Tuesday, 18 January 2011

They Hold Our Hands

The rain continues in Joburg. No really heavy downpours, very little thunder and lightning - just drizzle, drizzle, drizzle.

We left home about 2 hours later than normal this morning, and so got caught in the morning rush -or creep - hour for the first time in ages. As a passenger, I could eat my breakfast, look out on all the life outside the metal cage, and remember that it was twelve years ago when my Mum left the Dream.

The weather on the morning of her funeral was very much like this morning's. My brother -down from the UK for this occasion -  drove an insulated, isolated remnant of the family to the funeral home in Braamfontein. My Dad, my Son and me. Somewhere within me the clouds were just as grey, just as unmoving, and the Life force every bit as damply drizzling as the rain outside.

I was starting on the beginning of the end, to coin a hackneyed phrase, and my life was about to get rapidly worse than I could have ever imagined it. About to hang my breath in the balance on the knife edge of life-and-death, I had no foresight, no knowing, no gnosis - almost no consciousness beyond the wounded animal response to withdrawal and tragedy.

And now, today, I'm thinking about how, when you know someone who is grievously comatose, lying in a hospital or care facility with only faint signs of life about hir; how you will go to that person's bedside, sit down for an hour or two, and read and talk to the unmoving body as if it were fully engaged in waking life. How you will come back the next day and do it again. And the next day, and the one after that.

Until the comatose person awakens, and may or may not bring back a memory of you sitting and communing hour after hour - but you know, and everyone knows, that the thing which science dares not acknowledge was there all the same.

That consciousness dispersed out of this Dream almost to the point of death is still coherent, in ways we cannot describe. That consciousness after death is a reality, too - but of a different order.

Like someone sitting by the bed of Our illness, the Ancestors, and All you've ever loved, are communing with you from the waking side of the Dream. And will you remember, when you have woken Yourself and joined them? They sit now by the bedside of an ailing and almost lifeless humanity - will You remember how They sat with You?

Pic: Flickr page of someone called Christy Clarkson