Midnight blue

A while ago, I tried to explain the concept of happy/sad to a group of thirteen year olds. I was running a workshop and asked them to write about emotions – a time when they were happy, a time when they were excited, a time when they were sad. I told them it was important to remember that you could feel more than one emotion at a time. ‘Like the way it feels when you love someone who’s far away,’ I said. ‘Like happy/sad.’ They looked at me blankly. It occurred to me that maybe happy/sad is an emotion you grow into.
On Saturday night, a group of people sat around our kitchen table and made decorations for Kat’s memorial. I made pasta bake, we bought wine. There was a lot of tea. We listened to music and talked and sat quietly and were together. Maybe Sian is right and memorial craft is a thing that we invented. But it helped having something to do, even if it was just cutting endless circles out of midnight blue cardboard.
When we asked what colours we should use for the decorations, Adolfo told us to “think of the night” and we’d be fine. Driving to the bottle shop, we looked up at the moon and I commented that those were the colours we were aiming for – the almost-black blue of the sky and the dusky sheen of the moon.

At midnight, I was standing on the footpath, waving people home. The moon was so full. Looking up at it through the trees, it looked almost swollen. The music from a car stereo leaked out into the air, as Fiona stood beside the open door to hug Alex goodbye. It was very cold. I felt a lot of things in that moment. There’s that bitter-sweet, overwhelming way that happy/sad just envelopes you. It constricts your insides until your breathing feels strange and you cry tears that are hard to define. You cry because life is complicated and ugly and beautiful and some nights it is all those things at once.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year