Monthly Archives: November 2013

Coming to after the nouveau knee

So – the first foray into Word for about six weeks. No idea what to write or how to write it but I
intend to keep going. The long, dark night, wet, windy and cold has melted away a bit and light is
seeping in through the window. I dread the darkness coming – at about 6 o’clock these days as we get
closer to the longest night and the turning of the year – last night after visiting the bank to talk about
insurance it was a shiny, wet road packed with traffic that we went home on. Then, taking the Burcy
turn off the main Caen road – not a light or a car. Just wind and rain blowing over the road, the verges
drowned in water, the empty fields catching the headlights in their watery pockets. We didn’t without
see another car; just an occasional light in the window, a television in the house on the corner shining
in the window. Then at last reaching home, warm and dry, the house full of the smell of Christmas
cake which I baked and slightly burned this morning – later I shaved off the burnt top and doused it
with brandy and tinned it in the hope that by Christmas it will be moist and responsive. I am good at
burning things at the moment – left the rice in the little oven on the wood burner and it was burned
when we returned – had to scrape the eatable bits off a fierce black coating.
These small things are what life is composed of just now – and they don’t seem to always progress
easily. Last Friday I was so happy that it was the last day of my physiotherapy – then I discovered
that it was just the last day of being conveyed in the ambulance by the jolly Virois ambulance drivers
and assistants – and that I had another ten sessions with the lovely Virginie who every time makes me
push the pain barrier and sends me home worse than I arrived. Then a few days of feeling more
confident and last Saturday going shopping with my crutch in the shopping trolley – but taking all of
Sunday, sleeping through meeting and low key over lunch with Friends – this week has been harder.
As I work my knee harder then other parts of me take over complaining. I am marginally less
negative about it all though, do feel there are ends in sight.
What is most upsetting is the way in which writing and poetry seem to have been rail-roaded off the
agenda. I have newly delivered poetry magazines but can’t settle to reading them. I write on scraps
of paper, backs of things, but mostly lists or sad musings over the fact I can’t write. At least here I am
this morning, at the computer, actually hitting the keys! I will post this in the hope that someone
might read it and respond and then I shall maybe feel back in the company of writers and thinkers. I
am thinking about writing about this experience; of the way in which loss of independence, enforced
stillness, pain and lack of sleep have interrupted not just my physical life but also my psychological
state. I get out the books on meditation, patience, positive thinking – but can’t read them – retire to
Austen, Dorothy Sayers, Kate Atkinson and Rankin that have been life enhancers, taking me into
places where the present is not salient.
I am disappointed with my failure to engage with this new experience, to be challenged by the stages
of improvement, by my inability to have a proper night’s sleep. It is a humbling experience – not one
that I expected or am used to. What am I learning? Well, there are the scribbled notes to be reflected
on, pages to turn, things to try out. I think this bit of rather garbled writing might be an important first
step of another kind.

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