Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 24th May

It always fascinates me how the same space can have such different feelings associated with it at different times, or can be reconfigured to function in totally different ways with completely varied connotations – often simply on two separate days.

On Saturday morning, there we were in the park opposite the church pretty much freezing our butts off, doing a yoga class. This morning, there I was in the same spot, in the sun after church, looking at Dad’s tree. So different and just a day later.

Then, of course, there was the feeling of being on the same spot when the entire park was reconfigured for the Potjekos Competition, or the Christmas Market, never mind being there as a kid for Sunday School. So the world goes, I reckon: familiar spaces, different times, different purposes.

This is why I’d like to time travel – to be able to just zip to another time in the space I am occupying, just to see what it was like. (Although, I’m not that sure I actually believe in time travel.)

There are, of course, other spaces, too, like the lounge here at home, that we occupy daily often with different purposes and different emotions. Even if it’s just sitting there watching different TV programmes on different days, the context and feeling in the space can alter so radically.

When I sit in Dad’s Lazyboy that is in our lounge, I think of sitting in it in the lounge at 55, or of Dad doing the same, or of sitting in it just after the mastectomy, when Dave put it in my special corner, so that I could loll about and recover while being waited on hand and foot (or so to speak). There were such different feelings then from now. I also remember sitting in the chair feeling horribly nauseous after chemo, especially the first one.

I still think, if you were to ask me what were some of the worst days of my life, first on the list would be July 15th 2010, when Dad died and May 22nd 2014, when Mum died. After that, coming somewhere pretty close (even second), I reckon, would be the first two days after the first chemo. I felt as though I was stuck in some tunnel with no possible way out, except to keep going on towards an end that just didn’t seem possible – and that was leading only to the next 3 sessions of the same torture.

Amazing how we just make things happen and move on. I think that’s the secret of the human spirit: the ability to get through things and move beyond them. For some people, the ‘things’ are huge and horrendous and it takes forever to be able to move beyond, but they do keep moving forwards. Unfortunately, some people have to face such horrible things that they can hardly move forwards at all.

Time is inexorable and I think we can be too, if circumstances allow.

The chemo taste has been back for the last two days. Yay 🙁 What a vaguely annoying reminder of everything.

I will just keep going onwards and trust that, even eventually, it, too, will move on.


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