Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You Have Got to Be Here - Last of London

Today is my last full day in the UK. I had a lovely chat and two cappuccinos this morning with the dear Helen MacInnes, who also helped me pack. And now, I'm doing thoselast odds and ends-- or bits and bobs--  under the sun, and occasional rain, here in London. 

There's a lot I'm going to miss. There's a lot I'm not going to miss, too. But mostly, when I look back on my time in London, I'll think of it as a place of near misses--- one that almost could have been perfect, but like most amazing things in life, slipped away.  One more of the beautiful ephemera. 

If you'll forgive a bit more Frank Ocean, "My friend said it wasn't so bad/ You can't miss what you ain't had/ Well, I can."

I'll miss the way the sun reflects off Regent's Canal. I'll miss the poetry of local places. And how you can have friends who live in converted gun factories.I'll miss the squares and the way so much of London feels like a heart-- with big arteries and little veins and how turning a corner can take you to a kind of London totally different from the previous street. I'll especially miss the smell of jasmine that floats through the air all over my neighborhood. 

There's the old saying the devil is the details. And this is certainly true. Especially of my time here, when so many things were nearly mine. When so much almost-but-not-quite worked out. But, of course, the saying derives from an earlier idiom, God is in the details. And this is even more especially true. 

My former boss and dear friend, Bob Hofmann, once did a really great impression of his old drama teacher-- in that very exaggerated drama teacher kind of way-- "YOU have got to BE HERE." About committing to the scene. We used to laugh and bring it up in all kinds of situations. But I have carried it with me everywhere I've ever gone. Even when you know you're not long for a particular place, you can't go wrong being present in that place every moment you have it. That act alone is as sweet as the jasmine I will miss so very much about this beautiful-- if rainy, and lonely-- city. 

1 comment:

  1. May I just say, for the record: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!
    I am going to miss you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much! xox


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