I met little Jordan for the first time today. He was sat alone, in a living room in Kensal Rise, playing with an abacus. An abacus comprised of either beads or hearts. Afternoon sunlight and patchwork quilts provided comfort amidst an otherwise overwhelming sense of solitude. It was the first time I’d said hello to him in two decades. He was summoned to me through heart ache and a personal lack of understanding. An inability to communicate how I truly felt. When the light is in front of you it’s easy to ignore your shadow. But in the absence of light the shadow is unavoidable. It’s overwhelming.
“When you hurt other people you hurt yourself”
He said, arms outstretched. Angelic undefined face populated by a pair of unknowing eyes. Eyes unaware of the tears that would form around them from a lack of self love. Tears flooding a void left from misjudgement and unconscious sabotage. I picked him up and held him in my arms. Intellect had no place. I felt the emotional black box that he was trapped inside. An endless pearl of turmoil that hadn’t yet surfaced. I apologised for not being there for him. He was forgiving. I asked him what he wanted and he said
In that moment I realised how much I miss my Gran. With her died a nurturance and love that was imperative to me as a child. With her died warm apple stew, chicken soup for the soul and the seven times table. A connection to my father who, at the time, was a lost boy himself. I hadn’t taken the time to ask little Jordan how this effected him and he told me that he really missed her. Growing up with one dominant parent can lead to years of imbalance. I wish that more men knew this. I wish that more men challenged the destructive paths laden by our patriarchal society. I wish that more men held boys in their arms and told them that it’s ok to be sad. That the untangling of their hurt doesn’t have to come at the expense of someone else’s love. I wish that Hollywood narratives of ownership weren’t so emblazoned in our minds. Instead, we could be shown that the flower of mutual desire grows beyond questioning when tended to lovingly. We need to start being fathers and give ourselves to time.
Our first publicity postcard, taken in the depths of Rotherhithe, London. Clea lived in Rotherhithe, in Thames Tunnel Mills, a 19c flour mill restored into flats. I still lived in Kensal Rise with Ben, finishing film college and finding another voice in music
Check out this place: The Shop in Kensal Rise. It’s well known for its cocktails served in jam jars and milk bottles, locally sourced food and unique music collaborations. Our favourite was called ‘Your Mum Rang’, but next on our list to try is 'Shop Credit’ with wormwood vodka, pomegranate juice, apple juice and fresh lime shaken with passionfruit syrup, elderflower cordial and topped with prosecco (of course served in a vintage SHOP milk bottle). Prices range between £3.50 and £9. My friends and I come here before nights out in 'Paradise’ just around the corner. Everything in 'The Shop’ is for sale.