Two Songs for Valentine's Day

The first, for reasons of my own, is a song which reminds me very much of the first time I landed in Baltimore, and the second of nightshifts in a Corby warehouse just after I finished my undergraduate exams at Oxford. I was living with my grandfather and earning money on Sainsbury's one-hand-distant agency shilling. In those days, the feeling when I got home just before sunrise and took those steel capped boots off was unbelievably sensual. Mad, that.

The video of the second, by the way, is capable of being bizarrely poignant--a song dedicated to a dead army comrade through a demonstration of ice skating set to music of a different sort of love. Petrenko really deserves credit for doing it. Words fail me, but he does dance well.

I love being human. I hope that you are in love, wherever you are. Blogging will be light again, this week, as I am off out to a very fine but homely French place tomorrow and working my socks off for the rest of the week.

Oh, ps, for any young men reading-If you, as I was, are forgetful and a little clumsy, may I perhaps recommend that you steal the Rosetti poem below and present it on being asked for the date upon which you first met the current or forever love of your life. I remember situations, clothes, looks of those women I have known exactly, but almost never dates and times and the sort of things that constitute proof. Whilst I am at it, Yeat's embroidered cloths of heaven, which I used to deploy romantically, is a bit hackneyed for a man of my jaded age, though if you are younger I strongly suggest that you memorise it and learn where Vega and the Pleiades are. Point them out. Any women like that. I remember once, and it is too long a story to say why, ending up sitting on a mobile veterinary van in a tough part of North Carolina sinking bourbons with a lesbian trucker film director and her lawyer girlfriend, and picking out stars whilst chatting about the world at midnight; it was a real bonding moment, and I got to share their couch with a very friendly pit bull until I got a nicer place elsewhere. I got called civilised too. This, too, could happen to you.

Really, the rewards of impressing women, sometimes by pretending not to care, are well worth the effort, even if your love lasts days. There is a reason Liberty, Peace and wisdom are all usually depicted as women. Get loved. Sex is fun, and absurd, and will make a fool of anyone, but love is better and the secret of the universe. Its the best advice anyone could possibly give.

I wish I could remember that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught that I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand.--Did one but know!


Anonymous said…
Martin, We went to see Leonard Cohen in Sydney very recently. He looks so much older than in this video! But age has taken nothing away from him. It was a wonderful concert, a really quite amazing and very moving performance. Huge respect for his musicians, with whom he shared the stage. Even Martin, who wasn't too bothered about attending a show with some 'miserable, drawling depressive' admitted that he put on a fantastic performance. He still thought the Webb Sisters were the highlight.

As for the rest of the stuff, I don't know. I think I'm too old.

DBC Reed said…
Enough of the season of sloppiness.Have you soon the new True Grit yet? I like to hope its the true True Grit.
Martin Meenagh said…
M, I doubt that.

DBC, great to hear from you. I am a fanatic about the first 'True Grit'--one of the finest films a person could see, with dialogue that has me smiling for days every time I play the dvd. I'm therefore not sure about the new one, but I'm open to persuasion.

Many apologies for the lack of posts--I have been preoccupied, and am too taken with facebook when I am timewasting these days, but should be back to what passes for normal blogging soon.

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