Life, photos but not the universe

To lose one sister is careless enough

A chapter has been closed and an estrangement has been officially declared.  By text if you please.

“I’m in town, might we meet up” I had asked – by text – and the reply came fairly quickly.  “I’m busy as it happens and I don’t really want to anyway.  Thanks for all you’ve given me over the years”*.

I did detect the possibility of a touch of irony.  But no ambiguity at all.

We spent a year together as four year old cousins.  We met and occasionally shared holidays when our Mums needed a break from us.  We argued a bit and she triumphed and I was  abject but we did stay, not close, but connected.  The main dynamic of our relationship was always that she was the sought after and I was the follower.  She was superior and I was the other.  She needed more love from her parents and I needed more acceptance from my peers.  It was to be many years before either of us got those things.

A time came when one of each of our parents died and the other two married.  Suddenly the whole thing became fragile and fraught.   My Mother and I moved into her family home with her siblings and her father.  We were in our late teens and it was a difficult adjustment for all of us.  In fact in the end none of us adjusted successfully and my Mother died.

Later still, we both acquired dependents of our own and hers took her to America and a troubled and eventually untenable marriage.  Mine kept me firmly tied to earth and hearth and home. We both went through times of deep emotional distress and perhaps it was then that she found me inadequate as a a resource and I found her scarily in need of something a lot deeper than I possess.

As we sorted through and struggled with our separate emotional ‘stuff’ I became more and more aware that I could never give what she really needed from a friend.  I could tell that I was failing on a regular basis but I’m constitutionally unable to deal with that feeling of inadequacy.  I didn’t make more effort.  It’s fair to say I didn’t make enough effort.  Actually, I made less and less effort and each contact was harder to intitiate, uneasier and less satisfying, more worrying than the last.

My mother died, intestate.  There were issues over what she left.  Then our stepfather told us what was in his will and this provoked a storm of fury from her, carefully masked but nonetheless made very clear in a letter to me.  When he died we made an attempt at putting that behind us but I actually couldn’t quite forget what had been said and I don’t think she truly did put her feelings of outrage and deprivation behind her.

Frankly, all she had to do to hang on to my affection and friendship was accept that I’m both scatty and unreliable and enjoy what I do have to offer. Which she is constitutionally unable to do.  I needed to do quite a lot more to hang onto hers – if I ever had it – and it was more than I had to offer.  And I really have to admit to myself that in the end, I didn’t want to keep struggling to mend something that wasn’t doing me any good at all.

Actually, it’s time to face the fact that it’s been a while since I’ve been prepared to carry on pussy-footing around a non-relationship with someone who never wanted my friendship much and saw me mainly as an imposition and as a usurper.  And that I should never have accepted any responsibility for her feelings, but should instead have accepted my own as true and hers as more honestly,  if brutally,  expressed than I was able to do.   Which is to say, I had become a right royal pain in her metaphorical arse and she was becoming a giant thorn in my emotional side.  Bicycle and fish.

So long Sister/Cousin and thanks for all the fish.

Now for something completely different.  Considering water.




DSC_0523-1(Phew.  That’s better : )

*This is a precis.  But there really was no ambiguity.


October 21, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I think I sorted that all out as i read it, but, To make sure,
    Your okay with her not being a part of your life, and she is glad to be shed of you as well?
    No emotions tangled?
    well we are merely reflections of something greater than ourselves…

    I’m working on it Sorrow. I left the emotions out – they confuse me!

    Comment by Sorrow | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. It read mixed, with sad tinges……

    I’m sad. She’s missing out on your awesomeness and doesn’t know that. But we all get to make our own life choices and it would appear she’s made hers. I feel sad for you both, even if it’s not an all bad thing–

    I’m sorry…..there’s nothing comfortable about ending relationships or having one ended. But sometimes there’s a peace in it if you listen long enough and let it land in your heart..

    (((((((((((( Mig )))))))))))))

    As always, the photos are amazing.
    Is that the guts of the lock spewing water? OH my gosh…..that’s way cool….. What’s with the board thingy in the middle?
    😉 You know me, I’m ‘lock challenged’!

    Dearest Mel, you read right as always. A hug is what I needed and thank you. I’m looking for the peace and hoping to find it eventually. Though I do not like a person to drop out of my map of the people world, I have to accept that she’s gone. She’s both brittle and fragile, where I am so flexible, I almost fall over. But then it’s second nature to me to prop things up with whatever comes to hand and carry on. (((((((((((((((( Mel )))))))))))))))))))

    Locks now. Ok, the water is coming from the depths of the pound above the lock – we are in the lock. So the pressure is from a whole stretch of water in between two locks. The board is in front of a single gate paddle which is where the water is let into the lock and the board stops the water from arching in a single deluge right into the front of the boat! Makes it go round the sides. I imagine it also strengthens the lock gate which stops at the bulge at the bottom of the board. (the bulge is where the the structure of the lock chamber begins). Pretty important board altogether which just goes to show that far from being challenged you notice important things.

    Comment by Mel | October 22, 2009 | Reply

    • Okay okay….I think I get the board thingy. OMGosh it makes sense that the water better go around and not straight in front of the boat. Got that…..I think…LOL

      Different question–probably sillier than the first……but tell me HOW in the world those little fungus/mushroomy guys stay attached to the wall with all that swirly water. Ohmygosh! Poor things. I’m not sure how they survive.
      The mossy stuff–wayyyyyyyyyy cool.

      (((((((((((((((((((((( Mig )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) (‘nother hug just cuz…….)

      Ooh, there’s nothing like a hug for making you feel joined together instead of cut off 🙂 and as ILTV says it’s mutual 🙂 (I’m missing her already!)
      I’m not sure if there are any fungusy things in there Mel. The orange blob on the left is a leaf which got left clinging to the lock wall when the water went down? When locks aren’t cleaned out regularly you get almost forests growing on the lock gates but these are just a bit mossy. I love the green stuff that survives down there 🙂

      Comment by Mel | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. how well you know yourself, I don’t know how you do that, I think her loss is greater than yours but you probably feel it more. I hope you’re ok (((xxx)))

    Thank you ziggi. That’s a very thoughtful thing to say. It’s weird being catapulted back into a maelstrom of childhood emotions but very good to have friends who like the person I am now. That’s important 🙂

    Comment by zIggI | October 30, 2009 | Reply

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