27 February 2020 – London, England

‘sydney and london skies*’

don’t think too hard about the name of where you are, just think about how it’s 6pm and there’s still light in the sky, how the moon is all made new, and how the bare branches and chimney pots draw their outlines against the sky. think about your freshly polished boots and the way joy rises like a panic sometimes when you think of how you have friends here, and there.

don’t think about the distance between you and the oily evergreens of home, and between you and me. think about the magnolia blossom bursting forth and the cherry blossom appearing like soft snow dusting bare branches, born out of frost mixing with the warm breath of the city. think about how the train you’re on hurtles through tunnels to a golden concert hall where magic (the magic that you’re learning to make) happens. 

now then dear, don’t think about all the hands you’ve held, the hands that look like yours and those that don’t. think hardly at all about the crinkly smiles you’ve inherited. don’t think about the hair you’ve stroked and cups of tea and biscuits you’ve shared in a little flat in ashfield (and elsewhere too). don’t think about the scamp who left the world last monday. instead, think about the bright colours of your new keep cup and bicycle panniers. how you’ll play for the prince, and the way bitsch’s concertino has the smokiest most loving, heartfelt opening you know. 

i mean, really, think about all these things. even the ones i said not to. cycle along the english streets, steering with your weight not your hands, and cherish it when all these things make your breath catch in your throat. it’s possible to love many places and many people and look forward to different things every day. it is possible to be here, on this side of the world, upside down and sometimes inside out, and know that you are still loved and that your hair will be comfortingly stroked again, all in good time.

*in memory of monty wain