Tenderisation of the Heart


Even now, 15 years after turning my back on alcohol and tranquilisers, I find it difficult to watch a recovering alcoholic.

I watched an actor play one on the telly last night, and oh gods how I remembered the fragility of that state.

The dawning moving to the front-of-consciousness of how you have no bloody idea who you are or what you’re here for; the bleak eyes of fellow recoverers and the infinitely sad ones of those who loved us; the arid and stark future stretching out before us, with no recourse to oblivion and an early death…it’s a horrible, horrible place to be in.

I haven’t felt like that for many years – but I remember.

As much as I remember the genius loci of the place I left over 40 years ago.

It’s a re-membering of the pieces of the earth-bound soul. Those scattered fragments coming home, with many a rent and tenderisation of the heart.

Pic: Royal Berkshire History

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