Wednesday, 10 June 2015
No, You Can't Take That Away From Me
Every Sunday my brother and I visited our maternal grandmother.
She lived in a crumble of rubble that she called Eden and it was, looking back now, a sort of Eden.
A large rambling shack of a ruin that had walls a plenty, animals, fruit trees, the whole jumble merging together into a sort of paradise. For my brother and me, those Sundays were an education, as we learned about intimate aspects of ourselves, moaning about our parents, singing stupid rhymes and lying on our backs wondering about other planets. These memories, you can’t take that away from me, it is a wall of comfort now that he is dead, his physical presence may be no more, but the scent of him hangs about my being like vapour.
We would explore grandma’s house with a freedom denied to us at home. Our Scottish, skittish mother and brooding, bobbing Irish father. Father called mother his Boadicea of the bedroom and she called him her Bartleby of the boudoir. My brother and I didn’t know then what all this meant, only that their walls of respectability had dissipated into dishevelment upon our return every Sunday evening. Since I have now lost them, and also grandmother, I feel alone but have walled off that wounded part of myself. Therapy has helped in adulthood, but you can’t take that away from me, the long distant memories of my Eden childhood.
How my brother and I once roamed, feral and barefoot across the damson orchards, climbing the low dry stonewall that protected the sheep. Our games with wooden swords, our screams of delight, as we stabbed each other, enacting the wars from our school history classes. It is all past but ever present for me, my wall of dreams and desires. I miss them all but know that walls do make good neighbours. They are the neighbours of my heart.
The copyright of this post belongs to Valerie Rule
28 May 2015