'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoloopalish - less rant, more confession

Monday was a wee bit of hiss and spit about words.

Words are sound. Having just spent a week in Edinburgh, I realised at one point I was feeling rather fractious and fidgety and it took a bit to recognise that I was feeling bombarded. Not just that a city is ever-full of background Unsilence, but that the father is never - never - without that darned box by the wall being on and blaring at the maximum decibels he thinks he can get away with. Even when visitors come in, he has to be asked to switch the thing off.

Admittedly, a lot of last week's (and this - I only got back to the Hutch yesterday) has been the sound of tennis balls getting maximum abuse and I am as guilty as he for listening to that. However, the rest of the time is 'yadayadayada' of various sorts and most of it I simply can't tolerate.

Then there's the endless munching on biscuits and cakes. Not me. Him. Then the having to vacuum all around that 'throne' for all the stuff that didn't make it to the mouth.

I love my father dearly, but given this is the man (along with the mother) who enforced limited viewing hours upon their kids so as not to 'fry the brains', who ensured that we were out and about on water or land enjoying all that nature has to offer, who was more interested in taking televisions (and radios) apart to assess the workings than actually watching or listening... given this is that man, I acknowledge that it breaks my heart (and does my head in) that he has become a blob upon a chair, in a room in which one cannot open the windows and would, were it not for his two senior daughters ensuring otherwise, just fester.

I need to confess my frustration with him here, and the discovery that I am angry with him. An intelligent active man all his life, who now is afraid of moving anywhere and uses the remote as a security blanket and the screen noise to keep him from having to engage in any meaningful conversation.

Then the guilt kicks in. I have no right, none whatsoever, to be angry with the father who has ensured that his children lacked for nothing. How can one be angry with a man who is sinking into the grip of a disease which - like all such maladies - cares not at all how it ravages the body? Who is to say that in twenty years time I won't be stuck in the same position? How dare I rant like this?

I dare because I know that using these words, putting 'sound' to them, allows for release and relief of the tension they describe. Writing is therapy, remember!

Sound is important. Yes, it can agitate, but it can be a salve also. This is why, for this month, I have chosen the healing chant for the 'monthly listen' (over on the sidebar - did you notice?) The world needs this, never mind each and every one of us in our daily plight.

Thanks for your ears. Comments are off for this one.