My friend Jenny wrote a big piece this weekend about being at a hen do. I’ve never been to a hen do, which I understand is the point of the thing. In it she makes some great points about what we choose to celebrate and how we do it.
I’m going to try to build on what I’ve taken from it, which centers around culture, capitalism, and the slow development of rights outside the mainstream. It’s a braindump, but maybe someone cleverer than me will draw out what I’m trying to say.
Love is the bloom of petals, true,
But more than that it is the planting of seeds; the tending; the trimming
It is the plague of slugs; the weeds that spring from nowhere; the cat-shit on the lilies
And it is tempting as you poison, pull, pick-up
To think perhaps these trials are signs your garden is unfavoured;
that not every pair of people born should share their lives like this;
And I caution you to guard against such thoughts:
for sometimes cats just shit on your lilies
A garden is a choice. You may choose to fix what was broken
To repair and make good, to clean and sweep and rake
the dead dross away and make all anew again
Or not. That is a choice too.
Your love will not survive it. It will be strangled, eaten, destroyed by the world
that dwells in chaos. So I am glad
That you were made with free will in your heart and you chose
and have chosen, and will choose
To plant in winter and to trim in summer;
To cut the grass; to weed the flowers
To take it in turns to clean the cat shit off the lilies
To know that some of this will hurt, and to choose it anyway
To know that you could ignore it for now, and to do it anyway
To know that bedding seeds today will not bear fruit tomorrow
Or the next day, or the next
But that you will be here when they do
In short to love
even when it’s hard
even when it’s easy not to
To make a garden in which life will grow
And take the garden with it when it goes
I’ve been working on something immensely nerdy this week. I’m going to do my best to explain it with my usual verve and flair. Plus, I saw Gwendoline Christie swinging from an aerial silk while I reclined in the comfort of a cinema seat.
There’s a lot in here this week, and hopefully something for everyone.
I’m reading Happy at the moment, and I saw Mythos last weekend, and my ex and I broke up three months ago. And I am looking for reassurance that there is a way of thinking about this doesn’t make the hard days awful.
There isn’t, by the way. If you take anything from this essay let it be these four things:
- buttholes are brown
- buttholes are supposed to be brown
- we’re all going to die
- to love in a way that doesn’t hurt is fantastically impossible