Monday, 21 November 2011

Half full and half empty glasses

Our city has had a great tragedy. An horrific crime. There was a fire, deliberately lit, it seems by one of the nurses, who has been charged with murder, at an old people's home, and seven elderly people died, with many more seriously ill in hospital. Heroic firemen, police, staff, and neighbours combined to evacuate the home, and to tend to the victims. Imagine ending your days in an inferno, trapped and immobile in your bed. Unable to see, unable to move, unable to help yourself. A fire deliberately caused! I think of Dr P, and imagine if he had been a victim.

It is nine months since Dr P died. While this memory has been strongly present all through this day,  I bethought me of other and more immediate things, such as half full glasses. This mixture, this conflict between grief and memory, and coping with the necessities of the present tears me in two.

Thus I resort to the more trivial things in life.

On Saturday morning I felt delight, as a tiny boy pointed joyfully at the sky, crying "There's the moon."Well spotted. (I too love moon-spotting.)

My son showed me how to find the planet Mercury. I am very happy about this. I get very frustrated, because what with living on the down side of a hill and with  houses in between blocking the sight of the moon rise, I want to yowl when full moon approaches.

I am halfway through Hilary Mantel's novel Fludd, which is full of unexpected delights and surprises, and which revives many similar memories.

Today when I bought some prosciutto crudo, the young woman beside me at the deli counter complimented me on my pronunciation. I felt unreasonably delighted.

My friend rang to let me know there would be a wonderful program on Italian gardens. And I have visited one of them, at Bomarzo. It is quite a strange one and has a lopsided building on it.

My thoughts have turned to the prospect of going for a swim.

A little more order has been introduced to my documents, and this may possibly prevent their mysterious overnight increasing and multipying. I have become a devotee of coloured plastic folders.

I remembered it was the garden rubbish collection day on Sunday and put it all outside to be taken away. And no one nicked my garden rubbish bag.

I tidied up the contents of the hall cupboard, and have reduced the number of things therein. Now all I have to do is find legitimate means of disposal. There is a General Household Cleanup next weekend, but they don't really mean general, as they won't take dead scanners or printers, or electrical things like heaters. And there are two Marantz speakers which need a good home. Still, they are all now downstairs in the garage. Naturally, it immediately rained and some drops fell onto them.

The red and green alstroemeria still look just gorgeous.

In between them all, and the rampant mint, some basil is surviving.

Tomorrow, more lawyers.


Elisabeth said...

From trauma to joy in this post, and such a powerful post at that.

I've read about the nursing home tragedy. It is hard to understand. Bitterness, revenge, some unresolved resentment at those who once employed this nurse who it seems has taken out his rage against the innocent.

It's not surprising this tragedy evokes thoughts of Dr P.

As for moon-spotting I'm with you on the joys of this sport. Funny how little things can bring us such pleasure.

I reckon we need to practice such activities. They are a great balm to our grief.

persiflage said...

Thanks, Elisabeth. You encourage me as I venture through this part of my life.
I think of you often as I write.
And have you read the Hilary Mantel books? They reinvoke many aspects of our childhood and past lives. Despite the many deficiencies, I think we were taught to try to be good people.

Elisabeth said...

I've yet to read Hilary Mantel but I've heard so much about her books. There's so much wonderful writing in the world. If only I had more time, but I shall get to her books one day soon. Thanks for thinking of me. The encouragement goes both ways.

VioletSky said...

I am actually reading Hilary mantel at the moment. I am almost finished A Change of Climate and have finished Fludd about a month ago. She is a name I have seen for years and I don't know why I had never read any of her books before.

I heard about this unbelievable nursing home tragedy (and thought of you, living in the same city).

Anonymous said...

I knew you'd like Fludd! So glad that you've picked it up.