Which point of view?

Inside the vestibule and chapel at Eastbridge Hospital (c) Jane Risdon 2015Is it ever possible to communicate experience in words?There is a very big difference between the experience of sitting by my husband in the hospital,holding his hand and singing psalms and  saying to a friend,I sang while my husband was dying.

Is it something about the point of view?That in my own experience I was inside,almost at the centre,of the activity whereas when I mention it to another person I am describing it from the position of an onlooker,seeing both myself and my husband from a distance.

And someone said to me,All those nurses and doctors,they will never forget hearing you singing…again as if we are looking at the scene from afar..

Whereas for me,I was inside the experience,singing softly sending out soundwaves which some other people could hear,but those people were invisible to me.I could see only what was in the cubicle

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About Kate4grace

I love writing and conversation,wild flowers,music and air
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2 Responses to Which point of view?

  1. mikeoxon says:

    I doubt whether words are ever adequate. For example, if we visit a new place then, no matter how much we have read beforehand, or talked about, or watched on TV, the experience is a different thing. Afterwards, we have that experience but cannot pass it on, any more than we were able to receive it from others.

    How often do we say (or write) something, only to be mis-understood. Sometimes, we can resolve the matter through discussion but at other times it can seem impossible for the other person to grasp our ‘true’ meaning

    I think you have an experience that is unique to yourself. Others may be able to think of parallels in their own lives but they will never know if they are really the same.

    To quote T S Eliot:
    “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
    Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still.” Burnt Norton (The Four Quartets)

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    • Katherine says:

      Yes,we need to be more aware of this.Not just us but politicians etc.A lot of quarrels are probably based on different perceptions which neither side realises.I suppose art,music,writing can try to give us some way of conveying what it was like.If I say I found it a spiritual experience being with my husband I don’t know how others might interpret that.In a way it was ordinary but also very potent.Mind you,I’d rather have him back at home.God is so selfish

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