Sunday, February 7, 2010

38. One final intimacy


He guided her across the lawns. It was a delicate action, there being a fine line between concern and condescension, a line only negotiable with that abiding love that comes with time. Physically her strength was all but gone, along with much of her eyesight, her hearing having petered out some years before. But she must passage the lawns one more time, regardless of the bruising from the canula.

Lowering her onto the weathered boards, he sensed her body’s metronome adjust to that timelessness that he found sensual. Soaking up the beauty of the physical world had, from the beginning, been one of the blessings of this water room, with its harbour glimpses and its natural intimacy. He recalled the squabbles that had accompanied the planting of each mellaleuca, the siting of the bench itself requiring the patience of Job.

They sat together under the overhanging bough, in contemplative silence.

8 comments:

Vicki said...

I like this riff a lot. To borrow one of the words you’ve used, it’s sensual. The love he feels for his wife is palpable.

Favourite line: ”It was a delicate action, there being a fine line between concern and condescension, a line only negotiable with that abiding love that comes with time.”

Beautiful.

Julie said...

Taa ... I am learning heaps.

If I am right, I have used an example of "show don't tell", with the reference to the canula.

Vicki said...

Yes, but most of this riff is "show." It's why to me the love is palpable.

Instead of saying he loved her very much, you showed us...

Julie said...

Ah ... I may be starting to understand. Maybe, even saying "canula" is not subtle enough, I wonder. Even though her fragility is obvious from other lines, what I was keen to convey was that they both knew the end was close, and it was not just a move to a nursing home.

Okay ... there is a lot to this writing lark!

Vicki said...

Don't worry, you have conveyed it. "But she must passage the lawns one more time..." in particular does that.

I might have used "last" instead of "one more" for added drama, but that's just me.

Joan Elizabeth said...

This is lovely ... a delicate touch tells so much ... his strength, her frailty and yet you know that he too must be well aged.

I understand the word limit is limiting but it's making your writing very very tight and poetic while remaining prose. You are really packing a punch with every story.

I'm sure it's good exercise for an upcoming marathon.

diane said...

Although I start a contract tomorrow to teach young kids how to write I certainly am not in your league with words or knowledge. However, one of the things I have to get them to do is "Show don't tell". You have done it very well. As I've said before you conjour up pictures in my head. I love the lighting in the photo and the harbour peeping through.

Vicki said...

Diane, can I ask how young the kids are?