Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Yesterday when I spent the evening with the new born boyo I was reminded of high octane human need and dependency. I was wondering how you could possibly begin to describe this “fight” that a baby makes to have his/her needs met religiously in these early weeks to someone who hasn’t lived it and hasn’t been so placed. I concluded it’s not possible to describe.  It could be glimpsed like frames in a slowed animation here and there, but unless you were present fulltime in that situation the scale of what it is ungraspable.

The mouth, the mouth, (little wonder Beckett gave it a stage of its own) Except it’s gulping at the air. Everything is driven by the mouth.

Perhaps it’s the same on exit. The mouth shuts down. I was fascinated to learn that the loss of appetite and thirst in a near death decline, rather than being entirely negative, can infact promote feelings of wellbeing in the palliative care patient. And how one role of a person present is to provide comfort to the mouth by keeping it moist. The same might be said of decline, that unless it is born witness to day after day, hour after hour, these minute, yet intensely significant moments cannot be described or understood or accumulated.

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