Thursday 2 February 2012


You will be sympathetic to know that Liz had been laid low with a lurgie these last few days. How bad it was, in reality, is hard to assess. The first day I got up and prepared for a normal day when I realised that I was still sitting on the bed pulling on a sock five minutes after that manoeuvre had been initiated. I reversed the process, removed my upper and outer garments, too, and got back in to the bed. The next day I reviewed my situation and realised that, were I to have an exam that day, I would certainly have been able to get it together and present myself as required. However, I have not had to take an exam for about fifty five years so there was no incentive in that category. I have, however, experienced similar situations. Fifty years ago, I had my first child. The day after his arrival was certainly comparable with the day after exams. There was the most delicious feeling of 'it's over. It's done. I 've got through' I'm not sure about flying colours but I am quite sure about blood and sweat; tears, too, of joy and relief that there were ten of all that should be ten and four of all that should be four and a complement of accessories, as in eyes and nose and the like. Today, I arose and prepared myself as if for a normal very-well-thank-you day. As it happens, I don't feel all that well but the spirit feels better upright than prone. There is no rehearsal for being three score and more than ten and, when I feel poorly, I am always wondering how much is due to virus and how much to antiquity. The Father of my children is four score. He would be a good reference point but he is in such robust good health that he is disqualified - unqualified? - from being a role model. There is no rehearsal for first time childbirth , neither. Several miscarriages gave me a clip but there was no way to pre-see the whole film. Fortunately, if one goes on to have more than one child, the first can serve as a good run-through of what to expect. How is it I can remember every moment of that birth from forty nine years, eleven months and two days ago when I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning? (Yes, I can. It was just a poetically licenced way to put short-term memory loss).

Liz has another reason for being up and about, today. There is to be a rehearsal of "Under Milk Wood" this evening. Adult for the last circa sixty years, but still influenced by maternal counsel, I am doubtful about staying in all day and then going out in the freezing night air to attend. I have to be particularly careful because, not having been assigned the part I aspired to and saw myself as best qualified for, my inner world may conspire to make me forget to go or raise my temperature back up so that even this matyr could not possibly go out. The fact that one is particularly well related to one's unconscious rarely precludes its doing what it likes to achieve what it really wants, no matter what, I've found, haven't you? Illness is a very reliable way to make an I-don't-really-want-to statement. I believe there is a way in which the inner world does offer the possibility of serving as a rehearsal for life. As in: I will try out whether this is the right thing for me and if I break a leg so that I can't proceed I shall know it is not. Someone I know quite well complained, for a long time, of a stiff neck. Movement was difficult and she was in constant pain. On top of that, she had a very demanding job and a toddler with the usual NO, WONT,SHANT, CANT MAKE ME position in life. She tried everything you would expect her to try and it was not until it was pointed out to her that her life was a pain in the neck that she began to feel any relief. Anyway, I shall apply my poorly self to my disappointed role. As in life, keep a sharp eye out for hidden signposts and hope, that in spite of poorly understood and under-appreciated rehearsals, it will be alright on the night. Prynhawn da.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never mind those missing eleven months; arithmetic isn't all that important. What you told us about that day is what matters, and it was very moving. Thank you.
Hope the lurgie has limped away.