Saturday, 20 November 2010

Out of The Silence

This last week has been one I hope not to have to relive. From feeling in the peak of fitness, to feeling like a child unable to move, in the space of a few hours. It has been a week of pain but also one of reflection. I have been here before, forced to take stock because of circumstances. I have spoken before of having voice problems. I had a time when for almost six months I could not speak at all. For one who depended on the voice to fulfil your vocation in life a frightening time and prospect.

The other difficulty of not being able to speak effected all those around me. People were at a loss. What could they say when they were getting no verbal feedback. As the time passed the number of people who visited became less and less and I was left to get on living the quiet life.

It was at this time I began for the first time to dabble with paint. To my surprise I enjoyed it and seemed to be able to produce art that people liked. So a disability had opened a new door in my life.

I remember my old grandmother used to say that every cloud had a silver lining. There is some measure of truth in this statement. I wonder what the silver lining is going to be to this spell of semi confinement and restriction. I am sure there will be something.

In the midst of all my silence there was my dog. There with me every waking minute. Watching me and understanding. We communicated without words and he just seemed to know. We ran together, walked together and he sat beside me as I painted. A constant companion in my silence.

When I took up painting again recently I tried to paint him. The painting still hangs in my study. It was a first attempt at painting a dog and I should really do him again some day. Even if I do this one will stay with me. I am aware that so many of you have pets that hold a special place in your lives and that you have painted or drawn them and made a much better effort than this one of mine.

Art is indeed a marvellous outlet and means of saying things that words can never say.

I have added a poem about those days, and him, it is on my other blog. I hope it lets you see why I attempted this work and what it meant to me.  Pools of Love


  1. Ralph, so glad you are back! A tough Scotsman like you, this will open doors and knock down castles! I read you poem and you have quickly discovered that poetry is exactly like painting,
    each brushstroke a word carefully placed, bringing emotion and color to the viewer. Well done, my friend!

  2. You will get well and be out there running .. for now it is perhaps a time of waiting for the next chapter in your life... you may discover something while waiting to heal. Maybe that silver lining is getting another dog. Each one has something to give that is different from the last. It took me eight long years to get past losing the one before Angie. You never really gat 'past' it..
    I have had more joy from having Angie with me all these years..You can't look for one that was exactly like the dog you had... It is never the same but can be just as loving as the one that passed ... Well, I will get off the soapbox for now...think about it.

  3. Sorry to hear you have been feeling poorly Ralf, ... Get better soon. Glad some of my posts make you smile ... yours likewise. Don't put pressure on yourself. :)

  4. i love the line "a constant companion in my silence..." rather like God, eh? or dog...?

  5. I hope you feel better soon. Your dog painting is wonderful! I'm glad you had him with you when you needed him most.