You don’t know

59A Giotto

Ran into him unexpectedly last week. He was just leaving the cafe to go home and he saw me and said hello. He’s a fellow Landmark graduate and I’d seen him around a couple of times. That was the extent of it. We got chatting and I discovered who he really is.

That morning, he’d taken his elderly father out of intensive care at the hospital to care for him at home until the end. “I’m putting off going home,” he told me, “because I don’t know how he’s going to respond now he’s off the feeding tube and I’m going to try him on solids.” He’s been his father’s full-time carer for four years, except for the periods when his father is in hospital.

His wife is seven months pregnant with their second child, and his little boy is two and a half.

“Yeh, we’ve got Dad set up in the loungeroom so we have to make accommodations but we don’t mind,” he said.

All his concern was on his father’s first proper meal for weeks. “I’m going up to the [organic grocer] to buy yoghurt and bananas. What do you think? Yoghurt or banana? Which would be best?”

Afterwards, he was on my mind and in my heart for the rest of the day. Over and over, I get I don’t know anything including what people are dealing with and who they really are.


 Image: Detail from The Adoration of the Magi, c. 1320 by Giotto di Bondone



8 thoughts on “You don’t know

  1. Another beautiful image: “The Adoration of the Magi”. How true it is that you don’t know what people are dealing with and who they really are. Recently, I went to see a play. It was a wonderful interpretation of “The Penelopiade” by Margaret Atwood. The entire cast was female, and mostly young women. The first time the chorus burst into song, I could hardly believe what I was hearing, it was so ethereal and lovely. For days afterwards, I would notice young women, sitting at bus stops or waiting tables at a restaurant, looking perhaps attractive, but nothing out of the ordinary. I would think to myself, “you just don’t know, she could open her mouth and the voice of an angel could issue forth”.


    • Beautiful story, Mrs Daffodil. All these angels of human beings walking around and we discover it on rare occasions.

      PS. I have a soft spot for Giotto’s works. Always remember walking into the room where his Madonna and Child is in the Uffizi in Florence. Such monumental presence and tenderness!


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