For Those Five Years

A Spanish town, white, warm and blue,
A tourist street with gentle crest.
I’ll walk that street and look for them,
My pretty wife and lovely sons.
I’ll reach the top and find my world
Or maybe it will find me first.

They’ll say “Where have you been, Daddy?”
And “we’ve looked everywhere for you.”
I’ll make excuses, reassure,
With “I was in that shop” I’ll smile.
The nightmare done, I’ll go with them
And no more years in exile live.

In that same place I’ll wake at last
With all my loss and pain redeemed.
My pretty wife, my lovely sons,
The precious house my Daddy loved.
My health, my hope, my job, my world,
Returned to me as they should be.

And so I walked along that street,
The sun and shadows followed too.
Cresting the rise, she was not there
And no brave sons came seeking me.
Five years of loss and pain were real,
To turn and with the shadows take.

I lost my world that day and cried,
Only the shadows knew my pain.
I did not tell about it then,
Nor shall I speak it ever now.
The loss is mine alone to bear
For those five years and many more.

A guest post by Henry Isaacs, author of Around The Red Rock

Live The Journey

Nothing is perfect, nothing is complete, nothing lasts forever. That’s what I’ve been told. So why do we squander so much of our lives searching for precisely these things? Is it something primeval, seated deep within out human spirit, that drives us on relentlessly? We seek perfection and completeness in our romantic lives, always hoping that we’ll find “the one” and it will last… forever.

A friend called me a couple of days ago. “I’ve been married for a third of my life,” she lamented, “and it’s all been for nothing.” Was it for nothing? There were good times, many of them. There was love and laughter, caring and companionship. It didn’t last forever. Like I said, nothing does. But it was lovely at the time, the years filled with joy and happiness. No, it was not for nothing.

Life is a journey. That’s a very tired cliché and it should have been retired long ago. The trouble is, it’s true! Don’t spend your hours lamenting what has passed. Remember those times for what they really were – spent happily with someone you loved, doing what you both wanted to do right then, in the moment. As we drive on down the road of life, things will change. You will win, then you will lose. Now you must keep going and discover what is waiting for you around the next corner.

Anticipate the destination… but live the journey.

Photo: Road between Plumtree and Clipston, England. Copyright © S Silverman 2018.

Remember The Good Times

Remember the good times.

He came to haunt this morning
And I cried for all the pain.
The fall-outs and fights,
Lies and deceits.

He loved me a lot.
I kept all his gifts,
Not just jewellery and clothes
But memories too.

Laughing as one in strange countries,
Cicadas by the window as we slept.
Creating precious children
Whose voices I still hear.

Remember the good times.

 

 

Don’t Give Up

How many times must you fail before you give up?

Of course that’s a silly question without any context. Give up what, exactly? It makes all the difference. If you were searching for a missing ball-point pen, or maybe trying to catch a spider in your living-room, then it might be quite reasonable to give up after a couple of attempts. A lost pen or a harmless spider doesn’t matter very much, does it? When you take a broad view, these things are quite trivial and soon forgotten.

Some things in life really do matter. A lot. Consider all the romantic connections you’ve had in your life. Now we’re are talking about something that is important to most people and I think I’d be safe enough in guessing that you feel the same. Think back. You had teenage flings of course. This was just the starting point, training at the Love Boot Camp and intensively developing your skills. The love you felt in your twenties was something different. Profoundly deep, compelling, overwhelming. So powerful that you married him.

Nearly half of marriages end within 15 years. Ok, so there’s more than one way to measure divorce rates but I don’t wish to get bogged down in such debates. Let’s just agree that divorce is a thing and it happens a lot. For better or for worse, never mind for richer or for poorer, marriage simply isn’t what it used to be.

lonely man ocean-2787669_1920 smlSo what comes after your divorce? Is it time to give up now? That’s the easy option but it’s far from satisfying. Envisage the lonely years that would stretch ahead of you. Instead of throwing in the towel, it’s time to start dating again. Argh, it’s so much more difficult now! Where have all the good men gone?

Despite the challenges, you do go on a few dates. Romances develop, they blossom for a little while but soon wilt. Back to square one, again and again. Failure upon failure. The months go by, hope is displaced by despair. Now you really do feel like giving up.

friends people-2561065_1920 smlA friend called me last night and I told her everything. I told her about the lost love, the hope and the despair. I told her that I just didn’t have the energy to keep on trying. I was fed up, jaded. Enough was enough. “Don’t give up,” she said softly. Good advice from a wise friend.

Unlike a cheap ball-point pen, you can’t nip out and buy another lover. And without that lover, you’ll just have to have another go at catching the spider yourself. No-one said it would be easy. Just don’t give up.

Falling In Love Again

Our life is a journey through love and pain, light and darkness. The path of life twists and turns. What lies around the next corner? We cannot know until we reach it.

We must travel in hope, have courage in the face of disappointment. Some of us are just setting off, others have journeyed long and seen our hopes dashed again and again. Divorce, depression, loneliness may all take their toll but you are still here and it’s far too soon to say “I’m finished.”

Recognise the immense value of all that you have experienced. You have trusted and been betrayed, loved and lost. Was it all for nothing? No, of course it wasn’t. Each event in your life was uniquely tailored just for you. You have a bespoke collection of learning experiences that prepare you for the future, for your future.

Fiction and reality are often intertwined. We dream about our future, imagine how we would wish it to be. Like Abbey in Coffee In Castillo, we realise that unless we follow our hearts and pursue our fantasies then we cannot hope to build the future of our dreams.

So hold your head up high, throw those shoulders back, thrust your chest out. Show the world that you are still in business, ready to face life’s challenges. Please believe me, it is not too late to fall in love again.