Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cold obstruction

"The world of the dying is different. When well, they may have sometimes wondered in momentary fear or idle apprehension what this Time would bring, the shape it would take, whether by age or accident, stroke or cancer ... the list is long. Then, that blinding fear could be dismissed as idle introspection, an impairment to the constant alertness needed to answer all the demands of the day. Inevitably, the dreaded and discarded time arrives and has its own shape: suddenly the waitress pouring coffee at tables, the builder laying blocks, a girl opening a window, the men collecting refuse, belong to a world that went mostly unregarded when it was ours but now becomes a place of unobtainable happiness, in even the meanest of forms ... Life goes on, but not for the dying, and this must be hidden or obscured or denied."
John McGahern quoted by Ian Jack (see also Saving Grace).

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