The morning’s coming up. A deep blue before the grey. A morning blue. And I always feel better, not so locked-in, hemmed in by anxiety. What is it about? Everything and nothing. But you are to die, I tell myself, soon, now, later, whatever you will soon not exist. At least not in this form. Can that not give you peace or at least the willingness to succumb, to yield to all? For your power is nil, you cannot control it. Any of it. Contrarily yielding is powerful. That giving in, that acquiescing for it removes the tightness of fear. Do your worst, it says for I am unflustered by it. I accept what is. Always. Can I? Can I do this? Can I accept that it is always so uncertain? When I’m walking the anxiety comes in thick and fast. It’s the motion, I think, and the freedom, the space that my mind has to fill. This and that, fret fret and fret. I try to challenge the ideas, what about this? How about seeing it this way or that? To let go.
I let go in sleep. The redeemers she calls them. A Swiss myth apparently, three men sleeping in a mountain and by doing so keeping the peace. Their sleep is the village’s peace. A nice image. That’s what most of them do there, sleep. I watched them. To give oneself up to sleep in public. They must be so tired. The tiredness of pre-death. A lifelong of tiredness.
I could sleep and sleep, I say to him. Well, why don’t you? he says. Because there is so much, so much to do. The sky is now a little pink. A pink wash. A little insipid, like a tentative watercolour.
It was good yesterday. I got a result. Though that sounds tacky. I got a response. I know she is probably one of the most gregarious of the residents but nevertheless she came and sat down right next to me. Just like that. Oh, hello, she said, how are you? I know so many people, she told me later, but I can’t remember their names. She is profoundly deaf and swallows her vowels as a result. It is hard to make out much of what she says. Sometimes she sings and acts out Welsh Rhymes. I don’t speak Welsh anymore, she says, I used to. I liked sitting in that lounge. Pendinas, the one looking out on the hill. I planted that hedge, she says, pointing out of the window. I don’t know what to say. Did you? I reply. The TV is off. Most of the residents slumber. Some sit at tables and having just finished their breakfast, they await lunch. One rather elegant woman sits by an open window. Her grey hair is stylishly cut in a bob and her clothes are a pastel-shade of green. She eats a bowl of cereal slowly while she stares. I go to the kitchen to make some tea, she looks at me and gives a warm, beautiful smile.
How I love him. I feel it most when we’ve been apart, if only for a couple of hours and then I see him again. Like yesterday when he returned to the home to pick me up. He looks so kind and is. He takes her hand, she opens to him like a tired flower. And the sleeping man wakes too, and he greets him. I am so proud. To be with him in this life is a blessing.
A good day. And today? Another new thing. It is a rich. It is not what I expected but it is nonetheless rich. A bounty of experience.
It’s heartbreaking, he said as we left. Walk ahead of her, one of the staff told us, else she’ll follow you into the lift. I wanted to say goodbye but couldn’t.
Can you do me favour? she asked. Can you take me with you?