Thursday, 7 August 2008

IN MEMORY OF AUGUST 7th - The Day When My Father Died....

When I found out that my mother had returned from hospital and was dying of
cancer I determined she would not end her days in a nursing institution. Nothing
is more demeaning. Except, of course, that things got worse. My old man suffered
a massive stroke. But I will spare you the details. Let me just say that I
nursed my mother for over a year, spending the last six weeks of her life on the
floorboards beside her bed.

I never got much sleep.

There is no way for me to describe the pain my mother endured, nor for that
matter, my own when she died. I didn't know what to do with myself. I would just
sit on the floor rocking. Backwards and forwards. It’s all I did. Then to the
biggest dilemma. Someone had to tell the old man. He worshipped her.

Well, I permitted myself a single brandy - then I went in.

He looked at me solemnly, and it was as if I perceived, deep down in his
eyes, all their years together as they ebbed away, unalterably, like an inner
ocean of darkness. Prostrate though he was, I saw him bodily rear up in such
total, utter, and black despair, that I had to physically throw myself on top
just to keep him down. I tried to make him understand that my mother’s departure
was only temporary. That finally, inevitably, she would return. But words was
all I had. I felt alone and helpless. And then it was one afternoon, August 7th
a year later. I sent the nurse away. I knew his time had come. Sitting beside
him, I held his hand. Though, I’m sure, he knew nothing of that.

I could never have sustained these grave times, if I had not been involved
in the book that became the measure of my life. I’d been working at it for some
ten years. Of course, it took me all of five years merely to establish the
topics that would constitute my lifelong monomaniacal attachment to the ideas
involved. But by then I had crossed the invisible, inaudible road to knowledge
and escaped into the fifth dimension. Knowledge - which had to be paid for! I
was living in a completely different time frame, totally absorbed. Indeed, it
took me a long time to recognize the sheer scale of my own ambition. I wasn’t
realizing it at first. The press, in the run-up to publication, was all agog. Or
lets say that part of the media which had been targeted. The marketing
department proclaimed it a triumph of the will. I had half a dozen reviews
coming up. One of the most unlikely from the Jewish Chronicle.

Then I initiated my self-destruction.

In fact, I had no idea what forces I set in motion when I informed my
publisher of potential legal repercussions. I did this spuriously, but it is a
fact and I acknowledge it. England’s strict libel laws usually result in a
play-safe policy. And even though the charge could in no way have been
substantiated in court, it troubled my publishers so much that they withdrew the

And that was the last of that.

Thus did my epiphany finally begin: “If you can make a heap of all your
winnings, And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again
at your beginnings, And never breathe a word about your loss.....“
etc. you know the drill.....

Meanwhile, I spend my days punching keys and entertaining Memoranda, or what you may aptly call “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz“, and am slightly concerned to discover how continuously and implacably courageous you have to be to ward of an immense feeling of pointlessness. Saying this, though, it is hard not to remember that - out of some sombre precognition - I instructed
my publishers to add an extra page at the end of my book and to inscribe it with
the legend: "O Will, my essential, my necessity, dispeller of need! Spare me
for one great victory!"

My passion is the future, not the past.

Selena Dreamy


All Shook Up said...

That's a tough background to your presence here. I hope you'll keep going, Dreamy, and opening a few more eyes and minds along the way.

Yep, blogging is a frustratingly questionable pastime. You're never less than intriguing, though...

Jonathan said...

So sorry to hear about your Parents' sufferings Selena.

Yours was a noble stance towards them, for sure.

The thing about the perception of pointlessness, I think, is that you can never know if it equals the reality of pointlessness - especially with regards to others' perceptions.

Just as one can be mistaken in attributing too much significance and consequence to our lives, so we can be mistaken in attributing too little, if not far too little.

I for one find your virtual output extremely valuable and full of "point", as it were.

As regards your book(s?) I only really have one thought, which is that I want to read it.....

I hope this is possible somehow.


Griff said...

A moving, beautiful post.

Anonymous said...

i can't even think of anything to say except that was brilliantly written and wrung my heart.

Helen said...

I second Jonathan's sentiment.

Words are worthless, sometimes, but in the beginning and in the end, that is all that is.

Bob said...

What can I say.

Ten years of work. I cannot imagine how that makes you feel. I have had my share of work go down the drain but not in this magnitude. It's a wonder you're still here (I mean writing).

When I failed as a mucisian in my younger years I quickly gave up the goal of doing it professionally, but that was because I recognized my lack of talent. In your case it's different. You write a whole lot better then a lot of writers that are being published.

I don't know how to say this without resorting to cliches, but do hang in there, you will make it.