roller-skating at the rock

This being in the now, this concept, sure is adorable; it’s shiny and charming and nothing at all. I love it. But I can’t sustain it. At work the other day among the loaves and cofee is my record. And yesterday, Libby’s anniversary, I did well then, but today, try as I did, nothing doing.

Being in the now is like me on roller-skates. I was never any good. I was ungainly, if there was gravel my wheels would find it, and I spent more time falling down and getting up than I did rolling or skating. I schlepped more than skated. So, picture the worst roller-skater you can think off, then picture me because you were not even close. And imagine the shuffling and wobbling, got got got it, nope, I’m down. Back up, rolling, to the fence, to the letterbox, to the…down. Today, that was me trying to be in the now. Got it, nup. Got it, nup. Almost got it, nope.

It occurs to me if you’re trying too hard to be in the moment then you may be further away than you were before you put your skates on.

Libby was a way better skater than me. It wouldn’t be hard, but actually, she was good. She’d swing around our block, into driveways, back out, along the road, figure eight, carve corners, speed in a line. She was so good I thought by association I could be. She tricked me like that quite a few times. Better skater, better at saving pocket money, better tenacity. I was better at talking your sister into doing something she shouldn’t so I suppose that evens the scale.

I’ve been on my virtual roller-skates today, on my bum wishing I was upright and in the moment, that’s okay. I’ve got experience. I may do better tomorrow.

I did well yesterday at Platypus Rock.

We got there about eleven. The weather was exactly like it was a year ago, the sun so bright you could hardly see. It was same contingent, as a year ago minus one, my brother, Anthony, had to work. We were much calmer, less desperate, quieter, than last year. I sat on the rock we cast her ashes from, the water wasn’t as high as I thought I would be, and minute traces of her lay white in the mud. For a few minutes I held my phone up and recorded the sounds of us with my sister; birds, the river cruising by, cars above, conversation, me sniffing, and Madonna. I climbed up off the rock and lay back on the on the grass and Erin’s daughter, Jasmine, sang for us. She sang to Sia’s ‘Titanium’. I listened to her young and beautiful voice and cried. Proper tears rolled and fell and I let them. Erin sat next to me and held me. I felt love and loved and lucky. At peace. If I was on roller-skates I would have flown, wind in my ears, speed, leaning into the corners, upright and in the now.

Libby’s life wasn’t easy – understatement – her mental health became an issue before she was reached adulthood. But she was strong, she was smart and funny, she had Darren and she had us. She felt love and loved. She would have said she was lucky.



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