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Friday, 24 January 2014

Amber. Losing not Finding/Drowning not Waving.

                                                           Loosing Amber
I watch the final episode of Amber on Television last night. A four parter, this drama was expressed to be about the effect on the people around a missing person of enduring absence and impenetrable.mystery. I listen with bemusement to the comments phoned in on the radio this morning, criticising the lack of resolution. It was resolved, horribly,  authentically in a fourteen year old girl walking away from the viewer, deeper into a shadowy country road, her gait that heartbreaking mix of child and young woman combined. A white van passes her silently, ominously, and is up ahead in the darkness. A train from the station where she alighted passes in purring indifference, back towards city and people. The camera pans back to the now empty road. The credits roll. I stand at the foot of the stairs in my house calling my daughters names, to check if they're home. I know they are home

                                                       The Universe Contracting
It was gruelling, engaging, shattering in its discoveries of details, clues played out and leading nowhere. Teasing, dramatic possibilities around a mobile phone found, an imprisoned man's disturbing references to the girl, an internet chat room.  False trails all,  incomplete, tantalisingly possible, leading nowhere. The drama was in the desperate attempts of police and family  to find the story, the logic, the backdrop and so the girl. The horror  in the fact that there was no story, only a series of random.events, impossible to line up in the vital time frame. A peculiar kind of agony, to lose your child to such a dark ambivalent limbo. A contracting universe.

I thought of  Madeleine McCann, of the raft of missing girls and young women in Ireland over the past decades, the families' forgotten torment  resurfacing from time to time, in some new media trumpeted discovery.  You realise afresh that you have simply moved on  from  a  place where  they remain pinned. I remember the terror, if not actual paranoia I experienced when  my children was infants, that war, pestilence, accidental danger would get into my house and destroy them in their aching fragility. You hardly notice its slow retreat as they grow, your hostages to fortune. A carapace really. This drama tips you back into that place in a visceral way. Exceptional television.

                                                    Expanding Universe
"We'll  have to get one of those things " my husband nods his head stoutly, "I mean do you realise  how much water the fragrant threesome get through on a daily basis. Do you?."  "Umm??". We are having a discussion on waste, husbanding of resources, budgeting. That kind of conversation you tend to have in January. We are to have the new water charges extracted from our shrinking purse, later on in the year. The dear man has heard of a devise that cuts off the water supply to the shower after a decent interval!. "I mean you know we will be needing cash for food, firing, dancing, singing, acting lessons!. Not to mention all the other notions the beautiful girl has yet to come to in her future career choices". Yeah. Yes. Correct. Budgeting, planning ahead, yeah we should. We will.

 I think of all the options the beautiful girl and her sister actually have, on the back of luck, ability, ferocious determination.  The boy's wayward wilful eccentric promise, too.  I think of the massive expansion of opportunity, courses, resources from when I was stepping of that diving board. I think of tipping over into darkness, of Amber.  "I tell you what, lets let 'em shower away, rince, sluice and shampoo to their dear hearts content, dance, read, run, see where it takes 'em. Let's just  pay up, shell out, cough up as long as we have cash or credit until we're stony broke. Let's just do it, no limits, no begrudging, no hold barred from this place of light and  hope and promise into the mercifully expanding universe."  "No?" "Yeah" he says,"Right so. Let's."