This post is not about silence in the usual sense.
It is not about the silence of libraries and waiting rooms, broken only by the occasional cough or the shuffling about of things and people.
Neither is it about the silence of the oppressed or marginalised.
It is not even about the silence of mid-night or early morning, when the streets are empty and the air is still.
As I write this, it is almost seven weeks since my grandma passed away. I will schedule this post to publish at more or less the seven-week mark.
I’m not sure why exactly it’s taken me this long to write about this. It’s not really that it’s been hard to talk about (especially after reading Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes). Part of it is simply that I didn’t have the time, energy or words.
But I know if I don’t write this, these thoughts will just continue to swirl around in my head indefinitely, waiting for an outlet. So, I suppose, this post is about my silence of the last seven weeks — the silence of loss. Continue reading
This is one of those things that no one ever teaches you about, and you kind of have to learn as you go. It’s just so hard to learn…
I think people and society in general have come to accept that break-ups and divorce are things that happen. People accept that not all marriages last forever, and if a couple decide to part ways because it’s better for their well-being, then that is the best decision. Perhaps it’s just me, in my own sheltered corner of the world, but I don’t think we’re there yet with friendships. Continue reading
As we enter a new year, and a lot of people are contemplating what they want to achieve, what they want to change, or what they want to keep and nourish; I, quite honestly, feel a little lost. But maybe not so much lost as “adrift” or “suddenly aware that I’ve been adrift for a while, riding the gentle waves of a lake, no longer sure what shore I left from or which bank I need to go to”.
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the situation – there’s no storm brewing, no predator beneath the surface of the water, no structural problem with the boat, or shortage of supplies – but I feel a little adrift. Continue reading
These last few weeks have been pretty hectic. Everything’s a bit of a blur. I’ve been doing a lot of overtime at work because of this new arrangement in place involving other hospitals. (Can’t say too much, of course, because of privacy reasons or whatever.) I just worked six consecutive days – some of which were 11-12 hour days – and I am quite exhausted, but also not. I think I’ve just been running on adrenaline all week because I only had a total of maybe 3 cups of coffee and one cup of tea the whole week (and the most recent two beverages were probably unnecessary anyway).
Well, maybe we’ll call it adrenaline and fear/panic. There have been many times these last few weeks when I’ve felt like I was working as if my life depended on it. It’s like a fear of death (i.e. consequences) or fear of God (i.e. management – except I’m not really afraid of management; they’ve been very supportive). Continue reading
I’ve still been reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, still been carrying it around with me everywhere I go (I always take a book wherever I go – well, almost everywhere). A colleague (now, sadly, ex-colleague) commented the other week, when she saw me walking around at work with it, that she thought I was holding the Bible. I joked to her that it basically was like a bible to me.
For about two days, there has been a large black moth perched on the wall above the door to the bathroom. You know the ones – moths the size of butterflies, but black as soot with two piercing eyes emblazoned on their wings. I remember there were heaps of them around the old heritage-listed buildings of my high school. They seem harmless enough, but are still spooky as.
The other morning, as I watched it doing nothing, and contemplated showing it the way out, I started thinking about what it’d be like to be almost perfectly still, in one place, for two whole days. I wondered about whether the moth was bored, or whether it even had the capacity to feel bored or dissatisfied.
I wondered, hypothetically, if it had the capacity to comprehend “life” and “meaning”, whether it would mourn its lack of either. If the moth doesn’t understand sadness, does it likewise not understand happiness? Does it simply not care? Here, however, I’m imposing my own human ideas of “sadness” and “happiness” onto something that is not human. Surely that’s not fair…?
I wonder what the moth would say of its own life.
Isn’t the contemplation of life, in itself, such an incredible feat?