April 11th 2021. It was exactly one year ago today that my Mother passed away. It doesn’t feel like a whole year has gone by, the memory is as vivid as if it was only yesterday. But it’s a year that has flown like no other.
Emi and I drove to Wakefield this afternoon to place some Spring flowers on Mum’s grave, though, as I noted in an earlier journal entry, her ashes have yet to be interred there. Now that the lockdown restrictions are slowly easing, we’re hoping that this will happen before too long.
There is never a day goes by without me thinking about her. There’s a heavy feeling of sadness that continues to haunt me and will do so for the rest of my days. I miss her so much.
I’ve been reflecting on the number of people I’ve lost over the years, both family and friends. It’s quite shocking and sobering, there are so many cruel departures, the most recent being my dear friend Harold Budd.
That I’ve managed to get this far is a blessing that I’m extremely grateful for, though I guess it’s more to do with luck that any notions of ‘self-care’ or leading a healthy lifestyle. But creativity brings its own kind of energy to the table and slows the inevitable slide into oblivion. At least that’s what I grasp at in my darker moments. Time may show that to be little more than a naive illusion.
Today’s journey to Wakefield, once again, brought back the daily trips we made to the hospitals that Mum was in for those last months of her life, then the rehab centre, and then the care home before briefly recovering enough to go back to her own home where, after what seemed like an amazing improvement in her condition, she fell ill again but this time did not recover.
The weather today was contradictory, bright sunshine but a chill wind with occasional hail and even a little snow. It was bitterly cold in the cemetary as we placed the flowers in the stone holder on Mum’s grave. Both my Mum and brother Ian passed away in the month of April, Ian on April 23rd 2006, 15 years ago now. And that too feels like only yesterday. Time is a trickster.
We will return to the cemetery with flowers for Ian’s grave on the 23rd just as we have done every year for the last fifteen years. We would always take my Mother with us and I can still see her standing by Ian’s gravestone as Emi and I cleaned it and laid flowers. Mum would gaze at it, lost in remembering, and finally reach out to touch it, as if she was placing her hand on Ian’s shoulder. That simple gesture was always deeply moving and brought a tear to my eye. But life goes on and everyone bears their own sadness and loss as best they can, though it’s far from easy.
Here at home, in an effort at distraction, I’m slowly making my way through a mass of tracks recorded on my Cubase software system. These recordings cover the entire period since the system was installed, right up to the present day. Already ‘New Vibrato Wonderland’ and the upcoming ‘Dazzlebox’ double album have taken tracks from this archive, but I’m now attempting to assemble a future album, an album which currently bears the title ‘My Private Cosmos.’
The trick is to select tracks which feel as if they belong together or at least relate to one another in some way, either conceptually or tonaly With such a diversity of tracks covering so many different moods, it’s not an easy task. Nevertheless, dealing with it takes my mind off more troublesome issues. It’s a kind of sanity saver.
I desperately need a haircut. My ‘lockdown locks’ are seriously out of control. Emi says I look like a mad scientist. Albert Einstein or maybe the guy from ‘Back To The Future’. Must try to call Steve Cook this coming week to see if he can come over to snip it all away. Apparently it will be ok for hairdressers to operate again from tomorrow.
Struggling to read 'Dino', a biography of Dean Martin by Nick Tosches. Its beautifully and poetically written but my struggle is not with the text nor with the author's prose but simply because of my inability to see the words on the page, my eyesight now too poor to decipher anything at a normal font size. I never expected that, at this time of life, one of my greatest pleasures would be slowly stolen from me by macular disease,
And so it goes. The new abnormal. Hey ho...and on we go...
My Mother's grave, 11th April 2021.