Dedication

With love and gratitude to my husband, Martin, who always praised my writings and encouraged a pursuit of photography, having bought me my first camera – a Ricoh CX3- back in 2011. Right up until the last, he was on the look-out for a good Rolleiflex, despite all my protestations!

In the cicada’s cry/ No sign can foretell/ How soon it must die.
Matsuo Bashō

Martin died suddenly on 7.10.2018. In trying to cope without my companion of the long road, I’m following the Bard’s advice – to commit some of my loss to writings, tagged Martin

There is also solace in reading the poets who have encountered such loss and eloquently put it into words:

“To take the old walks alone, or not at all,
To order one pint where I ordered two,
To think of, and then not to make, the small
Time-honoured joke (senseless to all but you);”

“To laugh (oh, one’ll laugh), to talk upon
Themes that we talked upon when you were there,
To make some poor pretence of going on,
Be kind to one’s old friends, and seem to care,”

“While no one (O God) through the years will say
The simplest, common word in just your way.”

Joys that Sting ~ C.S. Lewis

Freed from not knowing where you are
I’ve traded the nagging worry for a shroud.

In the slim boat of each day, I stand
wary, look across the still surface.

Balance is all. The undercurrent, strong.
Not the peace I hoped for, this calm.

Celia Sandstrom’~ ‘Standing up in a Slim Boat’

“...It doesn’t hurt to think of him.
This is how grief evolves. The hottest pain
burns out. The kiln cools, and I can hold
the glazed and shining bowl, warm and empty
except for a smudge of ash
.”

Patricia Zylius ~ Not Sleeping

Though you have left me, I’m not yet alone:
For what you were befriends the firelit room;
And what you said remains & is my own
To make a living gladness of my gloom

The firelight leaps & shows your empty chair
And all our harmonies of speech are stilled:
But you are with me in the voiceless air
My hands are empty, but my heart is filled.

Siegfried Sassoon ~ The Untitled Poem