Sorry, I Have to Go — And Come Again

Leaving the proximity of my grandchildren for the open sea

Harry Hogg


Image: Author at wheel of Lucky Sperm.

I’ve always loved the quiet shores, those unfettered with lovers, or other friendly beasts. I spend the time, lately, thinking about the purchase of a boat, not to sail away, having done so too many times, but to escape, live on, make it my home.

What concerns me is the coming of change — that onshore there is a disquiet, an uncertainty, neighborhoods at odds, and I’ve thought about this on long walks, till my feet have blisters, heading inland to where the sun sets behind buildings. I have discovered I cannot unwind to the sound of clocks in towers but only to the time when I have put my bare feet on polished sand.

I hold nothing back, guilty of dark suspicions and aware the end of something is encroaching. People live with little grace anymore. I’m out of community-based knowledge, but full of love. That said, I fear what love I know is limited to the circle of the Earth, its space, and time.

I’ve been busy making sure to live out one last dream, that upon the ocean I shall breathe my last breath.

So, I should expect in the year coming, I will be somewhere, not here, no longer writing my words in a walled garden, or in a park, sat in a coffee shop, or learning in libraries, because it’s time to begin cleaning out my closets.

There will be no need to mind my temper, stay in bed past the sound of rush hour traffic, eat in crowded restaurants, with no secret places to tell lies, big or small, or try to shape sandcastles from mortar.

I’ll have time to be bored…

But wait…aren’t bedtime stories waiting to be written, a child’s hand to hold, young birthdays to celebrate, examples to set, how the knife is on one side, fork on the other, children in which to invest my love?

Here is my dilemma. Grandchildren at the centre of my life. Young ears in which to whisper secrets. All my gentle, wasted love still to give. Children teaching me to be gentle, kind, and interested. How they make life real…willing me to come into their sunshine.

How quickly things change, dimples into wrinkles, and love changing back to what it was before it came.



Harry Hogg

Ex Greenpeace, writing since a teenager. Will be writing ‘Lori Tales’ exclusively for JK Talla Publishing in the Spring of 2024