The day dawns with a damning silence interspersed with the drumbeat sound of the wind. The birds chirp enthusiastically, singing songs dedicated to the sunlight. The sunlight glows mightily, searing in its power and magnanimous in its grandeur. It shoots its rays around in a gesture of strength and power. The sun, this beacon in the sky, the sole source of all life, our guardian angel, It gives life and also extinguishes many.
My thoughts on this day are slightly morbid. The grandmother continues her fight against bodily disease and all of us are caught amidst circumstances that seem poised at a precarious juncture. They seemed careening off a precipice that has an abysmal fall lurking. She has been fighting a battle against her body for what seems like forever but is in reality, Ten days of our lives thrown awry into a vortex of emotion, a few moments of hope followed by nights of depression and fear. My mother has spent the majority of her time here travelling from hospital to the house, the sleep cycle has been thrown off, she barely eats, she sleeps laying a watchful eye on her mother who has been reduced to an entity barely breathing and a body emanating various tubes and wires more tenuous than a workman’s office. Hope battles the same battle that my grandmother is fighting right now, she tries but the physical capacity of success seems to be diminishing.
I lay reading a book, the sunlight falling on my blinking eye lulling it to sleep. I blot out the sun with my hand, shocked by the power of my outstretched palm. I can block out the sun, deny it the joy of searing me and drenching me in my sweat. I regain my composure, realizing this newly discovered gift. If only life were the same, if only you could block out moments sorrow and desperation with the stretching of an outstretched palm. If only you could deny the disease and the dilapidation that force themselves into your body and gnaw at you incessantly. If only you could lie under a cool shade of the mangrove and stay there perpetually and become part of a natural tradition that has stayed with humanity for thousands of years. If only.
We are all seekers of a cool shade, searchers of comfort, and wanderers of a world too diminished and fraught with despair. We are gifted with a body that holds brilliant accomplishments but also is a harbinger of horrifying destruction. We, our bodies, our minds are all tired models of ingratitude, barely carrying ourselves, carrying a weight far greater than our comprehension, forever searching for a spot of shade, a few moments of comfort. But when we do not find this, we are shocked into reality of admission, an understanding of the seriousness of our mortality. The realization dawns on me today and cements my heart into a block as heavy as the cider blocks in the trunk of a swerving car.
Our lives have almost been thrown off balance, our regular lives replaced by a seemingly never ending cycle of visiting hospital waiting rooms and patient care centers. I carried forward this cycle tonight; I sat in the waiting room thinking to myself about the complexities of our existence. An outreaches wooden bust of some saint glares from one corner, surrounded by seats which appear neither comfortable nor particularly harsh. In fact, that seemed to be the theme of the room, light beige wallpaper, neutral ceilings interspersed with fluorescent floodlights defined this room. A large picture adorned the wall, an autumn walkway with dull sepia leaves conspicuously strewn around, a picture that oddly has a spiritual quality to it. Maybe that picture is a cruel way of getting those waiting in the waiting room to start accepting the reality of death at a subconscious level. It is a cruel way, seemingly ineffective but still made an impact on me.
I return from my brief stay at the hospital and let the night die its death. It’s my way of feeling significant in the large insignificance of all that surrounds me, this world and we as tiny creatures, who for fleeting moments are delusional into thinking that our lives are within our control. I will let this night bleed to death, like the deaths of countless others who were snatched at various stages of their mortalhood, snatched from families and rendering them limp. As the dying seconds draw close and I fade into a turbulent sleep, I hate the world for all that it takes from us, I despise the helplessness that I feel and in the grand scheme of things, I feel a growing insignificance.