We made our coffees and then sat together but apart on the lawn. The heat from the cup warmed my hands while I squinted under the bright morning sun. I played Sweet Jane with my headphones in. Not Lou Reed’s version. No, the Cowboy Junkie’s cover; over and over again the way you do when you really want to soak in every word and feel every beat. Even Lou admits it’s probably the best of them all. “Anyone who’s ever had a dream / Anyone who has ever played a part.” When I opened my eyes, his foot was in sight tapping against the grass the way it does when he is thinking about the thing he always thinks about. My own mind was now on lunch. Sifting through the fridge and having deliriously happy thoughts about which plate I’d carefully lay the thin slices of prosciutto on, how I would slice the tomato, which oil, how much salt. Motionless, I’d opened a can of anchovies and could almost taste it on my lips.
Then, as though I’d been saying it all out loud, he asked randomly if we had enough bread. As I thought about the way he goes out early regardless of the weather to procure it while still warm and how the baby steals the show and is showered in donuts I would never let her eat, I felt that kind of joy that takes over you. A feeling that you have all you will ever need right here, right now, an ebullience that is almost unbearably painful.
We dedicate this issue to those moments.
While much we will be written about this time we are living in – the intensity, the uncertainty – what we will hold onto the most is the scattered joy.
For some it comes in clean sheets.
In the pure thoughts and cheeky smiles of children.
Karaoke with a friend who remembers rap music before the 90s.
Baby curls you just can’t cut off.
Three martini lunches.
Staring out to ocean and finding the answers.
The sound of someone you love when they are really, truly laughing.
A rhinestone bra.
Dancing, sweating and touching.
Those few minutes just after midnight that seem to go for longer.
And watching a plant grow and respond to light and water and well, all those things we take for granted.
Sometimes in having nothing, we have everything.
There is our joy.
MODEL Kesewa Aboah @ Viva London wears BOTTEGA VENETA dress
PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Craig
FASHION Anna Foster
HAIR Earl Simms @ Caren
MAKEUP Naoko @ The Wall Group using Armani
PHOTOGRAPHER'S ASSISTANTS Maya Skelton and Katie Burdon
STYLIST'S ASSISTANT Malina Robotin
CASTING Megan McCluskie
PRODUCTION NM Productions
With thanks to Laylow.