath of time. She is there.

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Six Riddles (I) (Individual Post)

I

This is not what I wanted. At all. And you didn’t bring me enough of it either.

 

 

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(Answers coming soon, via a separate post).
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Six Riddles (II) (Individual Post)

II

A look, like a gleam of longing in ink pools.

An upturned frown with an imaginary spot to hang your coat.

 

 

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(Answers coming soon, via a separate post).

 

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Six Riddles (III) (Individual Post)

GIVE ME MORE TO EAT!!! I am always screechingly hungry.

Excepting express digestion mode.

Or when I’m having off days, weeks, months.

 

 

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(Answers coming soon, via a separate post).
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Six Riddles (IV) (Individual Post)

IV

“Well, we should have known. Look at all this! – – No one can see! – – No one cares.”

Look inside! The bright window a greasy gloom of disappointed years.

The water of fortune makes me a mountain in the summer rain. Each morning.

Hidden, glowing. My beauty, a truth to erupt.

 

 

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(Answers coming soon, via a separate post).
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Six Riddles (V) (Individual Post)

V

Doctor, waiter, mourner, groom..

if not a screen for blood, tears or wine,

then sweat and creasing in miles of tests,

papers, glass, beeps, bells, flowers,

blank cheque of dignity for…?

 

 

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(Answers coming soon, via a separate post).
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Six Riddles (VI) (Individual Post)

VI

I fear – – I fear, that I cannot love anybody..

Standing alone on the edge of this winter city, wrapped in warm indifference.

My words, black stones, stumbled around the edge of a frozen effort, like a trail of sunken tourists in search of a travelling beauty spot.

Before me, the sky flew, disco gold, suave grey, wide eyed blue and flirtatious peach.

Without even so much as a nudge from me, my hat tips to the foreboding of gentle spring blossom on a bare branch.

For the first time I can feel – my body – as it starts to fall – slowly – slowly – into the earth.

 

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(Answers coming soon, via a separate post).
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