Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The grandchild who is; and the person I could not be




On my way to my grandchild this morning and on the bus beside me sat a happy gay couple.

They were sitting in the front of the top deck, enjoying it like a treat, and giggling and teasing each other  and putting on funny voices and laughing at each other jokes and enjoying each other’s company like a couple in love.

It was a joy to be with them. I started thinking of myself at that age, 19, 20 or so, and still possessed by fear and shame. Like Pip, not knowing who I was, and my sexuality, above all, a dark and painful mystery to me.

When I was 18 a lovely man fell in love with me, a man called Mike I really really liked. But he feared for his job, and with reason, and his own shame and self loathing so great he lacked the capacity to help me overcome mine.

Homosexuality was still illegal in those days.

We had internalised all the law’s oppression and shame, and so could do nothing for each other but make ourselves miserable.

And I wondered what would have happened if, like these two delightful young men, I had been able to enter my gay sexuality.

I might have been spared many years of suffering; and lost many years of joy also.

I would probably not have met my partner, or fallen in love with her, we would almost certainly have been unable to have children together.

My wonderful daughters would never have come into the world; nor would I have had the joy of holding this exquisitely beautiful snuffling we creature in my happy arms.

There are so many different paths we could all have travelled; and none involved quite such joy. Or quite such suffering.

And how much better the world is since I was young. And how much worse.

Impossible to weigh them in the balance, I reflect, as I hand the wee Alex back to my daughter, and he finds her nipple, sucks, and immediately starts to relax. Relax into infinite bliss. The bliss of our original blessing.

The amazing new born being: doing exactly what he knows he needs to do, and with all the skills he needs to do it.

And helped and supported by love. The two of them look beatific.

We smile at each other in our shared happiness. And I give thanks.

Nothing else. Nothing else to be done.


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