Jun. 15th, 2017

usedtobeljs: (Default)
A long time since posting, but...

The writer Henry James often used a phrase which was once apparently common -- "hanging fire" -- although I only came to know the phrase through his work. According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary, it means 'to delay or to be delayed in taking action.' Googling tells me it comes from artillery. In James' prose there was something powerful, a kind of opportunity for ambiguity, when a character was hanging fire.

In my life it makes me anxious. I don't like the ambiguous power of not knowing.

In my last post I mentioned that my father wasn't doing well. In fact he is now in hospice. The nurses have told us that they didn't expect him to make it more than a day or two after the initial illness, but two weeks later now and he is, well, hanging fire: losing weight and strength, not entirely lucid, wasting away, but still here. He doesn't want to be here, I have to say, and it is all heartbreaking.

I've been flying back and forth to see him, but this week I am here with Master Danger and subtropical rain and work. Next week -- if he is still with us -- I will fly to see him again.

There is too much space in not knowing.

I hope all is well with all of you, and may you know what you need and get it.
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