Friday, July 28, 2006

No words, brotherhood and they're out there.

1. A long-wanted book arriving -- In The Land of Pain by Alphonse Dudonet. It's a book of notes and quotations and observations about pain, something that is notoriously hard to describe. The notes were meant for a book but Dudonet was too ill to work on it. It seems a strange subject, but one that has been neglected. When I used to go to the physio, she would manipulate my hip and ask me 'is this your pain?', but I would not know. 'Describe your pain' is a question that patients dread -- if you can feel your pain, you are in no condition to describe it; and if you can't, you don't remember what it felt like.

2. Reading about writers. There was a quote I read yesterday (in Dudonet again) about the 'second me' who watches and commentates on everything they do. Dudonet wrote about his father's howl of grief at the death of his young son: 'My first Me was in tears, but my second Me was thinking "What a terrific cry! It would be really good in theatre."'

3. Listening to bats. The bat warden had a machine that picked up bat calls and translated them into frequences that we could hear. The noises were slightly alien -- little squeaks and clicks that seemed to come from far away. We sat on a bank in the park and whenever a bat flew across the sky, the little boxes went wild.