Things slowed down

There’s another side to illness. The heightened thoughts and stand backness from the normal day runnings of life; observing without the fast rush of ‘get there’ adrenalin; the comings and goings are slowed down, so you notice where your feet fall.

Or, as Virginia Woolf said:

“Considering how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual
change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go
down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what
wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to
view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little
rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are
uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down into the pit of
death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and
wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of angels and the
harpers when we have a tooth out and come the surface in the
dentist’s arm-chair and confuse his “Rinse the mouth-rinse the
mouth” with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of
Heaven to welcome us – when we think of this, as we are so
frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness
has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the
prime themes of literature.”

(On Being Ill is an essay by Virginia Woolf  that appeared in T.S.Eliot’s New Criterion in January, 1926).

One comment on “Things slowed down

  1. Maree Kimberley says:

    Hi Josie, glad you’ve got through the latest round of chemo (but not as glad as you are, I bet). Only one more to go – is that right? Hang in there. Christ knows how scared you must feel. Fighting the fear is the hardest thing, I think, well it is for me when I’m really sick and wondering how the hell I’m ever going to come out the other side. But you do. Thinking of you every day, sending blessings for you, Felix and Brett out into the universe. Keep strong, & when you can’t, just chuck some of the crap in my general direction.

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