I took some posts down the other day. Someone reached out to me — not who you might think — and asked me to do so, as they didn’t like how they were portrayed. So I did what I thought was the right thing and took them down, out of respect for their wishes.
And then I didn’t want to write here at all. Like the sanctity of this place where I have written over the last eight-plus years had been violated. I didn’t even like thinking of this blog. I wanted to take it all down. Blow up the whole place and walk away like a scene from a film. This was a special place where I could — to the chagrin of most of my readers — write about whatever I wanted to. It was my one place in all the world where it didn’t matter what I wrote, I could just write.
Over the last few weeks I’ve wanted to write about how beautiful the weather was on the day I had to move all of my things out of my old house. It was this perfect spring day and the lilacs were blooming and the grass needed mowing. I’ve wanted to write about my father-in-law and how happy he had been that I was marrying his daughter. I’ve wanted to write about the magnets that used to be on my old fridge and how sad they made me to think about. I’ve wanted to write about all of the little, middling things from my old life that make me sad now. This doesn’t mean I want that life back, it just means that it makes me sad. There’s a difference. And not having this place to write made me feel … off. There’s something about hitting that magic, red “PUBLISH” button that makes this different then writing in an endless Google Doc. It was like without this site, I would never write again. Not anything. Not anywhere. I didn’t even want to write rubbish about cricket here. I wanted to walk away from it all.
But I couldn’t. And so I put the posts back up. And it felt right. And I am back to write here, and since I am writing here I can write elsewhere. About anything. I don’t want this place to go away. I know I have pivoted away from the cricket, but I will get back to that at some point in earnest. Or maybe not. This is my place. I am choosing to use it as such. I will write about that awful spring day and how I worry that it is going to sit in the pit of my heart forever. The dog was put away in a back bedroom. There was so much anger. It fizzled in the air. It was hot. I was sweating buckets. The grass needed mowing. If nothing had happened it would have been a perfect day. I would have worked in the yard, sat on the patio in the sun, read my book, drank cold beer from a ice-filled cooler. But everything had happened. And I couldn’t take it back. And I don’t think I have felt the sun on my face since.
If it had been a normal day, it would have been a perfect day. Instead it was blue sky and spring and horror.
Heartbreak in the spring is like a summer cold: it doesn’t make any sense. Spring is a time for hope, for renewal, for rebirth, for rising from the ashes. It’s not for endings. It’s for beginnings. Which is why the best musicians and poets write about springtime heartbreaks. The jarring juxtaposition makes the ending seem more horrible, more real. Anyone can write about a November sadness, or a long winter made longer, but it takes a special lyricist to move that sadness onto a perfect spring day, when the sun is on your face, and the birds are singing a cheerful song, and the whole world is so perfect and new and yet is simultaneously ending. The blue sky falling all around you.
Each spring in England cricket teams walk out into the damp mornings with hope on their shoulders. There is no heartbreak. That’s for later. There are setbacks and obstacles, but always another match. Until there isn’t, but that’s so distant it’s impossible to even seen. The wrenching, twisting spiral of ending exists too far in the future to grasp — even if it is just a few months away. Spring is hope. Endings belong in October. We are given too few perfect days to waste one on leaving. But that’s what I did. And I will never get that day back.
In Spring of 2020 when those cricketers make the first movements of the season, I might be better, I might begin anew along with them. Until then though it is darkness here, and cold, and bitterness. But there is cricket. It’s summer in Australia. I write about this a lot. Probably too much. There’s sun on faces, just not here. Not yet. Maybe soon. Until then I will tune in Willow and watch the heat and the sweat and the haze and the shirtsleeves and try not to think of that horrible spring day all those months ago.
That’s what I want to write about.