Day 30 May 3

It’s been a quiet day today. I felt it in the air, as though everyone were taking stock. Maybe we are all tired of the game; of chatting to people we love via one of the many techno-gizmos on offer. 

I suddenly remembered as a small child my deep fear of the large black object that stood on a table in the hall. Sometimes it shook the house with its insistent brrr brrr, like the caw of a crow. I was a sensitive child. I trembled at images of black-winged creatures pecking in a nearby field. Not much later, when I was perhaps 8, my mother offered me a penny if I’d answer the phone. But even the promise of payment was not seductive enough to win me over. 

Looking back I think it was the confusing idea of a disembodied voice coming through a machine. It terrified me. People, real people, face to face; flesh and blood, skin, smell – the live frequency of another, means so much more than an undressed voice or a flat image on a screen. You want to stretch out your hands and touch…

Only you can’t.

It’s not allowed.

It isn’t terminal of course. We’re just waiting in the hallway for the flight to land, for the doors to open and the hugging to begin again…

And it will. It will…

In the meantime small, natural sights that are linked to one another without effort or censorship gladden the heart: the little yellow stars nestling under the road name, the ghostly little dog at the window; the blatant green of the ferns pushing their way through thick park railings.. and the view through my split-trunked sycamore.

We are still embraced!