Monday, May 04, 2015

Connections between people

Peace in Bath, April 2013
It was around this time, two years ago, when I saw N for the last time. We met in Bath at the end of a few days when I'd been cat sitting and wandering around the riverbank and parks.
Alison warned me her beautiful cat would always be half wild, so I was there to put food in a bowl and admire him as he appeared from one of his many hiding places.
N came to stay at the end of the week. We'd seen each other off and on for about eight years, sometimes with a gap of a year, this last time with a gap of two. Our meetings were very occasional.
He's dead now. That was our last meeting.
The strangest thing was he knew the man who gave me my first job. There was no reason in the world why these two people should be connected
but they'd become great friends.
I remembered this connection last night when talking about films at Jane and David's and WG Sebald's idea of the rip in time. I was recommending Patience by Grant Gee which I've just watched.
Karen, who came to a creative writing class I ran was surprised I'd mentioned WB Sebald and Orhan Pamuk in the same breath. Watch this, she said, and sent me a copy of Patience, the film based on the walk Sebald takes in his classic book The Rings of Saturn.
We were talking about Patience and Sebald last night, about memory, about coincidence and degrees of separation.
N was a great psychogeographer and I often think of him when I'm walking, particularly in fog. It was a cold April, like this year's and it was a goodbye, although we didn't know it.
I felt like I'd met him during a rip in time, when a crossed line as I rang home was like an old god appearing and telling the truth.