morbid rumination

morbid rumination

reality

child
sidewalk walking
primary school clothing

imagination

speeding car
footpath lurching
windscreen view to car body colliding
shattered glass and limp body flying
plummeting

morbid

family arriving
stage right shrieking
mother father screaming
knees not bearing
crumpling

rumination

funeral proceeding
parents grieving, in black seething
brother lurching, sister reeling
family kneeling
splitting

annotation

dark side of the moon
waxing

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28 thoughts on “morbid rumination

  1. So well put together, Gabe. I’ve had a few close calls on the road lately with some kids stepping out on the road in front of me (they were texting and had headphones on so were oblivious to the traffic) so this poem got to me. I do worry about road safety and know how quickly things can happen. Brilliantly done!

    • Thanks Selma πŸ™‚ Technology is posing some real road hazards that’s for sure – though this is just a flight of negative imagination you might say – the child remains safe on the side of the road, but not in the onlookers mind.

  2. This thought process goes through my mind every time I pass a child walking along the pavement on the side of a road. It makes me check my speed: the consequences of speeding in the wrong place are quite unbearable.

    • Unbearable for sure Kate! My sister and I saw a man (who was walking on the sidewalk in Cambridge – when we lived there for a while as teenagers) get killed by a car that went up a footpath (the driver had had a heart attack) – it was such a thud and then he flew onto the bonnet, over the top and then onto the road – it didn’t seem real at the time but probably has stayed with me subconsciously as I drive my own car.

  3. A very clever poem illustrating the brain ruts created by ruminations – brings to mind Sarah Watt’s film ‘Look Both Ways’. Many people do not go beyond the thoughts in the first stanza and have a hard time understanding others who do.

    • Great synopsis bb (I haven’t seen that movie) – I figure a few people will just be shaking their heads at the poem – though this form of catastrophising is also very common in other forms (eg., the run of imaginative negative thoughts when a parent’s teenager is out late at a party and should be home etc; the very common fear of flying which can be associated with a long list of negative outcomes eg., a terrorist might blow up the plane, what if the engine fails, what if this storm gets worse etc.,) – anyone with imagination and a penchant for the negative can stumble easily into catastrophising I think. The difficulty lies in stopping it – haha

  4. A hard one to read! I witnessed a child being hit by a car, and being witness was a very tramatic experience. Happily the child survived. I was told later that he had no serious injuries, which was astonishing after his being knocked unconscious. I was in such a sad state for a long time after seeing that, but knowing he was okay helped me to forget.

    People who see a child near a road SHOULD always assume the possibility of the child making a dash. The child whose accident I observed was trying to cross the street but only looked in one direction. I knew he was going to get hit, because I saw the vehicle approaching that he failed to notice, which made seeing it even worse. I was too far away to intervene. So I just watched in horror. And then I screamed. And my screaming alerted someone near his location, who ran to him and stood over him in the street, preventing his being further injured. Then I ran back toward my house and phoned for help.

    As to the negative ruminations themselves they can sometimes serve good purpose. I think it depends upon the inclination of one’s mind. For instance, I have sometimes while driving down highways or city roads whiled the time by asking myself the question “if an emergency occurred right now do I have an escape route?” And asked in that way, as a routine and unemotional speculation, the question can be prudent, I think. Because it gets you into the habit of thinking about the whole physics of driving. If you think about the ways you might manuever the vehicle “in a pinch,” I think you develop a better awareness of your surroundings and options. Maybe it helps avoid an accident or to anticipate the kinds of scenerios that lead to accidents and diffuse your own potential role in those situations before they have a chance to occur.

    My dad always told me to check the horizon — occasionally glance as far down the road as you can see and find out what’s happening ahead. Check the horizon and all the spaces between you and the car in front of you.

    After accident reactions, however, are a bit different emotionally, aren’t they. I’ve only been in a crash once, and no one was injured when a driver ran into my car from the side and behind after failing to stop while making a left hand turn. (I was traveling across the intersection and into the street from which the other car was turning.)

    For a month I thought ever car coming from the side was going to get me. It took a while to shake the feeling and recover my driver’s “cool.” It was a very skittish time!

    • What you say makes perfect sense Aletha and the degree of ruminating will be affected by personal experience as well as personality traits and a leaning to anxiety and catastophising in general. That must have been terrible seeing the child hit (it was bad enough when I saw an old man get hit by a car but a young child is horrific) – thank goodness they were alright in the long run. I’ve never had a car accident of note but I was nearly killed by an aquaplaning bus which went through a red light and ended up less than a foot from my bonnet – if I had gone a bit quicker that day I would have been a goner – so I am always visualising imaginary collisions when I drive, especially with oncoming trucks and large vehicles; and even going over train crossings I always imagine a train coming out of the blue and smashing into my car (and that may have something to do with the fact that one day I was nearing a crossing and a train went though but the gate didn’t go down – I stopped but it was lucky no-one went through the malfunctioning crossing – unbelievable.

  5. interesting to explore and get it out Gabrielle. grim. and sadness. among other things. in some ways it reads just like a script for an anti-thoughtless-driving public awareness message. something to jolt viewers into mindful driving on a 3 day weekend.

    yeah, a lot of things change when you become a parent altho sometimes we are not even aware of it until years later. and still we are changing even then.

    if this thought sequence is overly strong, meditation may help. …just saying… i dont need to go down this path too often to remain aware. it is life in our world tho. aloha.

    • Thanks Rick πŸ™‚ Meditation is a good idea, but not something I have practiced (a bit like exercise – you know it is good for you but doing it is something else πŸ˜‰ ). I’d like to get into Tai Chi soon – the whole family practicing it – my hubby could teach us as he used to practice it and other martial arts years ago – good for breathing and relaxation (as is the writing of haiku – haha – which is more my cup of tea).

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