On account of not being able swallow for knives and pebbles in the throat I went to my good doctor today. I like my doctor. He misses the mark sometimes (as when he failed to diagnose abscesses on my son’s tonsils) but he is attentive and kind and apologises for putting the ice lolly stick in your throat in order to have a look at what’s happening there; and his hands feeling the lymph nodes in your neck are – what is the word? – courteous. Obviously there isn’t much to be done about a viral throat situation other than wait for it to go of its own accord. But kindness is a powerful thing; unkindness also. The one sustains and the other diminishes. I was reminded of the latter when reading a recent post by Greenwords. I think it may be that people with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the manner in which they are treated by health professionals. Particularly appreciative also. We notice. The medievalists understood a thing or two about courtesy, that it was more than just good manners but a whole way of being that conferred substance on both the giver and the receiver. So I feel better, even if not physically, for having been to see the doctor.
I feel better also for the good words that sometimes come through this magic box, those with the unmistakeable essence of good will; and the text from a certain person about chocolate cake; and the voice of my daughter on the phone; and for having seen Springwatch on TV last night and learning that my cat (I knew it) has a bit of wild cat in her. This afternoon I sat by the window next to her and tried to look out with her eyes, see what she sees and everything was, for some moments, illuminated.