Sunday, 17 April 2011

Treading Water



It has felt like treading water for several weeks now, and yet a great deal has been happening.
For one of the very few times in my life I have found myself unable to communicate; not unwilling, but unable, because some experiences go so deep that they slip through the mesh of conventional speech and writing. They swim silently, like the little fish in this, the Waterlily House at Kew Gardens. They circle, and occasionally break the surface tension, and then they slip down again, into the dark water.

I have been touched to receive some kind comments on my blog, hoping I'm still around. Then, today, I was helped by fellow blogger 'Zhoen' , who is hoping to start a new project.
I have started something new, too. My own new work is within the 'Hospice Movement.'

Zhoen has had similar experience within her own career, and writes of Hospice work, '....experience beyond words to capture. Too profound to pin to a board. The kind of humour that just doesn't translate to anyone who hasn't been there.....'

Exactly, Zhoen, and thank you.


The giant waterlily is significant, too.
As a child I was captivated by a photograph of a little girl, sitting in the middle of a leaf of the giant Amazonian waterlily, being upheld by the leaf structure over deep water.
My parents took me to Kew Gardens to see the real thing, where, to my extreme disappointment, I was not allowed to sit on a leaf.
Yesterday I went to see it again. It's a bit smaller, as this is Victoria Cruziana, and I am considerably larger. There is no longer the faintest hope of sitting on a leaf.

So I watch the little fish, circling happily in the dark water, and wait for the words to return, for great experiences to be assimilated.
I wait, with a huge sense of gratitude for the ever growing awareness of the richness of life and death.

14 comments:

Molly said...

I can empathize, a little. I too have not had words for some of the things I've been experiencing of late. But I'm so glad to see you back here and sounding hopeful.....

den said...

thumbs up.

marigold jam said...

I had been wondering what had happened to you and whether all was well with you. Glad you are sounding hopeful and hope you will be back with us again - I've missed you.

Jane

Zhoen said...

Glad you are well, if previously wordless.

I remember that picture, or one of several like it. Real lilly-pads as seen on Michigan ponds were just not up to the task, much as I still wanted to try, and was not allowed.

Zhoen said...

By "real" I meant the ones I got to see myself.

den said...

Happy Monday

Relatively Retiring said...

Molly, den, Jane and Zhoen: Thank you all for sticking with me! It is touching that in the vastness of cyber-space there are real friends.

Jane said...

So glad you're back. I've driven round a couple of times but not caught you in - but I know you understand that I have to arrive on the spur of the moment! Things are a bit quieter here at present, so I'll try again soon.

Relatively Retiring said...

Jane: Please keep trying. I've been out a lot, but am around more now....especially during The Wedding, when I'll be weeding the garden!

leslee said...

Good to see you, and best wishes for your new endeavor. Your blog is on my Google reader feed, so I will always be here when you pop up again! There are times for communicating and times for silence. Sounds like it's been a very productive silence.

Joan said...

Glad to read you again! I haven't set up Google reader so am slightly tardy to the party...

Relatively Retiring said...

Leslee and Joan: many thanks for the kind messages. I hope it's been a productive silence - it's certainly been a time of profound experiences, and it continues.....

Frances said...

I'm so pleased to see you back, RR; I have been concerned. I understand that your thoughts were too nuanced and profound to share.
I think that sometimes, like a toroise, one needs to hide in one's shell, and wait to feel the sun's warmth gradually seeping in again.

Relatively Retiring said...

Frances: thank you. Tortoises would be doing really well here at the moment!