My steps were painful fairy-steps, but I am so determined to walk in the woods again thatI forced my body to do what it clearly didn’t want to do.
And it did it.
There is something very odd and frightening about an injury of this kind at this stage of life. I have heard no-one talk about it, so I am either a bit weird . . . not impossible . . . or it is a taboo subject . . . in which case I will take it out and look at it, to decide whether it is true or useful.
William Morris said you should have nothing in your house that is not either useful or beautiful. I reckon the same goes for your mind.
Is my mind useful or beautiful at the moment? If it is neither then it is time to throw it out, to drop it into the deep skip of non-recyclable junk. When it hits the bottom, there will be no crash of metal on metal, or of thought on metal. It will be like dropping a jellyfish on wet sand.
Now I use a wheelchair, my house has become full of lightweight junk, all designed to make my life easier, and all seemingly also designed to clutter up all useable space and to remind me and all my friends that I can’t walk and can’t crap.
My mind has become like this too.
I paraphrase T S Eliot:
I grow old, I grow old,
All my cogent thoughts have been sold.
The end of time suddenly feels not very far away. There may be no change for the better and no return to the Blissful Time. I can walk to the end of the road as many times as I like, but I will only ever get to the end of the road.
The canal and the woods will be forever out of reach.
I suppose this is how it feels to go into the oxymoronic “Retirement Homr”. It may be homely, but it will never be home.
When I was young, Home was somewhere I went back to, a place of safety. Now my legs are dissolving, Home seems a place to leave, a place of insecurity.
No-one talks of this, yet we will all feel it.
All the walking aids, and the toilet aids, are just the vanguard troops of Time, and they will do for you in the end.
This is why I must make myself walk to the end of the road. I know I can’t beat Time, but it must be a glorious defeat and a controlled withdrawal.
On no account must it be a rout, a massacre. I insist on my dignity.
If all this is a grieving process, I suppose I am in the Angry Phase. I have been told Despair comes next. Hey, ho!