‘The gaps between’

It’s only after many years that you understand it. What it is to know, to really hold the face of the world in your gaze, and see all that’s behind it. And when you realise, your time is almost up; it slipped like grains of barley through the gaps between one day and the next, and you never realised what remained until today.

What are you supposed to do with what’s left? All you can do is tell those who remain; those younger than you, full of vigour and energy, but always too busy, too proud to listen. Can you remember those old voices from your own youth? Of course you can’t, because you were young too.

You close your eyes and in the blackness, you do stop for a second cup of tea. You leave a little bit later. You stay another day. How much more you would have known from those hours, when the words came thick and rich, and there were never any gaps.

In the quiet, you don’t just hear the noise you always used to, but instead you listen, to the tiniest creak of weight shifting on floorboards, to a tired sigh, to the splash of steaming amber tea into a bone china cup, and it’s the soundtrack to a story that never stops.