Listened to final installment of Derek Jarman‘s Modern Nature – Radio 4’s book of the (last) week. I was struck by how it ‘just ended’ – no conclusion, no resolution, no signing off … but of course that is exactly how Jarman’s diaries ended. A life cut short by a terrible illness – something that I recognise only too well.
I listened to the episode twice to make sure that I had not missed something – an editor’s postscript providing the date of Jarman’s death or something else that ‘closed the book’. Radio silence that followed Rupert Evert’s reading was so poignant, so moving – a truly brilliant piece of radio.
In those silent seconds I experienced surprise, shock, anger, disappointment, loss, and sadness. Then came that warm sorrow that accompanies my thoughts of John, Vikki, James, Francois, Peter, Kathy, Jane.
The copy of Modern Nature that sits on my bookshelf was Vikki’s. We visited Dungeness together, it was after Jarman had died. It was, and hope still is, a special place.
I think that it might be a good time to watch Jarman’s film again.