Sarah Maria Griffin is a Dublin based writer and all round pretty sound human. She's over on Twitter and Instagram and if you aren't already, you should treat yourself and follow her.
Her latest zine, Not Long Now, came in the post the other day. It unlocked a fountain of feelings inside me I think I must have buried long before all this business started. It is beautiful and provoking, but was causing me slight anxiety too - of course, is there anything that isn't at the moment!? I couldn’t pick just one person to send this little treasure to, so I’m sending it out to all of you. Maybe you’ll recognise yourself in places, but even if you don’t, know that if you are reading this, this is for you.
I miss you. Mostly your energy. Your noise, smile, and the sound of your laugh. The way you say my name or the pet name you have for me. I miss the easy way you hold and carry yourself. The way you inhabit your body and occupy space. I miss the way you tell stories and fill me in on all that’s happening with you, around you. I miss reminiscing about the times we were together. And the things we did while we were apart from each other. I miss our separate, full, different lives, and sharing those secrets when we’d meet. Talk over all our plans. Our projects. I miss our late into the night conversations about - whatever - it doesn’t matter. I just miss you talking excitedly about life and the things that you love.
I miss sharing space and not speaking at all. Just being together holding that comfortable silence. I miss your support - you still support me of course, that goes without saying - but that assumed energy is very rightly being redirected to support yourself now and I’m cool with that. I’m ok now at the moment anyway and I know you’ll be when I’m not.
I miss doing things with you and going places. I miss dancing with you SO much, even if we are both kind of terribly awkward and probably not technically good at it.
But mostly, I just miss you. And everything you are that makes you you.
There really isn’t anyone quite like you, ya know, and I miss you and love you for that.
Beautiful music. Movies and Musicals on Lyric Saturday lunchtime is my weekly touchstone and I would be lost without it. All of Lyric is superb because there is hardly any news, any news that is on is to the point, and the presenters don’t talk about this terrible thing we are all going through. You’d *almost* forget.
Unchallenging telly in the form of Gogglebox, which is just about as much reality as I can handle at the moment. Killing Eve is beautifully stylish, dark and funny. Midsommer Murders is comforting because they always get the bad guy in the end. Poirot, the same.
The weather is playing a blinder. It’s out of my control, but it is so helping. Spring waits for no one and I’m lucky enough to be able to be out in it without interfering with anyone or ever possibly getting bored. Seeds need to be planted, things need to be weeded. Doing this very practical, yearly ritual is without doubt helping me. Plus, I get lettuce and grapes and onions and garlic in return. It keeps me grounded and thankful when I could so easily spin myself out.
I’ve been taking photos and making videos. I will always document my life, this time is no different.
The flowers all around, the smell of turk’s cap lilies, carnations and lilacs would almost make you forget that there’s anything wrong at all.
I’ve learned how to make vegan doughnuts and sushi, I’m writing and crocheting, sending letters and making zines. I cannot draw though - it’s just not coming but I won’t force it, it’ll come back eventually.
I’m reaching out in all directions, txting people and trying to really connect with my internet friends. Who knows when this will really be fully over, so I want to at least be linked up remotely with as many people as possible until such a time as it’s safe to see people again.
Staying as much in the moment as possible, a lifelong learning.
Willow is, of course, helping greatly. I can’t stop. She needs me.
I’d like so much to go for a picnic with you. It doesn’t have to be far or fancy even. But I can make doughnuts and sushi now since this all kicked off. I’m sure I saw you making sourdough the first week or two. And pretzels! Very fancy.
We can load up a basket with nibbles and nice drinks, hummus and crusty bread, olives and vegan feta. Stop, of course you can bring all the non vegan stuff too. I don’t mind one bit, as long as there’s plenty of nice food and things to share. Maybe we’ll go to the beach, or off to Connemara. Or I can throw a blanket on the grass behind my house and you can visit for a long weekend. Or stay for a week and we can have 3 meals a day, with proper coffee. We’ll talk about everything, just like we always do. The kettle will never be long off the boil. We can make mojitos with the forest of mint growing amongst the flowers.
How bout we meet in a city we’ve never been, I’ll find you at the airport and we can spend a few days discovering the place and each others secrets all over again.
Are music festivals fancy? Can we go camping and ambling around fields of unknown music for awhile. Drive home then hoarse, with the windows down, body sore from the revelry.
I miss marching. I know it’s not fancy but they are a big deal to me. I’d love to be purposefully walking a few kilometres with you shouting about something terrible happening that needs fixing. And all that comes afterwards. I miss feeling like we are changing the world for the better, together.
Or maybe, the places I’ll go? I need to visit you and that new house and new baby of yours before they start school. We can go places people go with babies, or we can just hang out at your house. Whatever is easiest for you, I’m easy. New babies are such a big deal, I can’t believe I haven’t met them yet!
I have to go to Canada and see your house! That is such a big deal too and we should have had a party by now, but well…And I want you to take me all around, to all the places you’ve told me about. I want to see where you live, how you live.
I have to visit you in Paris and stay much longer this time. We don’t have to go anywhere or do anything, just your usual haunts. Just bring me around your dailies. That is extravagant enough for me.
And I have to visit you and your house in France! Oh it’s so exciting and I’m so proud of you. We can just hang out there like we used to do. Not doing anything other than being at the same coordinates on the map. Surely that’s enough after all of this. Really, it’s always been enough.
And I’ll have to visit you, and you, and you and you…in Dublin. But you all know each other too, so maybe we could ALL just meet up, wouldn’t that be nice. Can we go somewhere kind of quiet so we can have a proper chat? And you’ll have to come over from London, obviously. That goes without saying at the stage. Oh! And you’ll have to come up, and over and down and across. Let’s just ALL meet in Dublin, yes?
And you can finally show me the botanic gardens. How I’ve not been yet at this stage is anyone’s guess.
We can meet up the next time your home. I know we always say that, but let’s make it happen next time?
You can come meet me to. We don’t actually have to go anywhere. Just being with you will do.
I hope we get out the other end of this. I hope you or I don’t get sick - I don’t think I have it in me to fight again so soon. Not just now.
I hope you are minding yourself now, whatever that looks like. Please wear a mask - who cares if you think you are getting funny looks - fuck them. I want you around when all of this is through, to do all the fun things I just told you.
I hope all your ones are ok. That they all make it. That you don’t experience any unnecessary, unexpected heartache.
I hope all these new connections blossom after. That you’ll still write me long letters about the dream you had last night, or that project your really excited about. Text me too, obviously, but you know how much I love surprise post every so often.
I hope you can pick up somewhat where you left off. That that gig you couldn’t perform can be rescheduled, maybe in such a way that I can buy a ticket and watch it remotely? I hope things are more accessible when this is through. That’s one good thing that should be made better and better.
I hope you find A Someone. I hope you find peace. I hope you find closure. I hope you find an answer and some relief from that pain. I would take it from you myself if bodies worked like that.
I hope I find an answer too. Hopefully soon.
I hope we see each other. I really want to give you a hug, so much it makes me teary eyed just visualising it. That first hug - just be prepared for me to cry at some stage.
I just love and miss you so much…please return to the start for the reasons why.