A summer party, a mosaic of life moments, reflected in places in the stream of love in which our friends gathered between three cliffs in an impossible landscape, sit, drink, eat, be.
I listen to the banter of old friends by turns cruel, funny, obscene, loving, knowing.
A kind of intimacy between them. I exclude myself with manic food preparation.
I hide from the crowd in the kitchen, I no longer hide from my marriage, there, my love holds the whole together through her laugh, her mind, her care.
The only thing this odd assembly have in common, is her.
She slips between the ancestral banter born in her first marriage and the intense discussions from the life she made.
Old and new friends sit, wrapped around each other, in the first full burst of all consuming love, smoking, kissing and draped like a Cecil Beaton portrait.
Our children revert, incompletely for the Apple generation, to something older in its youthfulness, but now they have complex lives to navigate, they no longer bath, naked, together, now they shower alone.
What has been shattered, fragmented, by the forces of their unstoppable feelings, is held together again by sand and sun, if only for a moment.
By the force of this landscape.
By the walk to the sea.
But it only holds if silence is maintained, as soon as a word, a question, an issue begins to feel its way to expression, the childhood is sucked out of them once more.
I used to think my family was the safest place that I had made.
That divorce had bent but not broken us.
But now, like the inert gases, that sit in the air waiting for a catalyst, not our ancestors as Levi would have it, but our feelings, surrounding us, infinitely combustible.
Their anger sits amid this beauty and I cannot fix it. Like the edge of this field.
A barbed wire fence has been erected.
The enclosures of fatherhood, the boundaries of unconditional love reached.