I still feel like a ghost unto myself ~ my present, weary incarnation constantly haunted by the specters of who I was and who I might have been. I would dress as Lethargy for Hallowe’en were I not already cloaked in it.
Why do you think someone might be seeking revenge on your father? He has always been ~ always seemed to me ~ a kind and decent human. Whom do you suspect? Whisper more in the epistolary ear of
I had the dream again, though it had a different feel to it. This time I wasn’t part of the dream; I was more of a spectator gazing out over the landscape from a height. I watched the wood turn from a place of sun to one of mist. I saw the fog tread over the trees like a fever over the forehead of a sick child. And like a fever, it seemed to play a dual role, inflicting suffering while burning out a disease.
The world turned under me and our pond came into view. Again, the setting sun emerged and illuminated the pond and again I thought —— dragon.
The dreams mean something; they must, don’t you think? I feel the connection is just out of the reach of
You are ~ you always are ~ kindness itself. Even with our long friendship, I don’t know how you tolerate my moods. I also don’t know I’d tolerate the world without you. You are the one person who will never sling my heart around.
Dr. Torres seems genuinely to want to help, but she is Sibyllic in her utterances. The riddle is in the parted ash? What might that mean? Are you as confused as
I can just see you sifting through the ashes in your father’s fireplace ~ a desperate Cinderella with no ball to attend. How did you father take to your post-incendiary exploration?
I share your disappointment. The logical part of my brain told me ~ tells me still ~ that it was silly to look for answers in the ash. But the part of my mind that is both hopeful and worried harboured overgrown expectations that some sign or cure would be there waiting ~ some vial with a curative potion tempered by the fire.
I applaud your intention to visit Dr. Torres. After the way she departed so abruptly, I’m not sure I would have found the courage. I hope you can see her today. The weather is lovely, I see from window, and it will do you good to get out for a spell. I am, as you know,
I swear I heard your shriek before I finished slicing open the envelope! But I can’t blame you. You have had shock after shock, and there’s no way you could have seen this one coming.
I was so relieved when Dr. Morgan found a psychotherapist so quickly. You write that Dr. Morgan knew the — was she a psychologist or a psychiatrist? — counsellor was into some alternative practices, but that she had no idea the woman was a curandera! I suppose I wouldn’t have thought to ask that either.
You say that at first the examination seemed to go well, but when the new doctor looked at your father’s eyes, she turned pale, and — and here I am not sure, because your writing falters — I think you wrote that she rushed out, promising Dr. Morgan a report. Is that right? And that as she. Left, you heard her repeating, “The ash, the ash”? How strange!
Write me back and let me know if I have read your missive correctly. I am sitting here,
Please don’t cry. I can see the teardrops on your missive. Of course I have not forgotten your father’s antipathy towards psychiatrists, but don’t let his prejudices corrupt your thinking. I know your mother’s therapist couldn’t cure her, but sometimes mental illness resists treatment. And you know your mother’s depression played no part in her death.
You and Dr. Morgan needn’t tell your father that the counsellor is a psychiatrist. Merely tell your father that Dr. Morgan wishes to consult with a colleague for a second opinion.
Sometimes I think I can begins to discern a pattern to your father’s behaviour, but it’s more like a tapestry than a linear flow. Get the help you need, and do not allow your father’s illness to suffocate the beloved friend of
It’s been six months, as of today, since my mother died. I feel like I’m in a Greek myth-Freaky Friday mash-up: I’m Persephone waiting for Ceres to come back after her half-year in the Underworld. It ain’t gonna happen, but I still rather expect Mom to show up and want to know why we haven’t finished fixing up the house.
To mark the day, here’s one of my mother’s favourite poems, “One Perfect Rose,” by one of her favourite authors, Dorothy Parker:
A single flow’r he sent me, since we met. All tenderly his messenger he chose; Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet – One perfect rose.
I knew the language of the floweret; ‘My fragile leaves,’ it said, ‘his heart enclose.’ Love long has taken for his amulet One perfect rose.
Why is it no one ever sent me yet One perfect limousine, do you suppose? Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get One perfect rose.
Oh my! I confess I never saw this coming. I was afraid your father would rage, become abusive, possibly even violent if you thwarted his demand. I hoped that in his upset, he would would let slip some clue about what is driving him.
But his swing into tears and despair never entered my mind. Oh Bridie, maybe I was wrong — indeed, I think I was. I think you ask Dr. Morgan to bring in a psychiatrist to examine your father. Though there be method, yet there may be madness in it. Tell me what you think, Bridget. I hardly know what to say, but am still
Remember when “enchantment” was a charming word, the stuff of childhood fantasies and the cause of inconvenient, over-long naps? And now the word has a noxious look; it lies there, where I’ve written it, watching, glaring, all its innocence lost.
Perhaps I am seeing it through the haze of your letter, which I opened and read when I woke today. “Subtle differences,” you write, “subtle, but easily discernible to those who know him.”
Bridget, I know you don’t want to see the changes in your father, but even through your letter I can tell the changes are not subtle. Your father has always been a person of vast intelligence, but “wily, deceitful”? These are not attributes of your papa. Dr. Morgan has eliminated all the obvious medical causes, and while she is still waiting for other test results, we should open our minds to other possibilities, even if they provoke a shiver in our souls.
So your father has intuited that you may not be taking your walks in the woods as he has “encouraged” you to do and wants you to bring a “sand flower” (and you’re right; he made that up) from the edge of the lake to hasten his recovery.Bridie, we both know your father would never manipulate you so and that if he were mad, his insanity would be a gentler sort, one that would give him an excuse to live in his library, in a literary world with his favourite characters. Moreover, if he were ever to retreat so, he would invite you in to whatever realm he was inhabiting and would not insist you walk away from him to become “wode within this wood.”
Birdie, I have an idea forming in my head, but my weariness is sliding the pen out of the hand of
Your loving, Hannah
(And, truly, more and more it seems your father is enchanted by some power whose epicenter is in thge wood.)