Friday, 26 February 2016

Not quite fine.

Yesterday, I said to someone, quite without meaning to: ‘Be careful. I’m still fragile.’
            The words flew out, beyond my volition. This is not the kind of thing I usually say.
            There was a look of astonishment.
            ‘But you seem so fine,' the someone said.
            I screwed up my face a little bit.
            I said: ‘I put on a very good front.’
Because that is what you do. That is what you do if you are me and you are British and you don’t make a fuss and you don’t want to be a bore. You put on a good front.
Sometimes the front is true. I can laugh belly laughs now, and mean them. When I find something really funny, I double over and shout with mirth. I can smile and listen hard and take things in. My brain is working again, which it was not in the beginning.
I am waving now, not drowning.
I take pleasure where pleasure lives. My heart feels love. I look at the stars and think of all humans being made of stardust.
I write words and think thoughts and watch the 3.30 at Huntingdon.

But I’m not fine. I have glimpses of fineness, moments of fineness, sudden remembrances of what fine was like. I know it is there, waiting for me. There is a road to travel before I get there. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, and I have miles to go before I sleep. 

I won’t be fine for a while yet. 

Oddly, I have sort of made my peace with that.


  1. Is the photo the new puppy? A touch of The Pigeon about him, if so. Is he also a black lab/collie cross? As I may have mentioned before, my childhood dog was that combination of breeds, and had a lovely nature as well as being a good-looking girl.

    1. Yes, the new puppy. So clever of you to remember The Pigeon. He's a Lab-lurcher cross and very sweet-natured.

  2. You do write so very beautifully, Tania, even of your pain. So very, very beautifully. xx

    1. So lovely. I always think the same about you.

  3. Yes. I also thought the photo was one of your other dogs...


  4. The thing about people is, some of them are so very fine that even when they don't feel fine, they seem damn fine to the rest of us. You are one of those.


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