I'm preoccupied with death at the moment, the sudden and premature deaths of two people I knew, the fact my mother has a serious illness. I have just come back from a very beautiful funeral, which captured the everyday wonders of a supposedly 'ordinary' life.

One thing which came up over and over again was the fact that the person whose life we were celebrating loved stories - Discworld, the Narnia books, the Lord of the Rings. In recent weeks, I've felt as if my own concerns - with writing, and story telling and publishing what I write - are somehow trivial and self indulgent, as if I should Grow Up and get on with something else.

But I don't know how to do anything else. I can teach people, but what I teach is that writing is a way of finding meaning in life, if not the meaning of life. When someone dies, we sing songs, and read poems and the people who loved them tell stories about them, the memories and moments that live on. The music and poetry help us to survive, collectively, they keep the light burning.

And stories can do the same thing too. So that is why I write. Not to be published or famous or noticed. (Though every writer wants other people to be part of what they do.) But because I need to.

On the way back from the funeral, I got on a bus, weighed down with everything, the sadness and sorrow of it all. After a while, I saw the sun was out, shining through the mist of condensation that blurred the windows. We were passing the Brighton Pavilion, and I wiped the mist off the glass. I could see the pop-up skating rink they have set up for Christmas, empty chairs and tables waiting for the evening, a tiny glimpse of the ice through an open door. All in bright sunshine.


  1. I'm very sorry for your losses. Very sad and very sorry. But I think this post is beautiful, so I thank you for sharing it despite/because of your loss.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I have struggled with writing recently for various reasons, and it's lovely to know that my blog has struck a chord with you.

      very best wishes


  2. My heart aches for the troubles and loss you are facing. Loss and illness in loved ones are not strangers to me and that poem just says it perfectly. They live as long as they breathe life into our memories.

    As for growing up and doing something else, can't say I agree with that. I have just come to realise that to grow up is to be honest with your self. Writing makes me feel things I never thought I could, I would be miserable if I couldn't use it to extricate some of the tougher things I have gone through. In short, don't give up!

    Here's hoping life goes easier on you for a little while, my thoughts are with you!


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