Love Again For Me


The time for pretending was now over . Her gaunt face on the pillow, taking fought-for shallow breaths. Madelaine our only child, sleeping quietly in my arms, too young to watch her mother’s presence living out its final throw.

“Love again,” my dear wife told. “Do not become a hermit for me, I want for you the warmth and laughter I will soon cease to feel. Love for me and face life bravely, feel me standing by your side. I have loved and love you always, but there are truths we cannot hide. Life is cruel, inconsequential, takes no account of what we are. Be happy for me always darling. Take me with you on your journey, and laugh the silence from my grave.

Take me with you to the sunrise, walk with me upon the heath, teach our child to ride a cycle and play with her upon the beach. In time you too will need some comfort, do not hide away from love. Mine is yours to hold forever, free from cost or limitation, give it to the girl you meet. Know that as you stoop to kiss her, I shall strive to smile and bless her : some sweet soul who brings you comfort, my one, my sad ungainly Knight.

Death, we know, brings little comfort, but in your thoughts and this sweet child,  now living passing urgencies, might I come to life again? Brought to mind by some hand gesture, recollected in a phrase.  Celebrate the moment darling, hold it to your breast till death. You and I who found each other, wrapped our lives around each other, must now go our separate ways, but in this moment let us treasure, all that you have been to me.

Remember how I  love you dearly, accept your life with dignity. The flame which is your spirit darling, lit the world in which I lived, let my love now dwell within you,  and guide your steps as best I may.”

Her words are all I have to treasure, living now as if by order. and so I tell my only daughter “She was a wonder lent by angels, who smiled and gave me hope in life. You are all I have of her, but in your eyes I see her presence, and somehow as you run towards me, arms outstretched in urgent summons, I find again my own sweet darling, reaching out to life once more.”

Posted in character, childhood, creative writing, faith, Fiction, Life, Love, Peter Wells, poetry, Relationships, Romance, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Responding To A Drowning Man


I was standing on the bridge the other evening, admiring the view, and the way the current played against the boats moored on the river side when a man thrashing around desperately in the water appeared from underneath the bridge. He was clearly in serious difficulty so I shouted down to him, “Do you have some means of identification on you?” His voice was not clear, and he kept screaming “Help me. Heelp meee” which didn’t answer the question one way or the other. Finally he said “Yes” and I responded, ” Good, they will be able to identify the body easily when you are retrieved from the water.”

He looked alarmed and kept shrieking, “Help me. Help me” but when I informed him I was wearing a new and freshly ironed pair of trousers I think he understood I could not risk the damage to my wardrobe. I sought to comfort him by saying, “The world’s population is exploding, giving rise to a multitude of problems. Your sacrifice, intentional or otherwise, will be applauded, I am sure, in your obituary if you merit one”

I have to say, salient as these points were, I fear he either missed them or was too absorbed in his own circumstances to pay attention. All things end well, however.  I read the following article in the  local paper.

“Humphrey Collins 45, of Lower Bridlington Street drowned in the Thames on Friday evening. He was carrying a driving licence and wearing clothes purchased from a mid-level high street shop. His wife said she would collect his belongings as soon as she got back from her sun-drenched holiday with her new lover. The weather in Florida, she informs us, “Is simply glorious.”

He may be missed, but that was not apparent from our initial investigations which is all we will be making. A  local man who seeks no personal credit or publicity,  reported having a short but meaningful conversation with him shortly before he drowned.  Mr Collins’ selfless contribution to solving the exploding population crisis is recognised. Viewing figures on his Facebook page recorded a significant increase shortly after his death which I am sure is of interest to all those who know of him.”

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, Fiction, humour, Life, Peter Wells, Relationships, values, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Natalie Irvine. A Local Artist With A Growing Reputation


Some of you may remember my post about the paintings of Emma Cattell, who is a local artist of merit and a growing following I am proud to know. Another individual in the same category is Natalie Irvine whose husband Myles runs the gym where I have been known to gasp and wheeze in my search for personal fitness.

I don’t have to say too much in my opinion, because to look at these pieces is to marvel at the combinations of colour and texture within them, and to reflect on the way the change in background light can make them an almost living piece of art within your house.

I have always been a lover of stained glass, and have wondered at the skill and sensibility evident in the work of medieval artists as seen in churches throughout the UK and Europe.

Taka a look at the photograph below:-

AIrvine!

It’s a corker isn’t it. Just imagine that on the window ledge, with the changing light of the day behind it. There is such luminosity and use of colour within it that it conveys an almost organic sense of immediacy to me which I do not get from every art form

Based near Kingston on Thames in the UK, Natalie Irvine is now making her mark nationally, and looking at the piece above, you can understand why that is.

As a further “taster” have a look at this one

ANatB

Or visit her website at, ( drumroll because I’m rather proud of all this high-tec link stuff )

http://www.tauraglass.com/ and see more of her work.

I am a person who loves people who approach life both sensitively and creatively, and Natalie Irvine exhibits both qualities in abundance, in my opinion. I’m sure you will enjoy her work as much as I do

 

 

Posted in Art, community, creative writing, Emma Cattell, Natalie Irvine, Painting, Peter Wells, skils, Stained-Glass, Talent | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Last Message Home


You heard it on a radio, some transmission made decades before, a fragment of a conversation, picked up as your ship travels its now uncharted path. “I’ll see you soon, put the kettle on,”  then  laughter and a silence which is infinite. “What was this life, and who were they” you could not say, now on some mission and in a distant galaxy, sent out to explore the universe decades ago, before the Earth was hit by meteorites.

