O is a Soft Recognition
The Wishbone Alphabet – an experiment, of course, with attitude, life and the eponymous soup.
I had a post all ready to ping, including this from the 1811 dictionary, which I could visualise so clearly I think it’s fair to say I hooted with laughter:
‘Owl in an ivy bush’ Frequently said of a person in a frazzled wig.
It is a marvellous thing to elicit laughter, and to share it with someone you love is ecstatic. I think of this, wandering along with Dog, past the cherry tree. This is the short time each year that the blossoms shimmy out of bud, open up to the sky and breathe the spring air. One sprig has caught the wind, it shivers at the edge of a large puddle. The water also shivers with the breeze. This morning the rainwater reflected sunlight into our front room, dabbling on the ceiling. A string of dusty spider web bridged over it. Outside, the honeysuckle and the bindweed are wiggling into life, the ivy has been here all winter. Now I see the ivy, the deep green wreaths of ivy, and sigh. Oh. Softly, I remember the date. There will be a service today. I cannot write of frivolous owls.
Some of you will know this story, and some of you won’t. It is not my story, so I will tell it sparingly.
Here is one of those pleasant peripheral people you chat to if you meet, because you used to work together, because she has nice things to say. You hook up on Facebook, intending to plan a night out sometime, and press ‘Like’ on when she changes her status to ‘In a relationship with-’ There is a pleasing seriousness to her nature, which means if she loves someone, it is more than sauce and fancy.
It is good to know that this kind of love still thrives.
You press ‘Like’ for every romantic meal; it is so adorable, seeing that kind of love flourish. He asks her to marry him, of course, that is surely inevitable, though no less exciting. I look at my computer screen and say, ‘Oh!’ I know they will be happy, they are that sort of people. The wedding plans unfold, all the little details for the big day, which draws so close, from months to weeks to just one more fortnight.
The groom-to-be goes for his honeymoon vaccines. One thing to do in a big list of things to do!
‘You don’t seem well enough,’ the nurse says.
The nurse is right. He has meningitis. Within hours he has sunk into a coma, his heart stops.
All emotions are personal, but grief is one of the most reflective, so it seems more personal, even more than love. Grief is a gap in existence. Grief is putting two cups by the kettle and realising that there is only one cup of tea to be made. The process of grieving is the acknowledgment that there is no getting back to normal, because normal has changed. In respect of this knowledge, I changed my post today. I didn’t take all the laughter out of it, for grief does not require that. Laughter is the best memory for staunching wounds.