Thursday, 30 January 2014

The view from here

When I'm ready to give it up,  kick it in,  throw up the towel, 3 things happen.

I get an FOI decision overturned about the Ministry of Justice and Michael Spurr's refusal to hand over details of correspondence between Ministry of Justice officials and G4S.  Part of that disclosure is the panic and fear surrounding the inquiry and in spite of being ordered by the Information Commissioner to give me the data requested,  they give a hundred reasons why not.  Watch this space. I'm winning.

Then a lovely message confirming a meeting with a changemaker, not another Hungry Ghost or Voldemorte come to suck up my air. I tell him I'm struggling and keep finding the wrong people with the wrong values to help me build my field of dreams.

How hollow I feel,  having had my faith in humans excavated by a man I thought I knew like I knew me, but who's just a 2D cut out of a person. Mind the papercuts.

The email from the person who has done social enterprise and built things of value on a global scale helps to or things back into perspective. Of course it's hard.  Of course it's going to attract people who want to be part of something big and worthwhile,  it's like blotting paper for all the sordid things they're doing in other parts of their lives. Your vision and values become their lifeboat.  But drowning men make dangerous bedfellows and I don't like pleasure boats or the view from the deck of the Titanic,  even first class.

Finally, I see an old friend for a drink.  My old life is resuming its patterns and people and the old inner safety which I'd completely lost is creeping back. People tell me how creepy they thought D was, how invasive and inappropriate and clumsy socially.  I wonder why they didn't tell me before.  Louder.

"Jesus fucking Christ, you're crazy,"  my eyes grow larger in disbelief . I tell my friend he's mad and a ghost of a pre Christmas conversation echoes on my mind.

I recall one of our last conversations, In December when I knew I was ending it and I didn't really care anymore.  He was telling me about his children all blessed with idiotic biblical names and how the second youngest had moved out again, aged 8.

We'd bought fish and chips from Fish in Borough Market and were standing by the river. It was one of those London in the sunshine days that makes sin city look beautiful.  The river was like molten mercury, a patch of water had caught the light on the opposite side and appeared to be galloping towards us and staying still. It was hypnotic. It was also one of those perfectly observed moments when you realise that your lover isn't perfect, that the shape of his world, messy, deceitful and selfish is like a dust cloth, covering up all kinds of inefficiencies. I've said something and he reacts.

" You know Farah, you say Jesus a lot."

You're not serious.  My heart sighs. How did I get here again with Mr Churchwarden? The Talking Heads song plays in my head.

"Does it offend your Christian sensibilities, my love?  I swear a lot too."

These subtle manoeuvres designed to gently deflate, make me question, feel a little insecure,  these sleight of hand attempts to try and reign me in,  make me fit the shape of his world feel like shackles.  But he's a smooth predator.

Back to my real world,  into the now. My friend is trying to set me up with a friend of his while I'm extolling the blood bath of my last relationship massacre. I'm not ready.  I don't think I might ever be ready again.

I'm aghast.  I've tried comfort and rebound sex, which usually works, a couple of times since Dan, but I craved the intimacy we shared and both times I've ended up crying. I was grieving.  It was far too soon. I feel like a tap has been turned off at its source and sex is not appealing. I just needed to be held.

"He's sharp as a tack. Had a successful IT business and its now on an alternative lifestyle pathway," my earnest friend begins, trying to sell his friend.

"No no and no.  Tell him to follow me on Twitter. Or become a Facebook friend.  It's all happening there." I still feel damaged and although I'm rapidly forgetting his presence,  love and sadness linger.

"He doesn't want to be your Facebook friend. You met him in Paris... do you remember,  the restaurant in the Bois de Boulougne, I think we went on the Thursday... He was with the Swedish blonde. "

I do remember.  Big smiling man,  I remember his smile and his blue eyes and how tall he was and that his calming presence filled the room. I remember thinking how beautiful the woman was and how she shone every time he looked at her or spoke to her. They were perfect together.

"What happened to Scarlet Johanssen,"  I ask,  curiosity piqued. The man had started to tell me about his life style change from capitalist carnivore to shaman and healer but the restaurant was loud and there were a dozen other people at our table. We lost the thread of our conversation.  I got drunk.

"They're finished," my friend says coolly. "He asked for your number. "

I sit still with my discomfort and try and understand the feeling.  I'm scared.

"I just don't feel ready.  Maybe in a few months." I wonder if the healer can hold my fragile heart  which appears to have gone cold, in his gentle hands and bring it back to life.

"In a few months he'll have met someone else and you'll still be self destructing with these awful men you find. " He retorts angrily,  as if I go out and search for them like truffles or unicorns. Since Jeremy Clarke, it's been a succession of assorted frogs. And blood curdling vampire bats.

"Oh for fuck's sake. I don't want to meet anyone
. Anyway I'm busy," this is true. I don't have a free evening until March 18.  I've started pilates
,  art classes and joined a book club. I'm seeing friends and I have filled my diary and blocked out time for myself.

I don't have a man shape hole in my life.

"Farah he wants to meet you.  Not take over your life or marry you or fix you.  I've said we'll meet him for a coffee on Thursday.  He's a healer,  he's pretty good."

So that's that then. Out of the wreckage curiosity rises, phoenix like. I'm meeting the Shaman, chaperoned of course.

I have no expectations.  Life is suffering.  The Buddha said so.  But being held in the generous heart space of a shaman has great appeal.

We spoke last night.  I inelegantly blurted out everything, all the current mess and hurt. He has a lovely voice and made me laugh. Maybe all humans want is kindness and to love each other.  I tell him I feel disconnected from my sexuality.  He says we'll find it together.

I'm glad we are having tea first.

I'm looking forward to seeing him  I've ditched my chaperone. I have a reading to get to after,  so it feels safe and there's an exit.

Green roots of recovery?

PS I missed the reading.

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