Loss of a Loved Place and Time
You may feel a loss of a place you loved as a child for example, or it may be where you went with someone once loved, or no longer alive. Often a place is loved because it holds memories. Or it could be a home which has literally been ‘lost’ because now belonging to someone else.
Writing about loss almost always I involves memory, but it’s a good idea not to harp on the idea of memory too much. Better to describe what he see in your minds eye still, or when you return to the place. If a place is loved it is well remembered and so the details will be in your mind still, and if you can express them, then the very sharpness of the detail will express your loss.
For example, in the village in Shropshire where I grew up there was a field (now a park) we visited in which there was a small stream (now gone) and in the stream small fish we used to catch. We called then ‘red-throats’ and ‘silver-throats’, and they used to hovered under the water, sometimes under weeds there, an then all suddenly dart in the same direction as if they made a smear on the water. The stream was an outlet from a lake and once my friend Donny looked down at his gumboots in the water and saw a big pike gently floating between them.
One way of doing this task is simply to pile up memories like that. When our dog got stomach-ache, when he was accused to chasing chickens, how he used to pant with eyes closed in the field, with his tongue like rasher of bacon, and how his long back tooth pushed it up at the side, how his nosed looked to me then like a blackberry, the sound of his claws ripping at the grass when he ran with his ears back. How the fence of our garden mad a hissing along its whole length when someone climbed over to visit. How the butterflies twinkled among the cabbages Dad planted. Mum’s bike with a basket on the front and in which I used put a hedgehog I’d found.
Sometimes you revisit these places and times, either in our minds or dreams, and may feel like our own ghost floating through them. Or we may actually return, and then we notice difference. Or we may feel in some way we are always, ‘there’, with part of ourselves.
You could write the piece from the point of view of its local spirit, from the point of view of a dream, or just a story in the past or the present tense. You might try both past and present and see what effect each has. Memory is strange because it is both past and present to us now, isn’t it?