Out by one second

Another postcard from the land of grief

There comes a point when living in a foreign country where your description of how long you have been there changes. There comes a point where you stop referring to weeks, or even months – and say instead the year in which you moved there.

In one sense, the passing of a calendar year is an artificial construct – when the clocks tick over from 23:59 to 00.01 in a few hours’ time the difference is no more than a matter of minutes. In another sense – it is all the difference in the world. We humans have a need to divide up time in order to make sense of it. Hours, moments, months and years are the cataloguing system in our mental library and we cannot do without them.

From 00:01 tomorrow, it will be last year that I moved to this foreign country. From 00:01 it will be last year that I last held her hand, heard her voice or saw her smile. From 00:01 it will be last year that she died.  In truth, those things will be no further from me than they are right now – but they may well feel it.

Right now, my faith in a God who was yesterday, is today, and will be tomorrow matters more than ever.

‘Not wanted on voyage’