Saturday, September 12, 2009

Navigationally challenged

I will feel better once I know that my youngest daughter has arrived in London. She is traveling there for three weeks on a school music/sports tour. I do not enjoy the knowledge that one of my children is flying. I might as well be in the plane too for all the apprehension I feel. Even though I know that statistically we are safer in an airplane than we are in a motor car, I still fret.

I keep a special look out on the news for word of crashed planes. It is one of my pet horrors and more so these days because these days it is not unusual for one or another of my nears and dears to be mid flight.

On top of this I have noticed this strange heaviness in my torso of late, somewhere around where I imagine my ovaries sit, though it could be my intestines. Do they sit on either side? Jim might say, too much information here and I am reminded of the strange unspoken rules of blogging, whatever they are, but I take the plunge and mention it regardless.

I am no good about the location of body parts. I am as geographically challenged traveling around the internals of my body in my mind as I am traveling in my imagination through the countries of the world.

I have heard that women are less navigationally able than men, but with me it is worse. I cannot distinguish north from south, east from west. I can tell my right from my left by noting the presence of a writing lump on my right hand. But even now as I sit at my desk in my familiar writing room I have to think long and hard about where north, south, east etc are situated in relation to me.

I think the south is ahead of me because I know that I must travel down Tooronga Road to get to the seaside suburbs and Cheltenham where I once lived. Tooronga Road is to one side of the house in which I live and running therefore in a southerly direction. If south is in front then north is behind. Now I know the sun rises in the east in Australia and therefore looking out my window to where the sun first appeared this morning I must be looking eastwards. And west is its opposite. So now I have located my self in a north, east, west and southerly direction, I feel better.

If you were to ask me where England lies, and where my daughter is traveling relative to home I must think again. But I know we speak of Northern Europe and the North Pole. All these are ahead up above as I see it in my mind’s eye, so England is most likely to the north of us. Probably not directly north, though .

Having vaguely located myself and my traveling daughter I must begin to write more serious things elsewhere. Maybe I should also visit a doctor to establish that I do not have some dreadful disease that needs immediate treatment. This a comment from my hypochondriacal self.


Jim Murdoch said...

My brother's first wife let me feel her ovaries. I don't think many men outside the medical profession could say that. They were rock hard, like a couple of smallish eggs. It was in my parents' back garden of all places too. I can't remember if they gave her pain or even the reason for their hardness I'm afraid. Of course if the pain is more at the back then it could be your kidneys. Having had a kidney stone I can tell you that is not a fun pain. Other than wind I can't say my intestines have ever given me much trouble.

As for England, I just think of it as down. Mind you I couldn't tell you what direction I'm facing just now. And for some reason that doesn't seem to bother me.

Elisabeth said...

I took myself to the doctor’s and he fed my suspicion that I might have a bad case of constipation, not so dire as cancer of the ovaries but uncomfortable nevertheless. I’m now drinking buckets of water to try to get things going again, but not a lot has happened yet and I fear a total shut down of my internal workings. It’s also embarrassing to write about these things. Why is this so? Why do we rate our bodily toilet habits as so unacceptable in literature? Is it that like the act of defecation itself it must be confined to the toilet? the doctor also prescribed an ultrasound for next week to check my innards, if necessary. I trust not.

It seems a strangely intimate offering, to let one's brother in law touch one's ovaries in the family backyard. It reminds me of the strange intimacy of blogs, but maybe it seems more fraught when it involves family.

Jim Murdoch said...

I grew up in a family where my father saw nothing wrong in announcing that he'd just had "a good clearing out" and a mother who had no problems asking if we'd been that day. I've just read a novel by Paul Auster where the protagonist does go to the toilet and we're told exactly what he does. Other than that the only other instance that springs to mind is in Nineteen Eighty-Four where one of the characters uses a toilet "loudly and abundantly". Oh, and of course Beckett had no problems with any kind of bodily activity. No doubt there are more but I can't think.

As for the ovaries episode I wish I could remember more about it. I couldn't even tell you who else was there. Quite possibly my brother was but I don't remember. Katie was a very down-to-earth girl, very open. I'm sure she would have had no problem in describing in great details her bowel movements had she had any problems that way; she may well have done. She was the kind of girl who, if she'd just had breast implants, would offer me a feel and if I balked at the idea she'd very likely grab my hand saying something like: "For God's sake Jim, they're just breasts!" I never regarded what happened that day as "intimate" but I felt trusted and I have a soft spot for her down to this day even though I probably haven't seen her in maybe twenty-five years.