Life is full of challenges. Not just my life, looking around its obvious that most of the people I know get more than what seems like a fair share of crap. Life is just not easy. I’ve lived for more years than I can count in survival mode. Just holding together, keeping going, dealing with each new setback as it rolls in, and trying to make the best of the good things. Moments when the sun shines, the streak of electric blue that is a kingfisher. A not working weekend where I can snuggle with my bloke for a bit. The small things have been what I live for.
What I’ve not had, for a long time, is any real hope. Any serious belief that I could do more than survive, and frequently doubts that even survival would be possible. One day at a time, sometimes one breath at a time, I have pushed onwards, waiting for the thing that would finally put me down in a way I could not get up from. That hasn’t happened yet.
I’m getting feedback about the Druid books, and people, your words stun me. I’ve been awed and humbled by the words people have offered back in response to what I’ve written. It makes me want to go further, and do more and it gives me a sense that I can do some useful work in the world. In the last few days, the reviews have been coming in for Hopeless Maine, as well. It’s getting a bit unreal. Big comics websites talking about us. More importantly, people getting the work, grasping what we meant, and responding to all the little details. I never dared to imagine that we’d get to this sort of point. I start to feel that we could get somewhere.
A life of survival, a life without hope is not an easy or happy one. Even the most irrational hope is remarkably sustaining if you can hang on to it. Living day to day waiting for the universe to finish off and crush you properly – I can’t say I recommend it. Tom and I have held on to each other through the hard times, and to the knowledge that whatever else we might not have, we have what we feel. Bearing in mind that because of the international angle, we have not had the same guarantees of being able to be together or stay together that most couples take for granted. The tiny threads of hope that have kept us going have been hard to hang onto in face of some of the things we’ve had to deal with. And here we are, getting somewhere, watching the good reviews roll in and thinking that we can go further and do more.
We make a promise, one that we have made to each other repeatedly for years now. If this works, if the books sell, if there is money to spare, we will take that money and do good stuff with it, and try to share that goodness as widely as we can. I daydream about all kinds of things that I think would help brighten life for people, add to the good stuff, help the planet. I want a device that turns poo into burnable fuel, for a start. Bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘log pile’. I want to be able to reach out and enable other people to follow their hearts, to make opportunities. I swear, if this book flies, I will use that as a jumping board to make more good stuff happen.
Thank you, everyone who has come this far with us, everyone who has supported us with words of encouragement, and practical aid. And by buying the books.