Saturday, April 13, 2013

still winter

I can't say anything more about Thatcher's demise than hasn't already been said better, and eloquently by La Baroque.  But I have been surprised by how miserable I felt after hearing about her death - because of a sudden, renewed apprehension of how much we lost as a consequence of her reign.  Her corpse is being treated like royalty here, so the word 'reign' seems apt.  I am also miserable about the singing and dancing and the raucous street parties.  The household is divided because Mr. Signs thinks it is an important symbolic act to stamp on her memory and sing.  I see what he means, but we are still living the aftermath, nothing that was broken can be put together again and there is no evidence that the meek will inherit the earth. 

And also: I feel there is something about death itself, an actual physical death, that asks for some kind of respect - for the death itself.  If nothing else is sacred, then surely this, where the Hail Mary (I am not RC) asks for special intervention for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death...  

And also, it is still winter.  Still. 


Zhoen said...

I can only think it's akin to my own father's death. I couldn't celebrate, but the relief took a while to set in. What I felt was simply overwhelming, without quality.

Anna MR said...

I hear you: you say the pain, the ambivalence of pain, respect, rejoicing…the pain… the things… so well. I cannot hope to comment properly on what has gone before. So I'll quote TS Eliot (I love him – and am not RC either. But still…he says, I find, these battles within belief and non- so very, very well):

And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.


Cusp said...

As ever, you put it all so much better than I can, but I'm with you on this Signsie.

I can't see that there is much to celebrate because we are still living with her legacy. As I've said elsewhere, I also can't help but think that, whatever she did in her public life, she also had a private life and was someone's mother, grandmother etc. and there will be people who will be grieving and coming to terms with their loss. To see people dancing on her grave must be dreadful. If she often didn't show compassion then we can show we are better people for showing compassion to her relatives etc.

Time to turn the page, try to move on, try to see what we can do with Thatcher's children who oversee the awful mean-spirited mess we are in now......and as I type this the sun has come out, the daffs are bobbing in the breeze and birds singing. Spring is here :)

Reading the Signs said...

Zhoen, yes I think there is something akin to a complex bereavement where the relationship has been almost unqualifyingly bad. Counting one's losses etc probably comes into it. Unfortunately we have a government now that is very much her offspring.

Anna thank you. I do love Eliot's miserablist Christianity :) Also the words of Martin Luther King (via Baroque) do resonate:

"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction."

It is a difficult to live by this, but I don't see we have much choice.

Cusp, re spring: yes indeed, but it is (as we know) a treacherous season.

upnorth said...

Yes, it's still winter here too, sigh. I actually love winter but I'm feeling ready for some time in the sitting out in the sun. As to Thatcher's death, I can understand the mixed feeling and would better understand I'm sure if I lived in England. I'm scared for the repercussions of our present Conservative gov. long will it take when they are gone to undo the damage??? For example, environmental devastation and whittling away at any protections that are in place seems to be one key legacy they will leave.

Reading the Signs said...

Upnorth, it feels like coming out of hibernation just to be able to spend a short time outside for reasons other than having to dash out for provisions!

Re Thatcher, I think the conflictedness I feel is to some extent because I think that Thatcher the politician should be separated in our minds from the old dementia-addled woman whose death really changes nothing.

Hope the sun comes to you soon.

Montag said...

I'll add my words about a father's death; I lost him this year as well as "a brace of kinsmen" in 2013.

I agree with Zhoen: it is an overwhelming flood. It may not have any quality we are familiar with, but we shall recognize that exotic quality when it comes again... may it be a long time from now!

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks, Montag x