noun (plural hiatuses)
a pause or break in continuity in a sequence or activity:
there was a brief hiatus in the war with France.
It's a dark irony that no sooner had my book on blogging been published, than my own practice was interrupted by a combination of events which left me caught between accepting the need for a break and the desire to make sense of it all through words. Had I followed the later course, I've no doubt I'd have tried to unpick the overwhelm with logic; the first refuge of the angry man... or at least this one.
It's not that reasoning isn't right which stopped me - by definition it sort of is. Rather, it's more that its not enough; for the truth requires the tears and tantrums as much as the whys and wherefores. And only when they are disclosed and settled (at least in our minds, if not on paper) can we properly begin afresh. Suppressing them altogether, would imply something less than human.
A week ago, I was in France, where I wrote a short piece for an alpine journal:
From the mezzanine window of my house I can see the ridge of Mont Billiat, its lower slopes clothed in the dazzling hues of an alpine autumn. Last night’s storm has flecked the summit with snow, accentuating the gullies and arêtes that make it an intimidating and serious winter climb. Today there was a walking group, maybe thirty strong, setting off from its base to make a tour of the surrounding forest.
The walkers were from a local club, and in broken English their leader told me this was the first autumn they’d scheduled regular meets since the pandemic. His mention of that period —which sometimes seems like history now — reminded of how wary we became of each other, as much we were of the virus. With obvious satisfaction, he added that their membership was now greater than before the lockdowns.
And how wonderful is that I thought.
The purpose of posting this extract here is, I suppose, to form a sort of hiatus too; a tangential break in the stream of thought; an interlude and yet a connection...
For in some ways, my respite from blogging reminds me of the current UK public enquiry into the Covid pandemic. An odd parallel perhaps, but an example (if you've followed proceedings) of how we seem necessarily programmed to vent our emotions before learning any lessons. Arguably, we need time too, to see things in perspective.
On the subject of which, it strikes me that those who (largely for political reasons) called for an immediate review were most definitely wrong in one respect... It will be many years before we can truly assess the collateral and counter-factual impacts of, say, lockdown and whether it was or wasn't a beneficial policy... But there I go again, reasoning away...
When what I need to do is pause and, metaphorically at least, go for that walk in the woods. Meanwhile, little Oscar is scratching at the door where his lead is kept— he would seem to know that the tide has turned.
It feels good to be back.