Monday, 9 May 2011

Too much reality

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

TS Eliot famously said that human beings cannot bear very much reality. There is reality and reality. There is the devastating reality: people you love sicken and so die. But then there is the good reality, the thing that anchors you, the thing I cling to.

My sister and I spend the morning walking and talking in the sun; we tell each other that all we need now is things that are real. Real love, real emotions, real reactions. We crave authenticity, almost more than anything else. Any whiff of phoniness makes us run for the hills. We speak in simple declarative sentences.

Also, oddly, the world looks more real to me. I stare and stare at the green trees and think I never saw them more actual and vivid. As The Sister and I talk, I sit on the ground, stroking the Pigeon; the earth never felt so solid and real to me, hard and reassuring under my legs.

Yet, I can't quite go back to the daily reality of routine; the world of work and food and domestic jobs. The understanding editor has given an extension on the deadline for my book, but still. I can't just sit around wondering did these things that just happened actually happen. (Sorry; that was a rotten sentence, but I think you will know what I mean.)

So all the realities clash and slide about me. I want things to be clean and simple and good. I am concentrating very, very hard on what is good. The world has shifted on its axis, and all I want, more than ever, is to see the things that are true.


Some pictures, of good growing things:

10th May 1

10th May 2


10th May 5

10th May 6

10th May 7

10th May 8

10th May 11

The sad little face of my Pigeon almost kills me. She is very, very still at the moment, which is unlike her, as she is usually antic, a creature of quest and movement. It is as if she has drawn into herself. She makes little sighing noises under her breath. I go on the Google and type in: Do dogs mourn? And: How to cheer up your dog. And: Grief in dogs.

I say to her, out loud: it's just you and me now, kid. I say: we'll get through this part together.

The hill:

10th May 10

More thanks for the wonderfully kind and wise comments you left yesterday. When all this started, I wondered whether I should write about any of it on the blog. Is it too odd, to bare one's soul on the internet, where anyone can see? I had sudden notions of privacy. Also there is the question of being a bore. Sadness is a bit of a one trick pony. But I'm really glad I did, because the daily dose of kindness that comes back from all of you is wonderfully sustaining. It is one of those bits of reality that I cherish. So thank you for that.


  1. *hug*

    I tried to leave a comment on the previous blog, had missed a couple of days, but it wasn't letting me. I am so sorry for your loss of Purdey. She was a beautiful dog. And dogs are friends, part of our lives, personalities, with their own characters. Of course you will miss her, she was a part of your life.

    Go, be real, plant things, feel the sun.... and give yourself time to grieve...

    Catherine N

  2. And we are so glad you shared too, it is very real, what we all crave I think. Genuineness, grounding and a bit of pure love, four legged or otherwise. Stay as strong and real as you can. (I raised my little cup of pret flat White to the Duchess, the pidgoen and you today).

    Amanda x

  3. I think dogs do mourn. Just look at those eyes...
    Grief does tend to bring things into a sharp focus. That in itself can be quite exhausting.
    Thinking of you x

  4. The good reality is like delicious food: sustaining, grounding, uplifting, and yes, vivid. And it does make the regular world seem a little un-real, by comparison.

    I see a connection between the devastating kind and the good kind...when we get beaten up a bit, and the wind knocked out of us, it really gives us a chance to sit up and notice that other reality. (After all, the Velveteen rabbit didn't become real until after he had been worn down and worn out...).

    As much as this is a difficult time in your life, I think it is also a very special time. When the world shifts on its axis...well, that's an opportunity.

    Thank you so much for sharing your process and opening up a little window for us into Realness.


  5. I read your news with so much sorrow - I didn't know what to say in the face of your grief. But I think I will give you a small story. It belongs to my 10 year old sort-of-neice, who lives in Victoria, where we had nightmarish bushfires a couple of years ago. One of Ruby's friends lost her father and the family dogs in the infernos. And the Rubester (bless her) said "The dogs are keeping him company".

    They are gone, but the love, the memories, they are still there. And I like the idea that your father and the Duchess have found each other and are even now telling tales and watching over you, Pigeon and their other loved ones.

    Keep going. Do what you have to do to get through this time. There is love in this world.

  6. Dear Tania, I'm sure some mornings it all feels like a bad dream. Thinking of you xx


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