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:
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.
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.