It’s the week before Christmas 2010 and although the New Year does not start for another two weeks Christmas day is always the day that signifies the end of the year for me; the six days after it is almost a grace period before the New Year, almost like fates way of giving us a time of adjustment.
So I sit here thinking over the year and the changes it has brought. Some of the changes this year was instigated by occurrences in the last, which is fitting I suppose, again perhaps this is fate telling us that nothing is truly trivial to the individual; not that all the changes could be considered so even by the most cynical.
One of the more trivial things that began in 2009 that changed my year was the beginning of the Dead End Podcasts that I record bi-weekly with two friends Simon and Dave. Over the last eighteen months or so our audience have grown, we have discussed official engagements with other organisations (namely the Lighthouse Cinema) and have, hopefully, grown into something more professional and entertaining to those who lend us their time. This is a little journey that I began with no thought other than to have a chance to talk to two old friends who I rarely see in the flesh anymore. The podcast itself was merely a consequence of this and I cared little for it. Over the following six months or so I suppose it began to have a meaning of its own and now… well… I guess that it means something to me now; it’s become more than the sum of its parts.
The other change from last year that has significantly changed this year for me was something that, on the surface of it, had little to do with me directly at all.
A friend’s mother died. I knew her well and my own mother has many times referred to her as “like a mother” to me. When I visited them (two brothers who lived with their mother) I was treated as one of the family and I would not go cold or hungry. I was treated well there, perhaps even when I didn’t entirely deserve it. I was there the day I was told of my Grandfathers death some years before and that moment is my most enduring memory of that time. I had a phone call telling me that a car was coming for me and so I waited. The family stayed with me, saying little but seeming comfortable with my loss in the same way that I was myself. It was something that I expected to happen, but forewarning or not the experience still hit like an iron glove.
I would suppose that when they lost their mother they felt something similar.
Over the following year the oldest brother in this family and I have become much closer. We were always good friends and we spent a lot of time together but in the years before his mother’s death he was a different person. Inevitably something like this has to change a person and it changed this man. How it changed him is another post (one that I don’t think I’ll ever write) but one of the most outwardly obvious changes is that we have become that special breed of friend where honesty is valued and held in genuine high regard.
A lot of what you see on this blog, and a lot of what you see in the various websites I have become attached to (such as Dead End Podcasts and City of Blackbridge) are a direct result of his inclusion into this creative network of people. This is because no one is an island, however much we may feel like it sometimes, and our actions (or sometimes inactions) always affect those around us.
So our success over the last year with many of our projects are in part thanks to him, just as they are in thanks to Dave and Simon and, yes, even myself (I got to say thanks to stansnig too, couldn’t it without you mate); but we all take a shard of the thanks and the responsibility knowing that together we are better for our friendships with each other. I can’t help but wonder whether this is something unusual when I see so many other people struggling with their relationships the way they so often do.
There’s other year-end stuff floating around my head. In fact this post is nothing like I imagined it to be when I started (I was going to be talking “films” this post; you can see how well that worked out for me). So I’ll write another one fairly soon I imagine.