Turning Up Fresh Soil For New Roads

Digging to China

AGJ Digging to China

Life does take some crazy twists and turns. You really never know what is waiting around that next corner. If I cast my mind back over my life so far, it feels as if I am examining the course of several life times. There were events and people along the way that have been like signposts, leading me one direction or another. If I think back to the men I have loved, to the ones who were musicians and writers, the talented, accomplished, educated and hilarious, the witty, the cultured and the good; were they leading me towards (what I hope is) my destiny? Was I attracted to them because they represented something to me that I hoped to become? Did I want to be them as well as to be with them?

The road of endless possibilities

The road of endless possibilities

One man whom I met last year and have mentioned here many times occupies one such psychic space. This bewildering specimen, besides being tall, head-spinningly intelligent and eye-twinkingly handsome, earned his PhD over the course of three years spent in Madagascar, where he lived on the beach in a hut that he had built from sticks and wrote his doctoral dissertation. When we met he was living on the edge of the orchard near a river and was working in biodiversity- you know, actively working to make the world a better place. After falling hard for this man from the approximate moment he wrote me the love letter, and then taking an entire year to fully recover when he suddenly made a swift departure, some things finally dawned on me. It occurred to me that it was possible I had not fallen in love with him; perhaps I had fallen for an idealisation of who I thought he was. Maybe even closer to the truth: there was a part of him that I wanted to become.

And so, if that love was not meant to be and I just had to move on, my direction would be forever changed because of knowing him even just a little. Still, I press on: into the breach between winter and spring, between burying past heartbreak and turning up fresh soil; in search of chances into next corners and untraveled roads and never before traversed directions.

Butterflies of spring

Butterflies of spring

Everything has been happening at such a pace that I could swear that time is actually speeding up. Life can sometimes resemble that anxiety dream where you find you are driving a runaway car when you remember that you don’t know how to drive. In spite of the speed and intensity with which it always seems to pass, I would still have to say that March is my favourite month. Not only do I absolutely love the early spring feeling, with the new light and the buds breaking through frozen ground, but I feel so incredibly inspired to wake up extra early every day and write. Having said that, there has not been a spare moment to post on here. Not during one of the three months of March that I have been writing this blog have I ever had the chance to sit down and write a post. Considering it has been so cold until so late in the season this year, hopefully that early spring feeling that I love so much will stay around a little further into the spring.

One of my new poems is below…

Narcissus of spring

Narcissus of spring

Apollo’s Agony

Early spring,

there was a plant in my room.

All so new,

growing a wealth of green shoots.

In that light,

it showed such potential to bloom.

In my room.

Still I dream that you are in my flowerbed.

But you were gone like dirt when the wind blew,

could I not have kept?

There was a love that watered life with tears so true,

I could have wept.

When I wake up, there is no trace of you,

I see instead,

wasted, nascent flower that never bloomed.

The hyacinth’s dead.



It has been so difficult to find the opportunity to post something here lately. Since my last post I have: been made ‘obsolete’ at my job job, tried my best to work for a super crazy narcissist, written and submitted a 3000 word essay on poetics and a collection of self-penned poetry (sample above), read and researched for my dissertation (due 26th April), applied for some master’s programmes in creative writing, cooked myself a scrumptious Easter supper, visited Cambridge and the gorgeous hall where one of the MA programmes I’ve applied for is

being held, met an old flame who is now a big time producer and who asked me to write some pop songs for him for potential number 1 hits, done loads of yoga, pilates, rowing and swimming and lost a stone in weight so far, abstained from alcohol almost entirely since February, chanted and meditated every single morning and evening since the same date, and, and, and, and, I have just been made aware that I am moving house in a month. And so I am heading off to the countryside for the summer to write and await word from the universities. If I am not offered a place I am considering going abroad for a year. We shall have to wait to see. As soon as my dissertation has been submitted as well as one final essay, on the eve of my 17-year anniversary in London (eek!), I plan to leave town with some letters after my name. I may well have a little celebration before I go. No doubt I will be back to bring my horse to market. (And don’t forget it is Blue Moon Bollywood Indian Summer Wedding Midnight Steakout Festival this summer.) Someday soon I may even meet another man who I want to become; like the praying mantis I may devour him once we have made love. Aha!

The next time you hear word from me I will be: Amanda Grace Johnson BA Honours Humanities and English from the University of London and now resident of the country manor. Watch this space and keep me in your thoughts; I am going to need every ounce of strength and determination available to get through this. Wish me luck.

As always, sending love and all the best of everything,

AGJ xoxox


Happy Birthday to my amazing father JRJ Jr. You are the man I have always most wanted to be like. I love you so much more than words can adequately say!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Thank you for being such a great dad and always encouraging me.

Thanks for always enforcing your ‘Three Rules For Living‘, below:

1. Be yourself.
2. Do your best.
3. Have a good time.

A relaxed state of mind is the natural result of following the 3 rules.

Daddy Doolittle, talks to the butterfly

About Gracie Johnson

wordsmith, songstress
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