Sketch 3

Klee- A young lady's adventure in partI must be careful lifting you out of bed. Painkillers dull constant pain, but sudden shocks can still break through. You are weak, and need help with each step.

I roll you onto your side, facing the wall, then bring your legs forward, bending at the knees. Your knees are over the edge of the bed. Lifting you under your right shoulder, I raise you into a sitting position. You can put your arms round my neck. I embrace you, and lift you to a standing position. You are facing the commode, so we have to shuffle round until you have your back to it.

Klee- A young lady's adventure, the other ladyWe step out of time into eternity. Two bodies are together, sensing each other. I am patient, happy in this moment to be supporting you. I will not rush, but take it at your pace. You relax completely. The pressure always to hurry up and get it done is gone. It is only a second or two, but in that moment I feel the certainty of Love. I feel it from you. I know that I communicate my love for you. Love flows both ways, and we are both aware of it.

I lift your nightdress at the back, to maintain your modesty as much as possible, and lower you onto the commode. Then I help you back into bed.

After you died, I decided that that would be my primary memory of you- one embrace in total Love. The other main memory I picked was you picking me out of Loch Lomond, wrapping me in a towel, and carrying me back to the camp site- I felt at the time I was old enough to walk, but chose to see your loving care in that.Klee- A young lady's adventure, the bird


This incident is important to me, and I wish to convey its importance. What of the accumulation of dry detail? That first paragraph yesterday has a lot of dry detail: I thought the contrast between the subject matter and the clinical way I conveyed it shows my character’s analytical nature- she is as much me as “Marcel” is Marcel. Then again I could omit the detail and convey that with yesterday’s second paragraph.

I don’t want to pad it out- dreadful idea- but I want to find detail which fits and works with it, or other ways to express it, and so strengthen my communication. I am also unsure whether to address the whole to my mother, or refer to her as “she”- swapping between the two is possible but does not appeal.

This bit has to go in somewhere: I carried a memory of her for years, of when I was told to show my piano-playing skills. I wanted to play one piece, she told me it was too simple, and I started to cry. She did not understand! I would have told that story with all my anger and resentment and incomprehension in She Didn’t Understand! Then in September 2010 suddenly it clicked. Oh, right- she didn’t understand. This was a moment of- forgiveness is a difficult word- acceptance of my childhood and my mother in which a great weight of resentment and anger drained from me. I want my reader to feel my relief, not just be aware of it.

6 thoughts on “Sketch 3

  1. Thank you, Clare. This is beautiful writing, about poignant memories. Remembering can be useful, for re-evaluating what we thought we thought at the time, and understanding more clearly. Thank you for reminding me of this.

    Incidentally, I adore these pictures, especially the largest. Can you remind me who is the artist?

    XXXX 😀


  2. I could feel in your sentence structure and choice of words, that this was difficult for you to write. That makes is a wonderful tribute. Saying what you want to say is far more difficult than people imagine, especially when it concerns a moment of emotional intensity. If you ask students to write a three paragraph. in-class paper on the most interesting thing they’ve seen in New York. They write smart, funny, impeccably chosen pearls … and long before the end of class. Ask them, as the syllabus demands, to write about the worst moment of their life thus far … and many of them don’t finish the paper, often their words seem awkward and unusual, sometimes they cry. It’s a strange phenomenon. In any event, thanks for sharing something that indisputably made you into the person you are. That was bravely cathartic, I can tell.


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