Friday, 26 June 2009

The potential for devastation

It was on my mind all day. Not necessarily at the forefront, but certain triggers would bring it right back into sharp, tense focus.

Waiting for news: not wanting to phone but wanting to know, being sure that the phone call would come eventually.

The sometimes unbearable bliss of ignorance in the meantime, and the occasional moment of actual forgetting.

The forgetting is the worst, I remember vividly the times when I would forget that my father was terminally ill: you can't hold these things in your mind all the time - not if you want to retain at least some sanity - yet I would feel bad upon realising that I had experienced moments, however brief or long, of having forgotten.

(How dare I forget?)

Today I was forcefully reminded just what a tapestry can form in one's mind during the waiting: a multitude of potential outcomes. Not daring to hope that things might be ok. Yet also being aware that what for me was still a potential outcome was already an actuality, albeit one I didn't know as yet.

I made sure I ate something as soon as I got home, just in case the news, when it came, might render my appetite redundant for the foreseeable future. I sat in the "now" of the moment, wondering whether this "now" might also come to form a significant sense of "before."

The phone rang.

My heart, oddly enough, didn't leap into my throat. I was calm.

So was my mother.

Things are ok, at least for now, thank goodness. The subtle yet palpable charge in these moments, that electricity, I wish I could harness it somehow, to use that energy to propel so many things forward and onward.

Yet it seems to me - rightly or wrongly - that such electricity is only generated in these painful, special moments of waiting.

The rain has eased, outside is calm too: I'm sat quietly in the half-light of the evening.


Zhoen said...

Powerful times, I wish you great courage. When the time comes, you won't have to be told, you will know.

trousers said...

zhoen, thank you: I could barely wish for better words.

Reading the Signs said...

You capture this sense of being on a particular threshold. My best wishes to you and Trouserfather.

trousers said...

Thank you too, Signs. All is ok for now, though how long such a state of affairs will last, I'm not sure.

It's not Trouserfather, though (I like that word!), he's long since gone, it's my mother who was the cause for concern in this particular instance.

Reading the Signs said...

ah silly me, for I remember the lovely post you wrote concerning Trouserfather.

Good wishes and thoughts to you and Trousermother.

trousers said...

Hey no problem signs, it's a year or two since I wrote the post about my dad.

I appreciate the thoughts and wishes, very gratefully received.

zola a social thing said...

With deepest respect and well wishes to all Trouser-beings your words hit on me like an existential, stone cold sobering, moment.

Hemingway ended a book, after a death of a loved one, by walking home in the rain.

Your ending words threw me back just there.
Maybe we never really leave that zone anyway.

trousers said...

Thanks zola. I haven't read Hemingway but that does sound evocative and, indeed, sobering.

Do we ever leave that zone? I'm not sure, but I think it's a fine line.