As I write this, I sit on a train to the countryside to meet my friends for New Years Eve. I did, as it goes, spend Christmas on my own, and can report that it was a surprisingly pleasant and enjoyable experience, despite the fact that I defied the traditional conventions and made some new traditions of my own. But, in spite of my solitude, somehow my heart still got a bit bruised, and I also managed to make my jeans fit a bit tighter in the process too. Time for a pre-spring purge methinks, so here goes.
Two songs that I love, that to me are precious and rare gems that will serve as a perfect and relevant musical accompaniment to this piece are here, for your pleasure:
‘Shipbuilding’ sung by Robert Wyatt here,
and ‘Leah’ by Roy Orbison,
In case you were wondering, I finally got what resembled a straight answer from Mr Prince Charming. He did write to say Merry Christmas, tra la la la la. Knowing that he would have read my last post, Giving It All You’ve Got (where I double-dared him to come charging in on horseback to amp up the romance), when he said that he was out fishing with his dad, I asked him what he was fishing for, invited to come see me and asked if he would bring me a fish. A bit of a weird request perhaps but the subtext was obvious- will you be coming to see me in the not too distant future (before that fish is rotten)? He responded to say that he was fishing for carp, and that he has ‘recently started trying to see someone seriously and so meeting up is probably off the cards’. What a load of total carp.
Fishing for carp, huh? You really cannot write anything funnier than life itself. For anyone who does not know, carp are generally considered all but inedible in most cultures. They are pursued for sport, or for the pleasure of sitting in the great outdoors trying to catch a fish. Once they have been caught they are thrown back, alive but surely not totally unaffected, lips ripped by sporting hooks. What a perfect metaphor for our romance and what has gone down between us. Whether or not I actually believe that he is seeing someone seriously is irrelevant, it really does not matter either. Perhaps he is, maybe it has always been a bit too intense and out of control between us, maybe it is just easier for him to date a nice girl about whom he can be the master of the way he feels. Love is scary, and challenging, and unpredictable. My instinct tells me that he is not, but I suppose it is the same outcome either way, he is no longer interested in pursuing things any further with me. And, after nine months of struggling on the line, there will be no great love affair, not even a passionate embrace of bodies, naked as children, intertwined, no fishy feast cooked on a beachy campfire from a catch whose yield was apparently always destined to return to the stormy waters. Maybe he will always be remembered to me as the fish that got away. Maybe there could have been a love that was thiiiisss big. I accept this turn of events as being exactly as it should be and I am moving on; I’m untangling hooks from twisted, bloodied mouths and swimming free on my merry way.
The love I hope to someday find, nestled at the bottom of the sea of life, will not be best described by the same carp metaphor as best describes this almost love affair. I will take a full breath and swim down as deep as I can. I will rise to the surface with my haul. If needs be I will cut my hands opening oyster shells, I will keep on searching even after I’ve opened 1000 shells or more, I will eat my way through each and every oyster that I meet until I find that resplendent, elusive and magical pearl that will represent the rarest of life’s gifts- true love. The world is my oyster and that love will be the rarest and most valuable pearl.
In the meantime, I will give thanks for the pearls that are already present and true in my existence. These pearls are the beauty and joy of being alive for life’s sake, including but not limited to: health, abundance, knowledge, art, nature, solitude, freedom, independence, happiness, light, focus, talent, laughter, luxury, intelligence, vision, peace, creativity, music, the ability to dream and the love of family and friends. Here are some delightful photographs of some (but not all! sorry if I missed you, these were what I had to hand, I deleted my photo library) of the bountiful harvest of love that I regularly enjoy.
Sending you all love and happy new year wishes! Keep diving for those precious pearls!
Until next time,