Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

And another regrettable thing about death is the ceasing of your own brand of magic, which took a whole life to develop and market - the quips, the witticisms, the slant adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears, their tears confused with their diamond earrings, their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat, their response and your performance twinned. The jokes over the phone. The memories packed in the rapid-access file. The whole act. Who will do it again? That's it: no one. Imitators and descendants aren't the same. 
John Updike

As I ponder on Thursdays, I move between Art, Life and Books . Today's thought is one of those filed under Life, except that in reality I guess it speaks of death.

I don't consider myself a morbid person but I do think about, consider, discuss and debate death and dying a fair bit, and this quote really captured for me the absolute uniqueness of an individual that we lose when they die.

It's not just that you lose a colleague, but you lose the person you admired, who would seek you out after a difficult episode and check in a subtle, unobtrusive way if you were OK. From whom a glance or a nod with a wry smile could speak volumes about the meeting you were in. That was their special magic and gift.

You don't lose a friend, you lose the person who could be guaranteed to say "noice" in a tone that spoke of shared histories and moments, in a way that made you want to crack up even if it was seriously not the time or place to do so.

The whole act, that had taken a lifetime to perfect - the package that was that person in all their brilliant individuality and distinctiveness, stitched into all the bits that overlapped with your life.

Flowers on a grave, Umbakumba cemetery
In celebration of uniqueness and the magic so many people bring into my life.


  1. Fiona, this is beautiful! So well-said and true. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Noice piece of writing Fiona, both Updike and you.

  3. death is an inevitable part of the journey.... but it's difficult for those staying behind to say goodbye... I don't fear death for myself, but I am reduced to a puddle thinking about our kiddies and parents and friends and even anonymous folk who are someone else's kiddies or parents or friends...... I'm a big sap really!

  4. Jane - thank you, I'm glad you liked sharing it.

    Jo - yes, noice indeed! Such an Australian connotation to that word! I think he got something tho - something precious and special.

    Ronnie - so true, it's all about those who are left isn't it? And how they deal with the gaping hole.

    Thank you Lesley - I think we are all adding magic to peoples lives in our own quiet ways...

  5. All the more reason to enjoy and celebrate each others' uniqueness right here and now while we can! Consider yourself celebrated, F.

  6. Thanks Robyn...

    G/TT - so true we should celebrate each moment of magic that is shared with us. Thanks for celebrating with me.

    Hi Patti - 'nuff said!

  7. Yes. I am pondering this third age I will be (am?) entering...making up an artist book to keep my thoughts in, a place to develop my map of the way...Me thinks I will include John's good quote. Thanks Fiona.

  8. Hi Leslie, that sounds like a good idea, it captures the specialness of us all I think...


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.