Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Posted By Tania Kindersley.

Last night, I made a noise. It came out of nowhere. It went: ah, ah, ah, ah. It was quite loud. Even though there was no other person to hear, I felt slightly embarrassed. I was brought up in the Irish tradition, I live now in Scotland, it’s all Celtic fringe with me, but I lived my formative years in England. So there is that English thing of not doing drama; the great tradition of phlegm, of not making a fuss. Don’t make a damn fuss, says the voice in my head.

The noise went: AH, AH, AH, AH. It was like the beginning of tears, but there were no tears. There was no water; everything stayed dry. My shoulders started moving up and down. There was a tremor through my body. AH, I said. I breathed out, like an exhausted racehorse. Bloody hell, I said.

At once, I thought: I must write this down. That is always my instinct. When it is written it is true; on the page it makes sense. Maybe the thing I love the most that was ever said about writing was Chekhov’s stern instruction: if you hear a gun go off in the fourth act, you must see it loaded in the first. My own little trope, the one I have used over and over again, is: in actual life, you don’t even know there is a gun.

I was always rather proud of that. I think I thought it quite clever and correct. But now I see that I am with Chekhov, after all. In my gut, I want the first act to make sense of the fourth act. That is why I love the written word. It’s not just for the prose, or the rhythm of a sentence, which, if you do it right, can sound like singing, or the sometimes cunning or surprising placement of a semi-colon. I love it because it makes sense of things that make no sense at all.

If I can write a thing, then it has a pattern, a truth, a meaning. If it is not written, then it is just life, which is too messy and random and inexplicable. It has no shape. It has no sense.

Even now, as I feel the tap tap click click of the keys under my fingers, I feel my shoulders start to come down, and the sensation of movement return to my tight body. When people talk of writing as therapy, I think sometimes they make a fundamental error. It’s not the spilling of the stuff that brings reason back; it’s the shaping of it. We can all share with the group, and I don’t underestimate that. I talked to a man today who lost his dad two years ago, and there was a huge relief in that. ‘You know all about this,’ I said, and he smiled and nodded his head, and I knew I would not have to make excuses or explain the oddity.

But the writing of it is a different thing. It is not the telling, it is the gathering into complete sentences. It is the plain, comforting fact that there is a beginning, middle, and end. It may be that I am a little freakish that I find comfort in that, but I do. There is something about the lovely, sensible, comprehensible black marks on a white page that fill me with relief. As long as I can do that, all is not lost.


26th April 5

26th April 6

26th April 4

26th April 6-1

26th April 2

26th April 1

26th April 3.ORF


  1. Tania, Thank you for sharing your struggles at this time. Sharing private grief with another person is such an intimate, yet precious thing. Even though we have never met, I am honored to be included in your life in this way. You will continue in my thoughts and prayers as you deal with deeply missing your father.
    Writing is such a wonderful way of bringing some degree of sense and organization to both the difficult and the joyful events of our lives. Your blog serves as a daily encouragement to me to record my own rambling thoughts as I too attempt to bring order to the seeming chaos of my
    life. Thank you. Viv

  2. All is not lost.We have forgotten that about death. We used to know it once. Why wouldn't we protest loudly at the nonsense that forgetting, makes of life?

  3. I am so reassured that you are still posting - checking in to make sure you are OK, in a neighbourly way. This post - the writing here - is at its most raw and most true. It seems to me that grief is an island that not everyone visits, and some stay for years and other just a short while. These postcards from your island are a life-line, do all the 'shaping' you need. Lou x

  4. By sharing joy , happiness increased.By sharing sorrow, the pain decreases.All of us have some pain in life.I also have crossed this period.So, can feel your pain.Don't worry every thing will be fine.


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