Monday, 30 January 2012

Into your arms

One of the trickiest things about being a tough divorcée in wintry northern Italy is that ‘love’ still comes to ring your bell. I’m not averse to love. Savage love, placid love, criminal love. I’ve fallen into it several times, and fallen out of it with an ugly bump afterwards. There was a time when I truly believed that what I had was enriching and everlasting. It was not.

(But let me be clear. One of the loveliest things is an enduring couple, a soft-edged and caring couple. A pair who embrace, make love, cook, read the same books, have their silly in-jokes. God knows they exist, and thankfully I know some of them.)

Another of the tricky things about being a tough divorcée in wintry northern Italy is that it is assumed you are a huntress. It is assumed that you are insatiable and available. Young men with tattoos assume you’d like a little Mrs. Robinson. Desirable husbands wink and hold your arm at length. Sturdy unmarrieds give you worried looks, soiled with temptation. It is assumed that as a divorcée you have busted men’s hearts and must be a tempesta in bed. Oh and add years in Africa to that. It means you have the fiery tropics within.

Okay it’s not so bad. But oh to be taken seriously. As a woman without a label, a woman who chose her path not because of sex or income or betrayal but because these are the things that happen. Oh what the hell, write a book about it…

But back to love, or something dangerously close. It isn’t really fair the way this emotion returns, wells, plays riffs along your senses, even at this ripe and supposedly mature age. It isn’t really fair the way your delight takes shape, making your skin luminous and your eyes wide. Wasn’t it only last month that you were like every second woman in every second film I’m never going to fall in love again. I don’t need a man! ?

It isn’t fair, is it? The way this lesion, repaired, leaves such easily forgotten traces.


  1. What a beautiful post, Cat. You're right, of course. It isn't fair. If only we knew the secret of how to turn off, life would be so much easier.

  2. Yes MSB, you would think we would learn..

    But the good news is... my book is being printed! Can't wait to receive my copy. This has been a long long love affair that's not over yet!

  3. Gah! Oh our dear, sweet, tough Cat, who is this man who has you tied up in knots??
    (hands clapping excitedly)
    Every book needs a sequel...

    You know of my many beliefs that grow and change there is one that always remains...I believe in love. Entirely.

  4. I can't help the wicked grin on my face right now. Our Cat, our stiletto-wearing sophisticate, is twitterpated! Do tell us he's tall, dark and handsome. Do tell us how he makes your heart go pitter-pat. . . .

  5. Gah exactly Lyra! This must stop! Must concentrate on book. There is already soo much material for a sequel...

    Stop grinning Averil! Of course he is tall, dark and handsome. A rock. And I think my heart has crawled under it.

  6. Wanting, reaching, letting go, comfort, security, pangs, desire, calm, not-yearning, yearning...

    Yes. It's a whirlwind, a whirlpool, a breeze blowing past and sometimes taking you with it (I hope, one day).

  7. Lovely words Hannah, and yes I think we are all swept away by it!

  8. Love can be a dangerous thing, but oh so delicious. :)

  9. Oh yes Talli! It's just that when you've had nearly as many endings as beginnings.. you begin to wonder. But yes, delicious!