I’ll stand for this

I lift my head slightly, aware that the desire to curl my body over, as if to contain or protect my pain, has eased. Tears have made tiny streams down my cheeks and I am intensely aware of the weight of these tiny drops of water on my skin, as well as the movement of the air around me over the damp and dry skin of my face.

***

I’m not suggesting that this was a fun way to spend my Friday afternoon, but I was happy to experience the extent of my sadness as I sat in the memorial service for a dear colleague who sadly left us about a year ago. It occurred to me that I would rather feel the loss of David keenly than not feel anything at all.

I am prepared to stand up for the opportunity to honour the impact he had not just on my life, but on so many other people who I’ve known, worked with or who’ve shared their stories of how they knew David and what he meant to them.

Thank you David, for everything. For the friendship, the time, the advice, the generosity, for the memories.

I wish we could sit in your office and I could tell you all about how I went after the career beyond the University with everything I have and how I’ve discovered I’m capable of things I had no idea were possible when we last talked. I wish I could tell you that I’m still looking for the right man, but as per your advice I’ll make damn sure he’s a good one.

One of David’s great loves was Astronomy, as evidenced in his brilliant, brilliant research career. This video was pointed my way on Twitter this morning and it left me in awe of the beauty of the world around us. Almost painfully so: it feels an apt way to close.

Family dinner

I had a spontaneous invitation from a friend to join her familiy for dinner on Saturday night which was wonderful and wholly unexpected. I always feel humbled when I’m invited to dinner with warmth and enthusiasm and then slightly shy as if not sure what I’ve done to deserve the kindness of the offer.

Is it a figt to be part of someone else’s family for a bit and to sit around the table for dinner. Unusually for me I don’t say a lot, preferring to absorb the family dynamic before wading in with my own take on things. Actually, I get to say my piece all the time in the rest of my life and it is nice to just be a part of this world for a bit without feeling a need to be the centre of attention.

The openess and the generosity of sharing dinner in the heart of your home strikes me, perhaps because in my own family, as I was growing up, visitors had to be planned well in advance. I was bollocked when I invited a friend back unannounced even though it was only for 10 minutes. Here, my presence isn’t viewed as an intrusion. Family life carries on around me, which makes me feel so welcome.

And so I get up to leave and I remember I’ve always hated goodbyes. I feel a pang of regret that there isn’t more of this in my life. One of these days I’ll be matriach of my own little kingdom … with all the worry that entails!

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This is a pic of me with another family I find myself ‘adopted’ into from time to time by virtue of our friendship, this one was taken in Dieppe. I am blessed with lovely and generous friends 🙂