Lisa Matthews

Photograph of You in Front of Hills

In memory of Andrew Waterhouse

We’d have so much more to talk about these days. There’s lists of things and Rachel Carson figures in lots of  them – who’d have thought it? You were the first person to leave a message on my first answer machine, with its tiny tape that could be held between thumb and forefinger. I remember that because of what happened. You left our lives. And I think it was your choice, or at least as much of a choice as we have in anything. And really, what does the word “choice” or any other mean? And what does that say about us whose business is words –  the folding in or hauling up of everything to a lattice of sound, into lines on a page, on walls, in the throat, in the soul? Every day, every action, every person, made and remarkable. And the sound of your voice is still as spark-bright as the birdsong outside, or the drill to the right of me beyond Gashouse Lane, or the smooth hum of the fluorescent lights above my head. It is always hard to write of the dead, we all have shards of them buried in our hearts, in our hands. But in the end it’s just as hard to live, but live we must. Through these sounds, these lines, these books, through the things we need to say.

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer