So much happening I can't focus on one thing: confetti thrown into a storm.
I take Dog to the woods, sit for a while on a fallen tree. Here there is birdsong and green filtered light; shadow play, river burble, moss and wild garlic scent.
On Friday evening, students gather in the old school hall. They are nervous, regardless of grade. I get my Second Dan certificates.
On Saturday morning, similar: both the red belts get high passes: Mr gets his Fifth Dan certificates. There are two new First Dans, three new Second Dans. We all have photographs taken.
Saturday afternoon I jump in the river, feel the fast water pull, balance myself holding twists of tree root. Enthusiastic dog-splash at my heels.
Saturday evening there is an engagement party. Little Granddaughter hits me in the face with a balloon: laughs, laughs, laughs, feeds me a crisp. I see faces I have not seen for twenty years and still know. So much can change, and not change at all.
Sunday morning is a sports hall, more nervous students, a flask of strong coffee. Book sales. Chance conversations lead to further sale opportunities and the donation of a 9 bar (delicious, good for you.)
I am in the bathroom, my phone rings.
'What's that noise?'
'That's what sheep sound like, when they're being molested.'
'Molested? Really?' Such wide eyes.
'We're making fun of you, city boy.'
'Oh.' He laughs.
Remember when that city boy looked at my beautiful friend and said to me:
'If this isn't love, Lily, then I give up.'
He said, 'I trust you, because you don't mince your words.'
I told him I would kill him, if he hurt my friend, because she is strong, but strong people need looking after too.
We cracked a beer.
On the phone, my beautiful friend, in the emergency room.
The inevitable lingers.
So much bitter, so much sweet: but honey, if he had never seen the perfect slant of your eyes, he would never have known love.
If all the scan shows is that faint pulse, that is stubborn love, honey, that is such stubborn love.