Thursday, October 06, 2005

This dead flatness

It's not true that I'm always thinking of H. Work and conversation make that impossible. But the times when I'm not are perhaps my worst. For then, although I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness, of something amiss. Like in those dreams where nothing terrible occurs- nothing that would sound even remarkable if you told it at breakfast time- but the atmosphere, the taste, of the whole thing is deadly. So with this. I see the rowan berries reddening and don't know for a moment why they, of all things, should be depressing. I hear a clock strike and some quality it always had before has gone out of sound. What's wrong with the world to make it so flat, shabby, worn-out looking? Then I remember...
Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead... I knew already that these things, and worse, happened daily. I would have said that I had taken them into account. I had been warned- I had warned myself- not to reckon on wordly happiness. We were even promised sufferings. They were part of the programme. We were even told 'Blessed are they that mourn,' and I accepted it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not in imagination...

-C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed


I am finding that I can walk into class and laugh when a year 12 kid leaps up from behind his desk, snaps a photo of me mid-teaching, then return to his seat and says, "Sorry- photo for the Valedictory dinner. Carry on, miss".
Then, I wander back into a silent staffroom, and wonder why.

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