The school project entailed each student discussing what they would put in Room 101 and why. Room 101 is where the bad things go.
For Saagar, it was translucent curtains. He thought they were pointless. They didn’t keep the sun out. They didn’t hold any warmth in. They blew in the wind. They annoyingly got in the way. Close up they were see-through. They twitched in the hands of old ladies. Their flimsy paperiness didn’t have a pleasant texture. They collected dust. They looked like nothing much. As far as he was concerned, they didn’t serve any purpose They definitely belonged in Room 101.
When I look back to my younger days, I can see me making similar arguments. At that time things fell into distinct boxes – good and bad, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, royalty and commoner, black and white – concepts inspired by fairy tales, cartoons and films, Cinderella and Snow White to name a couple.
As the years went by, I learnt that a lot of life happens in grey zones, many rights and wrongs are based on a given context, some things can be beautiful and ugly at the same time, royalty can be common and the good and the bad resides in all of us.
Maybe his young mind told him there were only two available choices – life or death. Maybe if he was a bit older he would have known that there are other choices, one of them being, waiting it out.
“Nothing worked but the passage of time … It’s an illness and it ran its course. I had always described myself as melancholy or depressive but I hadn’t a clue. Anything I had before was a blue day by comparison. This was altered perceptions, a mental illness.” Says the Irish novelist, Marian Keyes, 53, about her severe depression in 2009. Writing was her “rope across the abyss”. She started with short stories and her 13th novel is soon to be released.
“Have patience with all things but first of all with yourself.”
-Saint Francis de Sales.
Room 101 : http://www.definitions.net/definition/ROOM%20101
Novelist Marian Keyes reveals fight against constant ‘suicidal impulses’ : https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/12/novelist-marian-keyes-reveals-fight-against-constant-suicidal-impulses
What you write is so true Sangeeta about patience and ways of understanding. William also didn’t have process thinking, he had a rigid way of looking at things – either you were cool or uncool, well or ill etc, and at the end he too lost patience…
One of William’s consultants wrote to us and included the sentence, ‘I hope you have the patience to bear the grief of his loss’ and I have often thought about his comment.
Sending you very warm wishes, and sharing your pain, love from Sarah