02 June 2018



the rambling rose after the thunder storm

Gewitter:
from Middle High German winner and Old High German giwitiri and West Germanic gawedrja is really a collective noun for weather; the initial meaning being "totality of weather", yet in common modern usage "thunderstorm"


In the early hours just before sunrise, a heavy thunderstorm wakes us. The way my mother taught me, I count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder, taking a rough guess as to how far away it is. It is clearly coming closer. I grew up with summer Gewitter, I can recognise the silence and the sounds, the smells, the way the approaching clouds change colour.

I don't want to get out of bed but if we don't pull the plug to the router and the tv and whatever else, the insurance won't pay in case of damage. Just then, the house is shook by a string of such heavy and loud thunder, that all I can do is crawl further and deeper below the covers. Too late.

The sounds of thunder slowly receding are replaced by the loud hammering of hail and rain and I peek through the blinds at a heavily flooding street and so we get up and check the basement which is damp with salty patches beginning to blossom on the floor surfaces but otherwise dry.
And now the sun is rising and the birds are awake filling the air with their urgent chorus as if they have to catch up for lost time.

The day is misty and damp, hot, we are clammy and moody. Later after dinner I am floored by another episode of low blood pressure and whatever else, which takes longer than the ones I had experienced before and by the time I make it into bed my first slight panic gives way to a dramatic, divaesque breakdown. The voice in my head whispers that there must be a better way to cope but like a child during a temper tantrum, I howl at the moon and wipe my tears for a very long time. A triumphant moment of exhausting anger.

At one of the earlier appointments after the initial diagnosis, I was given a list of the organs at risk and how to watch out for symptoms of, say, advancing kidney failure. At regular intervals, I have to sign various forms to confirm my responsible acknowledgement and to release the experts from any potential wrong doing.

I wish these form include the heart, not the muscular organ sitting somewhere behind my left chest bone (they include that, coronary risk factors feature highly), but my real heart, my innermost center of being and hope and love. Which I know is at risk due to fear and panic and loss and that endless always-stay-at-the-bright-side-of-life effort.

And yet. Another morning and as so often, my life today is not like my life before. Something has shrivelled away during my diva moments.  Gone. A bunch of fibers from my heart worn into shreds and gone.
A memory of R's worried face, shrugging his shoulders, asking me if I want him to stay or leave and feeling unable to absolve him from his confusion. My mind forms meaningful sentences but I am at a loss of words and send him away.

I do not for a moment ask that my life be exactly as it was before—no one remains static neither in health nor in sickness. All life is complex at any moment.  And yes, some moments are harder than others. But I know that I must understand what I feel and figure out what I am capable of. Every day.

Someone once told me that we have many more places in the heart, empty places in the heart, ready to exist if we allow it. Let this be so.


 

17 comments:

  1. This is so hard. I'm so sorry. But oh, the last two sentences. You reached for hope after all, and shared it with us as well. I hope today is much better. I send love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Indeed, today has been better.

      Delete
  2. That last paragraph has the deep ring of truth in it.
    What a dance you are having to learn, have learned, continue to learn. Not the steps or the music anyone would want to have to combine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a generous and honest post. And beautiful. I hate that you suffer with this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes, I wouldn't call it suffering, especially hwen reading a comment like yours.

      Delete
  4. That other heart is mysterious and deep -- vulnerable like the rambling roses in the thunderstorm and yet something else waits in the empty places of the heart that you mentioned. I'm once again struck by the honesty you and R share in the difficult moments. May you and R find shelter in these storms. Sending love to you and R.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The storm has gone, clear skies again.

      Delete
  5. it sucks that you have to live with this. but live you do in spite of it, tantrums notwithstanding.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Middle High German ... I love when the past bleeds into the present ... sending you hugs, liebe Sabine!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just an incidental. For decades, possibly centuries, the English language has incorporated the verb "peep" (to look through, over, or around something; a quick look through a narrow aperture or small opening, often furtively, slyly, or pryingly. A poorly contrived definition but you get the idea). For no good reason I'm aware, other than an atavistic reversion to childhood and/or childishness, Americans removed the terminal p and substituted a k. I'm a peeper by tradition, you appear to be a peeker. Any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just checked with two of my Irish people and they assured me the Irish do peek, which explains why I peek also, having acquired most of my English language skills in Ireland. As America is the next friendly neighbour to the west (think diaspora), this could explain this possible Irish English preference for peek.

      Also, small Irish children, my own daughter and various related cousins, always delighted in 'peek-a-boo'. Don't tell me there is a 'peep-a-boo' version.

      Delete
    2. To my knowledge "peep-a-boo" doesn't exist (in English English) whereas "peek-a-boo" does exist. More fool me for not researching the subject more thoroughly. I am delighted to be proved wrong in my supposition - it was no more - and that you are historically justified in your peeking. On reflection I would have hated to be proved right, your prose is far too good to carry such a slur, however "incidental". It's a privilege to exchange thoughts with you.

      Delete
  8. I hope you have thousands of people reading this - it’s a lesson on how life can be messy and unpredictable and sometimes our feelings can’t keep up with that. Which is fine.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh Sabine, I want to come to Germany and sit at your side. I want to read poems out loud and bring you roses cut from the garden before the storm. I want to read this post, and read it again and again, when my heart forgets its empty spaces. Please take care, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I ask a lot of my heart-to carry the cries and sorrows of the suffering world.

    When I gave birth to my second daughter, I was holding her when my older child came into the room, o my heart child who I fought for and loved so ferociously that I couldn't imagine anyone else there...but there was a sensation of tearing, opening, enlarging and I let the new child in. Then I knew there was room, expansion and grace to love another being. That liminal heart is wide as the world.

    Love,

    Beth

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm here, witnessing, as always your self through your words. Magnificent.

    ReplyDelete