Restless Lapping of the Soul

Decades ago, when I was a child on the fringes of manhood, when I lived with my parents in a huge, ugly house in Luxembourg, I dreamt I would one day be free. Freedom lapped at the edges of my soul, whispered in my ear, flickers of hope, embers of desire. Like an animal caged I could do nothing but hope and wait, for children do not get to make their own lives. As rain pelted on the pebble-dashed walls of our house that bordered the railway, and mist hung like a blanket on the pine forest that rose from the village, I sat on my own. I poured over books of photographs, images of lands that I dreamed of. I wanted to go to Israel, transfixed by its sun and otherness. Short of any other way of expressing my yearning, my desire that was in danger of exploding, I taught myself Hebrew and I drew and painted. Eventually that dream came true. I did leave home one day years later. And I did live in Israel. What you wish for, eh? Now I have a new dream. It has been brewing slowly, brought to the boil by the nightmarish trauma of Brexit and the danger the dream might be denied. I am planning to make my dream real and move to France. I want to go now. Right now. But I cannot quite escape yet. So I wait, and the wait is interminable. In the meantime I have started strengthening my French like a man possessed, as though my dream depended on it. And to quench the flames of longing I paint France. As though I was there. The painting above can be purchased at


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