Last night, in the hypnagogic state between really awake and fast asleep, I suddenly found myself on the roof of the block of flats I used to live in over eleven years ago; sitting on the roof, back to a utility building, feet on a water pipe, with my young son sitting by my side.
It was a place we used to go when I was trying to stop drinking and having a shaky time of it. Especially on a Sunday evening. And it was a Sunday evening in my vision-trance. The sun was going down behind us and the lights in the flats below were going on. And I was in that special hell reserved for the alcoholic – in that place where you know you have to stop, or die, and you also know that the only thing which will ease the pain is another drink. And you’re wondering if you have enough alcohol to get you through to the opening of the bottle store tomorrow morning.
As I said, a special hell.
And I knew it was me, in the vision – I was sitting in my body, could feel and hear and see – yet it was also another person, whose detailed memories I happen to have tapped into. And the tears formed in this body, in this spacetime continuum. For my son, who had to endure so much pain at such a young age, and for my younger self, who was dying and was aware of that death stalking up on her.
Quick fade and pan to the back garden, this morning. I’m hanging out the washing. My 20-month-old boy Taranis has, as he always does, accompanied me on this chore. As soon as I load up the washbasket and open the back door, he’s by my side, patrolling the back garden, sniffling into the compost heap, eyeing the back wall suspiciously, making sure I’m safe and OK.
I remember that Bart, the baby of our PitBull pack – who died from a bullet to the heart after dragging himself back into the garden, his land, his home – would also undertake to be my protector when I performed the dangerous task of laundry-hanging.
Bart – I miss you so much, my loyal, loving little boy. And Shevek, I love you so much, my loyal, loving son.And I know the thread which links this morning to last night is the most important thread in all Our lives -wherever, whenever we incarnate -that is the Love without which We are not, and cannot ever Be.