Sunday, 19 February 2012

At the hospital

Car parks - a sad music

Tomorrow I am reading in Bangor, a good eight plus hours away. This morning I was working on the Finzi lecture for Reading on 6 March, which is coming along quite well. Then a phone call, an emergency, and we drive down to Hertfordshire where C's mother has been taken because of difficulty breathing. I don't want to give details here, but we feared the worst. We spent some five hours there and no change, and none expected for the better. Not the worst then but not good. So we are home.

I think of these lines from The Building by Philip Larkin

.....To realise
This new thing held in common makes them quiet,
For past these doors are rooms, and rooms past those,
And more rooms yet, each one further off

And harder to return from; and who knows
Which he will see, and when?

and these

....O world,
Your loves, your chances, are beyond the stretch
Of any hand from here!

and these

...Each gets up and goes
At last. Some will be out by lunch, or four;
Others, not knowing it, have come to join
The unseen congregations whose white rows
Lie set apart above - women, men;
Old, young; crude facets of the only coin

This place accepts..

and finally
.....That is what it means,
This clean-sliced cliff

Too hot, too sparse, too clean, too dirty, those clean-sized cliffs remain austere whatever 'wasteful weak propitiatory flowers' appear in them. A walk through the car park and the thought of sad music, the sad music of car parks that is, arrives and goes. Arrives and goes like the everyday, sometimes kindly, business which is what this building deals with. Business at any rate.


Anne said...

Very sorry to hear this. You describe it so well: it is all too familiar. And those parking spaces are always too narrow. Thinking of you all, and wishing you the best.

havantaclu said...

So sorry to hear about your wife's mother - if it is to be the end, then may all your wife's memories of her be happy, and the end be peaceful.

Love and peace

Anonymous said...

Thw wrong side of several pints, I find myself drinking, flowing in the whole of your post. The feeling for what's happened, but more (selfishly) the luxuriousness of your prose and Larkin's poetry.