“Life on other planets. I hope so” was all you could think of at the time, as you turned to look at Greg, the captain on this now unrecorded voyage. “Shall I make a note of it” you ask, but he just shakes his head: the answer is in his lack of interest.

What’s the point. There’s no one left who we can talk to, and nothing but these fragments of conversation bouncing round in space and prodding at our spent emotions. These brief relics of a vanished world, heard on this voyaging craft which travels on without reference points.

“Can’t beat the view” you say, trying to keep it light, but routine sapped magic from the flight some years before and silence has become the known companion. Now galaxies pass by unremarked  by two souls lost in travelling , robbed of home and context by that catastrophe which destroyed the  planet in mid-evolution.

“What does it mean” you ask yourself, but mute indifference supplies no answer. At some unspecified hour, you accept, some black hole or other matter will swallow this last evidence of man and his ambitions, and suns will rise and planets form without comment or exclamation from this lost life-form now a particle in space.

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Fiction, humour, Life, Peter Wells, Relationships, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Family Gatherings


I am well-supplied with sisters and one of them had a “milestone” birthday so her two daughters held a party at which cousins from far and wide, of various levels of connection turned up to wave the family flag and wish my sister well.

One of the interesting things is there were quite a decent number of second cousins there, which means the significant parents, the couple whose union was the common event which linked us all, are three generations back from the birth of the newest generation, if I have not explained that too obscurely. Life being what it is, or life expectancy certainly, the relevant couple are no longer with us, and are largely unknown by reputation or image to a large number of people who the gathered for the party, yet that very gathering would not have been as it was without said union, of unknown quality, which was either enjoyed or suffered  by this long dead couple.

Some may believe that they peer down on us from their favourite cloud sipping tea from a replica set of their favourite china and smiling benignly at this echo of themselves seen in so many lives and experiences: it is remarkable thought to me. I saw and chatted with a cousin I have probably seen about four times in my life and yet there was something of the family culture about her. We nodded across the divide, as it were, and acknowledged our joint routes to this place.

With her was her daughter, who I did not know existed until this weekend, and I was able to recall her great-grandfather and tell her about some of the pleasing eccentricities which made him the curious and charming man he was. He died before this young lady was born, but here he is in her, so to speak, as well as her grandmother and the great great grandparents of whom I speak.

It was sobering, moving and faintly magical to see in the movement of a hand or the quality of manner, those little signs which make us family and joint descendants of this long-gone couple. Their issue now live in a large variety of lifestyles and circumstance but somehow you can see a commonality about us all.

It is both moving and curious and makes me think, as an apprentice grandfather, if in a hundred years there may be another gathering at which a decent crowd of people gather, and they might recollect the mannerisms and people who spawned them as I sit uncertainly on my cloud sipping at my tea.

Posted in character, childhood, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Life, old age, Peter Wells, Relationships, Uncategorized, values | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Lost in A Photographs


The only thing she knows now: it is not safe to cry. Holding on her only strategy but here, in this old photograph you  cannot see that in her eyes, not in this image  taken way back when, before experience and grief robbed her of innocence and hope. Looking at that image now you say “Is that really her?” and yes it is. “But she looks so gentle there, like another women altogether.” I nod my head because you’ve said it all

Taken before the world tore at her  soul, when she thought her future blessed with love and children who might run along the beach .  Taken at that tender age, when plans existed but not  experience,  before war shredded  her native land, taking what she loved beyond her reach leaving those same eyes, but altered now, to view a kind of hell where only the wise and foolish dare to peek.

She did not know, as we do not, the stirring of those tectonic plates which move the social landscape of our times. Could not guess that boy who smiled at her,  known as gentle in the community is now a thousand miles away preaching martyrdom and hatred to other men altered, as is he. Lost in the excitement of some appalling vision. A sweet relief, he feels, from material mediocrity, or so he thinks. What does he know?

This same women, now a mother, knows he is too young, as she was then, to understand it is the small stuff which holds the secret of a life,  longing as he is, to engage with elements of destiny and faith: this young boy, her son, seduced by evil dressed up as nobility: a holy cause he feels, a dream of cleansing a world he thinks rotted by its its greed.

His eyes are full of certainty and hate, leaving this women, his mother, now lost in the knowledge that this boy, her son, cannot hear her now, and  dreams only of martyrdom and faith. She hides in her solitude, lost for words, unable to explain, how her sweet boy, who left her home to study medicine, learnt only how to kill without remorse, and seek for brotherhood where laughter is a sin.

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Fiction, Middle East, Peter Wells, soldiers, values, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Life Without Fishing Nets


Those friendships we enjoyed, so casually, in a life, not overburdened with demands, allowed us room to celebrate with ease, a freedom we now find embalmed in photographs, and  some remaining artefacts. Me grinning with a new caught fish, the harbour as it once was, when fishing was the only industry, and tourists, rare beings indeed, wandered past and viewed us as if we were actors in some play

Now, these same tourists are the staple of the town, the fleet which was its heartbeat, replaced with pleasure craft, and those huts where skilled men sat and mended nets, become cafe’s laid out to catch your eye, and tease a coin or two for absent-minded snacks.

Time and change have no sentiment, allowing man to alter, as he sees fit, the rituals and ways which in the past, where thought to be the bed-rock of a character.  In old men sitting by the harbour, I see the commentary of change, a certain melancholy not entirely wrought  by age, and wonder as I watch them, how much we understand, as we lay their rituals gradually to rest, obsessed as we are by the desire to improve.

With growing urgency we seek the new, and dream of life free of germs or dirt, but these men who ploughed the oceans for their food knew back at home that Eden was underfoot, long before we, who followed them, trampled all in our search for some new Camelot.

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, faith, Life, Peter Wells, Uncategorized, values, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments