Big Small World
Fergus flew back to LA this week, while I continue on the tour. It was hard to see him go. I know he's heading home. I'm perfectly aware I'll see him in a few weeks. But there are some feelings over which we have no power. They belong in the realm of instinct rather than thought, and will not be quieted by reason. He's still my son, even though he's a grown up man. Wherever he is, a part of me will forever be also - even when that's 12 and a half hours of him being 70000 feet in the air and inconvenient as shit.
I'm never good with him flying. I'm unsettled when he's in the air. I like him to be one place or the other. I like things to be clear.
The night before he left, we stood in the backyard of my sister's house, looking up at a moon that seemed so close you could touch it.
It has been wonderful spending time at my sister's. In between working in Edinburgh , we retreat here, for hot meals and cosy beds and family. Fergus loves his Aunty Janice and Uncle Eddie. He barely remembers my parents as he was so young when they passed, so Janice and Eddie represent more than just an aunt and uncle. Sometimes Janice and I will talk about the old days when we were in our early 20s. Ferg likes to hear stories about what has gone before.
Standing in the backyard, we couldn't help but marvel at the size of the moon. How clear it was. It felt like change of energy was in the air. The season is changing. Time, like everything else, is not ours to control.
“Are you looking forward to going home?” I asked.
“I am,” he smiled. “Though there will be plenty I miss. Sausage Rolls, Greg's the Bakers, Uncle Eddie and Auntie Janice.”
Janice and I laugh and all three of us have a cuddle. And we are for a single moment under the big smiley moon, reminded how precious life is.
I’m not really one for astrology - I'm not against it, but I know so little about it that it feels general to me. I suspect real astrology is more like mathematics than it is like a wee generic paragraph on a list somewhere dedicated to people who share your birth month. But of late there’s definitely something going on with the planets. Literally everyone I talked to this week was dealing with trying to move the immovable. Something that should be a simple fix inexplicably was not, and the more people struggled, the more stubborn the task became. Despite any effort, the clear remained resolutely unclear.
Of course my feeling might be less to do with the planets and more to do with an old washing machine.
Mark and I (as old hippies) both hate needless landfill, and as Mark is brilliant with any kind of anything that has working parts, he will generally look to see if something can be fixed before it’s replaced. Hence why Mark decided to fix the washing machine. But the washing machine has become the Moby Dick to his Captain Ahab, working one day only to be defiantly broken the next day when fixed back in place.
Navigating the time difference we talk about it over the phone. Victory one day, and defeat the next. And yet the battle continues.
Like the rest of the world, Mark and I exist in 24-hour time spans. But for the moment our time spans have an 8-hour time delay. There is a distance between us, both of geography and of time. What I may tell him is an unsurmountable problem in one phonecall is fixed by the time of the next. What he sees as a problem in one conversation is solved by the next - apart from the washing machine that is.
A sleepless night before Fergus flew was followed by a restless night waiting for news that he'd landed.
In the morning. A text came from Mark:
“Picked Ferg up from the airport. He's fine, fed, showered and tucked up in bed. Everything's good, though I'm thinking it's time for a new washing machine. Love you x”
That night I started the tour. The first show was lovely.
And on the drive back afterwards, the moon behind the clouds shone down.
Till next week
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