Life Goes On

© Jendella Benson



If you sit almost silently you can hear the sound of time sliding by. It has a shape and texture, like giant sheets of water gliding over the edge of a cliff. The current is steady and dependable, not violent, but unrelenting all the same. A quiet, hypnotic waterfall.

* * * * *

Life goes on.

In turmoil and drama my only comfort is that tomorrow will come on schedule without my permission, request or blessing. The involuntary motion forward is good. Better than the alternative, which would be self-medicated pauses in order to “get myself together”, signalled by a strangled plea of “just give me a minute – please!” These ‘minutes’, as my labour midwife found out, are indefinite intervals where all my will power is channelled into making the sheets stop sliding and trying to pause the current mid-flow. It does not work. Thankfully, it never works, because there is nothing to be gained from freezing in the precise moment of your pain to lick your wounds.

* * * * *

Because life goes on, I’m forced to move on – to get with the programme and actively keep in step. It’s not so much “keep calm, carry on” as “stay sane, look forward”, because if you’re not swimming with the current, you’ll get dragged by it. My newborn son will be one month old next week. I could lie and say “I don’t know where the time has gone!”, but I know. While I don’t mean to wish his life away, I’m grateful that the slow days have slid into swift weeks.

* * * * *

Once upon a time “life goes on” was a rebuke delivered with an eyeroll to let the recipient know of the speaker’s disregard for their complaint or current situation. For me it’s now an affirmation: at some point reality will slide into memory and everything I’m feeling now will just be part of an anecdote to tell. Until then I’m grateful that I have no choice but to keep moving forward.

Tomorrow will come quicker if I keep moving forward.

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