Dignity and Grief and Values

I did not know her well. In fact I only met her once. Already immobile and living in a chair. That was about a year ago. Her husband had that patient nurturing quality which is always so impressive to me . “Its her turn to be looked after now” he said, and it was clear that he had to do everything for her:  cooking cleaning, moving her in and out of bed, bathing and anything else you could think of. He was proud to do it. He treasured her time with him. It wasn’t  more complicated than that.

Now she’s gone. She died this weekend and here we were, in the evening, sitting with a few of the relatives and people who knew him. He sat there just the same. Gentle, unassuming and with no sense of drama in his bearing. Losing her was the work of fate and he accepted it. How he will manage without her by his side, and for how long, is anyone’s guess, but he will not burden you with his thoughts or grief.

How he stood out for me: this peaceful gentle man. Living an unremarkable life, in an unremarkable street in a suburb largely without landmarks or outstanding features and yet being one of the most impressive, quiet and distinguished people you could come across. His dignity and presence gave a value to the room, but he was unaware of it. The love his son’s and relatives had for him bore witness to his character and  his feelings  for his wife. Meeting someone who impresses me makes me think.

In strict contrast to my impression of that dignified gentleman, I am repelled by certain aspects of modern life, where “marketing” has become the new spear with which we hunt for food. Where being noticed is the heart of being paid, and where a function is not as important as the brochure which advertises it.

Does that make me wise or insightful. No it makes me a fool who wanders round my life largely unarmed, wondering why  food is hard to find.Who scours the landscape for that selfless act which sets a man apart from those around him. Who thinks that purity of heart and spirit are more important than gold, and has the wallet to prove it.

In some  age, largely mythical I am sure, men were appreciated for what they were, and people either worked the land or died. No man could earn a living selling fake cures or wonder diets or any other easy route to paradise , where the lack of value or merit only became clear long after the quack was gone. Friendships grew through experience, one of the other, and through loyalty. Not by the swift networking of those who escape one situation by creating another to hide in, before moving seamlessly onto a third.

Will my viewpoint make a difference to anything. No

I am like some primitive man, howling on a hillside while better dressed passers-by smile at my harmless madness. I accept this, but somehow I believe that if  I can get one person to take a second glance or pause for thought it might have been worth it. Is that what art does. Does it make you think awhile. I’ll feed on that question for a moment. Food for thought remains one of my most enticing meals. And meeting people who impress me.


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, faith, Life, life2, Relationships, skils, Talent and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Dignity and Grief and Values

  1. Al says:

    This is a brilliant metaphor. Character as the food of our soul. Genius, ducks.


  2. .** Will my viewpoint make a difference to anything. No**

    You are wrong. Your viewpoint matters, Ducky. Your voice soaks into the universe.

    Character. Soul. Dignity. Gentleness. Purity.

    This is EVERTHING — Everything … in the end.


  3. Primitive man? I think not! Peter, you are my definition of a Renaissance man–thoughtful, observant, curious, compassionate, articulate, gentlemanly, and well-versed in many aspects of life. Chew on that, my friend!


    • Chewing Obediantly Lorna. And thank you. I appreciate the sentiments


    • Shonnie says:

      Agreed … am I left with nothing more to add? Too many well spoken people read your writings my friend. Me thinks that speaks well of the impact you make. There words are true of you. As are rippling waves in a once still pond … your words … whos gentle rocking impact soothe the soul of whom ever finds the good fortune to stumble upon them.


  4. backonmyown says:

    Your writing makes me feel inept and wordless by comparison.
    As one who longs for simplicity, I recognized while reading this post that we must make our own simplicity. You make me want to reexamine my values and reject “the spear” and “the brochure” which rule our lives today.
    Thank you, Ducks. You’re master of metaphor.


  5. Barbara says:

    “Who thinks that purity of heart and spirit are more important than gold, and has the wallet to prove it.” That line alone is pure gold Peter. You reveal your heart in your words and that’s what keeps us all coming back.

    p.s. go to http://www.facebook.com/zero.60.beyond and we’ll connect there.


  6. Beautiful! I visit for your view point and it inspires!


  7. nelle says:

    Well said, and I’m with you. Sometimes the homage paid to the gods of competition get to be a bit much. Sometimes we need to reaffirm our humanity and our commitment to it, rather than to the material world.


  8. eof737 says:

    RIP to the gentle soul… and peace to the rest.


  9. May I reblog this, countingducks? It so resonated with me and I am sure it would be welcome ‘food for thought’ for many of those who follow my blog. Diane


  10. Reblogged this on bardessdmdenton – prose, poetry and painting and commented:
    This post by countingducks so resonated with me and urged me to share – as it speaks to how insignificance can be most significant, how we can truly and generously affect the world in gentle and kind ways, by being pure in heart and spirit. This is not idealism, but real possibility. I hope you will take the time to read and explore more of countingducks’ blog.


  11. This is wonderful and I could have gone on reading and reading.

    I think art /creativity certainly does make us stop and think. And now also, from my own experience of chronic illness,that too, changes views, perspectives, aspirations, expectations … and brings with it an ongoing effort to live with equanimity, which for my part probably won’t perfect itself in this lifetime.

    This is such a beautifully written piece a d I am so glad I came across it through Diane Re-blogging it.



  12. jackie376 says:

    Beautiful! And I can relate on a very personal level. Looking forward to reading more from you:)


  13. renxkyoko says:

    That grieving man is impressive. I think my parents will be like this. My Mom always tells us she doesn’t want to die ahead of dad ,” Who will take care of him?”


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