Fields with sheep in Wittersham
Gardens all misty wet with rain
Her high-ceilinged house, with wooden sweeping bannisters, objets d’art, Picasso’s wife Jacqueline’s jacket, paintings, enamelled pictures and bowls, red wine at dinners, her artist parents with cigarettes and stories. Her older brothers.
Louis, so handsome, sang songs occasionally alluding to me.
Emma. Our friendship. Van Morrison on vinyl. An old typewriter, our youth, our music, our art.
We danced with our long skirts flying. Smoked Old Holborn roll ups with licorice papers.
We would draw each other. Not realising how young we were. Her cheekbones peach-like and long tangled hair, torn vintage lace blouses. Velvets, patchouli and henna.
We would sing I wanna be strong, I wanna laugh a lot.
We laughed alot. We drew a lot. We were the best of friends. We once chased a dancing paper bag along the sea front, enlivened by the wind, excited by its movement and energy, which matched our own.
Last year we met again. We said Time doesn’t exist. Her poise , mystery and beauty still there. Me the more gregarious, drew her out. She said I had always been her most restless friend. I said I still was. So full of longing. Motherhood makes you stay in one place but I still have plans. She never had children, but she has a blue Staffie and loving man.
People are these containers of such depth and resonance, energetically like no other. Each one with their own imprint on your soul. Emma, Astral Weeks always makes me think of you and those summer days and the fields, the garden, the sheep, the granary, the Ewe and Lamb, Stone in Oxney, Ebony.
The day Thelonius Monk died you painted about it. You also made a glorious etching called Tea with Alice. I wish I had looked after it but moved around so much, I lost it along the way.
We lived in London together too, and your parents moved to mountain Spain, but it’s those green days of youth, and the flat fields and dark country lanes, with no lamplight on the walks home, I will always carry in my treasure of memories.