I was talking to my friend Anne the other day about not wanting family to read our work, and how freeing it is that they don't. I accidentally said this in an interview once and although Simon wasn't at the interview (not interested!) the brilliant Tara Black drew a comic of it and word got round, and back to Simon, that he wasn't interested in my writing and hurt his feelings a little bit. But I was thinking about the I, Clodia poems and how I imagined every poem as being not simply a poem but a move in a complicated game, directed always at Catullus, as I imagined his poems directed always at her, always intended as strategy, but always, also, likely to misfire, to be the wrong move, to be taken the wrong way. For me, it is as simple and uncomplicated for SImon to read my poems as not to, because they are not strategic moves in a game we are playing, there is no games-playing between us. He isn't entirely uninterested in my poetry but he has no hermeneutic interest in it, he doesn't have to work out what I am saying to him with it, because for that, we can talk to each other. There was a time, a few years ago, when I was lying on the carpet in our living room, and Simon was cooking in the other room, and I had the most profound sense of contentment. I realised I was in the position I spent much of my childhood in, lying on a carpet, listening to my mother in the next room, and I remembered what it was like to be a child and be able to play the most complicated imaginary games in front of everyone, with some pieces of lego, or with coloured pencils on a piece of paper, or moving little figures and objects about, knowing that even with the outer workings of your inner life on display you were completely private because no one was remotely interested. The child psychologist D W Winnicott called this feeling of profound safety being "alone in the presence of the mother." I think my mother was very good at being present without being intrusive, and it is this sense of being alone in the presence of the world I think I find in writing now.
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