He shall return no more to his house



Out walking this morning I cut through the short-cut by the graveyard on Tunstall Common. You didn’t know there was one? Townies. Well there is. Anyway.

The stone nearest the path was dated 1832, erected to the memory of William and Hannah Smith of Potash, Tunstall and now I’ll have to find out where Potash is or was. It was part of fertiliser, if it helps. It begged the question what memory is, something I’ve been thinking a lot about after writing Not Your Heart Away and more particularly the ¬†film-script. The film ending is different and begs the question whether anything at all is real and true.

The more I think about it, the more Claire’s question to Ben, ‘Is it true? Do you think it’s true’ and Ben’s reply: ‘Maybe it doesn’t matter if it’s true, so long as you believe it is,’ seems to sum-up every question and answer I’ve ever heard.

Are Hannah and William remembered because I know their names, or are they really only remembered if I could say what colour her hair was, or whether he preferred beer or cider? Either way, they had a rather nice inscription on their tombstone:

‘He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.’

I don’t know the Bible but apparently it’s from the Book of Job. Hunter Thompson used to use a lot of biblical quotes if you remember. He said it was because it was the one book handy in every hotel he ever stayed in when he was stuck for a quote, or just someone else’s stuff to read.

It made me think of the sequel to Ben and Claire’s story and just as I did a Spitfire seemed to lace through the still bare fingers of the trees and the sound of all the lives that were never lived rumbled through the clouds. It was Caroline Grace flying her plane from her workshops at Rendlesham two miles away. ¬†Nothing supernatural at all. Not really.

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