I don’t believe that it’s often people find resemblance between themselves and great men in terms of personality defects. However, in this case I find the comparison quite pertinent. It’s been said of Da Vinci that he often grew dispassionate about some projects once he had fully planned them. This is one reason given for that fact that he didn’t complete many of his projects. His interest was simply drawn to other areas. I must admit that recently – more than ever – I have been identifying with this ‘flaw’ (for lack of a better term to describe it).
I take the pills in a withered hand. It shakes. Not from fear though. It hasn’t stopped since the day you passed. The flask-warmed tea tastes bitter as the pills dissolve within it. The two curdle together in my mouth. Not long now. Or so I hope.
A hole in the moth-eaten tweed draws my brittle fingers toward it. Purple snake-veins protrude from the wrinkled milky waste. I attempt to mask the hole from…from whom? Is there anybody left to even notice and, if they did, to care.
Your duck is still here. He looks unsure of whether to take the crumbs that I throw towards him. Perhaps they were sweeter coming from you. But then again everything was sweeter coming from you. The ground that I walk upon is now worth more than everything and everyone that walks upon it, because you rest within it.
All the ducks seem less eager for sustenance without your presence. For them, the very act of eating has lost all joy, point or purpose. They merely wade aimlessly. The sky above is a dirty blue and the sun stifles the inside of my collar.
The clouds come down upon me all at once. The colours fade to a pureness of white. I see your face. You smile as I reach out to wipe the joyous tear from your cheek.
John Milton – after going blind in his later years – was heard to have walked around the house muttering ‘I want to be milked. I want to be milked.’ Though this seems like a symptom of dementia; it was in fact his way of describing his frustration to write when his squire was late to transcribe what he said. However, even with this qualification, the analogy does seem rather ludicrous at first glance. Can the act of writing really be described as the release a cow gains from being milked?
Freud asserts that ‘a piece of creative writing, like a daydream, is a continuation of, and a substitute for, what was once the play of childhood.’ Is that what the writer is doing when she write? Playing a game? In some ways, I have to agree. The writer – like the child – gives into her imaginative side and allows herself to roam free from this world and into the ‘worlds’ of her own mind. I know myself that my own sanity at times relies on the fact that I do write.