Looking back one year could be looking back three years, or four. So much has changed in such a short space of time that hindsight just seems like something you did in the past. Reliable memories are a lost relative, and my Diary for that time seems now like some quaint relic.
The intro to the month of September 2019 stated: “…includes an octogenarian pain in the arse, Keith Haring and Jürgen Klopp in Liverpool, and chatting with Sgt. Pepper’s offspring”.
I remember the weekend trip to my hometown Liverpool. And I remember the chat in the Submit to Love studio at Headway East London with Rose Blake, ace illustrator and daughter of the veteran Pop artist Peter. She’d popped in from her own studio nearby, fascinated by what a collective of artists with brain injuries might get up to.
But the “octogenarian pain in the arse” I had completely forgotten about. Yet as soon as I glanced at my diary entry for 2 September 2019 the story came to life quickly and in every detail. The pictures were clear in my head and I smiled at…
1. How much I enjoyed the storyteller’s description of her useless lump of a husband. And…
2. My ability to dredge up the story so vividly.
There came with this a new kind of yearning – not so much a desire to have it all back to like it was before the virus struck, but a romantic fondness for the luxuriance of living in the moment. Because times are too precarious these days to even dream of thinking like that again.
Reading your own diaries so soon after they were written will to some people seem like an act of wild self-regard. My only defence is that trusted reference points are thin on the ground these days, so I will take whatever I can get and navigate my way to the future in the best way I can.