pencil scribblings #1

I was born in 1956 in the Lake District of England, in a place called Kendal. My father was a church organist; my mother had a Fine Art training, but gave up painting in order to become what was then known as a housewife.

Without being too Freudian about it, I can say I think that I was in love with both my parents. Maybe all families are incestuous, in the way their energies of love flow so abundantly towards each other. Or maybe ours was more like that than most. I really don’t know. It feels, looking back on it, as though there was something unusually intense going on. But maybe that is a comment on me rather than on the family.

I grew up with an older sister Pauline. We used to fight a good deal as children, the way children do. In my thirties I began to look back on the way we had fought, and to feel seriously ashamed. Why should physical violence between children be considered ‘normal’? For all I know, these days maybe it isn’t, so much.

Pauline was a Beatles fan, and I learned from her to love their music too. I’ve just checked the release date of their song It’s Only Love: 1965, when I would have been nine years old. I remember the lyrics Is it right that you and I should fight, every night? used to make me well up, because I thought of my fights with my sister when I heard them. Then the lyrics go on to say:

It’s only love and that is all
Why should I feel the way I do?
It’s only love and that is all
But it’s so hard loving you

And that was what made me well up. But I never told her. And I never got the point of making a decision not to fight with her. I wasn’t that conscious of myself.

I used to fight physically with a girl named Helen whom I sat next to in class. This would have been 1964-65. Again, much later in life, I looked back on this relationship with horror. Why was aggression, rather than tenderness, my default way of relating to the opposite sex?

The last 14 years since 2001 I have been in a loving relationship with a woman named Lizzy. Or at least I call her Lizzy. Most people call her Liz. We’ve talked sometimes about past girlfriends/boyfriends. She had a boyfriend at that sort of age when all I could do was hit Helen. I envy that.

Going back to Pauline though. As children, we were affectionate enough in our own way. But we became somewhat alienated from each other during our teens, and drifted further apart for the next twenty years, only beginning to mend our relationship during the latter half of the nineties. These days, we have a rich and rewarding relationship, which is a great turnaround.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hilary on April 3, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Again I can identify with you on your writing ambitions. am I your only reader?

    Reply

  2. Thanks Hilary. Funny thing: these last few months I have tended to monitor my number of visitors to the site quite avidly, feeling disappointed when numbers dropped and pleased when they went up. I dislike being addicted to attention in this way. The last ten days, my visitors seem to have fallen away quite significantly, which interestingly corresponds with a sense of jadedness, as though I’m just going through the motions with my daily dream-poem. Hence the motivation to start something new.

    Now with this new project, I haven’t had much interested so far, but my motives are really very different. I need to stop being so much of a perfectionist, and JUST WRITE. Structuring my story into a book is quite beyond me. I would far rather just ramble for the sake of it. That’s how I see what I’m doing here, and it would work for me even if literally nobody ever read it.

    Thanks again.

    Reply

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