Thursday, April 10, 2008

Time and mourning

An old friend has just lost his mother. I struggled for words, and then struggled to find why it should prove such a difficult task. Apart from the inability to share in an intimate bond I cannot ever know, I wondered why empathy breaks down when it comes to mourning.

Is it to do with time? Our perception of time, shaped by our progression from birth, the mental tabulation of our memories, anmd their chronological ordering? If our parents divorce, or we lose a valued sibling, a first lover, there is a caesura in time, insofar as that, like viral cells queueing to invade a healthy one, at any one moment there is an ordering of time around a still centre.
Is this still centre seconds, minutes, hours, days? Is it a heartbeat? And is it ever a still centre? Or just an idea of one?

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