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Built Things Times and Places

Here

This is the street where it all happened.  Nothing tragic, no more so than anyone else.  This is the place.  I remember it all, every day it seems, I keep telling myself that .  We all have places like that, a street that you visit every day for a year, somewhere that matters.  Then, when a lot of time has passed, you come back to it, but it isn’t the same any more and you start to wonder if you aren’t remembering it properly.  Or has it changed?  Thinking about how that tree got cut back or how they’ve repainted the gate whilst you weren’t there and it feels like a small betrayal.  

Here.  These are our places, but they aren’t ours for long.  I wrote the above paragraph about 12 years ago, processing a huge thing that was very much happening to me, the echoes of which continued for years.  And I dealt with it (and it wasn’t really that huge, not compared to what some people deal with) by choosing my places carefully, new ones that I chose to be in, letting go of old ones.

Here’s another space.  Some random liminal retail park, but once, it was something else.  Once, I stood on this spot, right here, with a woman with very very red hair, and we drank really bitter awful coffee and smoked bitter awful cigarettes and perhaps she liked me and perhaps I liked her, but I really don’t know and it was several lifetimes ago.  I don’t remember my own face then, I don’t remember hers.  And there’s no trace left of either of us, and the place we used to sit and watch the dawn burning the frost away, that’s lost too.  

And I’m really happy about that.  I don’t want old places.  I want the new ones, the ones I’ve chosen.  Ice on the wind, and redblack mornings, oh, I remember the bitter and when I’m feeling tired I miss them, but I chose older and newer places for myself in the end.

Remember this street in that summer, not so long ago.  If it was years and years ago, things change enough to make it bearable, but not when it’s only two years gone.  Not far enough away.  A hot summer day.  Now it’s winter, fading into January and you didn’t spend Christmas here.  Fog in the air and the amber lights shining on, lonely, trying to pretend to be the summer sun.

And it was after writing these words that I found Here, an old, old place.  Fields and woods, looking down over a valley.  Old graves, hidden stones, water breaks the land apart.  The wind screams sometimes, speaks to the skin like a knife, teaches the joy of magpies.  Suddenly, that old world of amber lights was just a dream.  Here is where I’ve always been, Here is where I always will be.  In the places that I choose, that weren’t just arrived at.  Queer, expressing my love without expectation of response, or need to have it returned.  Freedom for the heart that’s been hidden, and kissing anyone who likes to kiss me.  In this place.  Here.

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Times and Places Uncategorized

Rain expected 8PM Sheffield

For a bunch of witches

…so normal and everyday, just a piece of the world that’s always happening, a mundane magic that calls through me like the song of a wineglass, and the roads shine in the last of the sun, and it’ll be full of an enchantment too big for any one heart to hold alone.  So hold hands with me, my loves, and we’ll go walking, shiny second skins reflecting the stars as they come out one by one.

And then there’s the other side of it, the dragging silence of late Sunday.  Full of school ghosts. It’s full of longing, if we’re fortunate, and regret if we are not.  This is what it costs – the Sunday night trains that haunt me, the empty last bus, the traffic lights that change themselves over and over, remembering the crowds.

Do you know what it is to be yourself, to wear yourself in all your colours?  How precious that is?  Oh you do, you do, and you know it well, and it was dearly bought with pain and starlight. And still, it’s such a simple beautiful secret, so simple and so radiant that I want to rush up to each and every high street stranger, to see what light’s in them, to ask with a desperation that borders on mania, is this you?  Look at us, look at this, you can shine, please, if what’s in you is the need to shine, then be radiant, because Sunday night is always coming and the best of times are just little splinters, tiny and bright sharp things, that get swept away before you even feel the scratch.

 I want to put all the shards together again and build something new, something that holds the light

The absolute perfect silence of a Sunday morning and the cold that accompanies it, right through to the bones.  The light that diffuses through strange clouds, taking forms of things never seen.  This city becomes alien, but perhaps we start to reflect a little of that ourselves, maybe that fractured sunrise reflects in our eyes.  Oh, and it’s a hard road back from the shores of night, we all know that, and it’s a steep harsh climb back to the oppressions of Sunday late dark; the empty house, the unmade silent bed, and more wineglasses than you’ll need till next time.  But once I’d come to the beach and looked at the ocean, I never doubted the worth of throwing my heart into it.