I hate those annoying instances when people suggest they will tell you ‘all’ (or more) ‘about it later’ and then say nothing. It is difficult to remind them at a later date – so you go on through life feeling there is something you ought to know and don’t.
Reading back through a few posts I note enigmatic references to my friend ‘Shady JD’ (as I now like to think of him!) I have ‘lived’ with JD for several months now and have been busily finding out about him with an army of helpers in the shape of friends, relatives and total strangers. His story is remarkable and I am going to write it – so watch this space (but don’t hold your breath!) Writing takes forever and getting published takes even longer – but I want to do this properly, so will take what time is necessary.
His portrait hangs (for the time being) in my house. He watches me with an inscrutible expression, as if to say "Well, are you getting on with it?" or "Found anything interesting?" or even "Doing me justice?" It is strange how a picture can get under your skin. I begin to feel I really know this man – and then something turns up and I find I do not know him at all – all my perspectives are forced to change because of a new piece of information.
So I discover that researching a book is as long as the proverbial piece of string. Like Winston Churchill I load my metaphorical brush with paint and hang over the empty canvas unable to make a mark. I seem to remember somebody came along and seizing Churchill’s brush, sploshed colour all over the place – so removing the pristine barrier that was preventing him from starting his painting. Maybe I need someone to do something similar – or perhaps JD will amaze me one morning and speak!
There is an old saying that you need to ‘walk in a man’s shoes for a mile, before you can know him’. I am having trouble walking at the moment – and so did JD. It is all curiously helpful in drawing us together across the years. I hope I do not need any of his other afflictions in order to understand him – but then that would be telling you too much.
Oh dear – now I’ve done it again!