where the writers are



Yesterday I was told to take a "Time Out" twice. It is possible I have never been told this even once before in my life. Is it me, or is it them?

The first time, in the morning, was over the internet. In that social meeting place known as FaceBook. There was a bit of a squabble in the comments to a post. A different slant of views over the subject of 'comets'. Romantic (dare I say) verses Scientific. The original poster told us to take a 'time out'. She indicated that one of us go to the corner and the other get under the piano. It was apparently a tastefully done Internet room.

The second time was when I visited my young friend, Faith, in the hospital. Faith is six. She has brain injury caused by a virus. She, with various medications and rehabilitation, is fighting back. As often happens when I visit, we go outside to a play garden. It is a large, grassy area with trees and flowers and games and slides and swings and benches. One of the games is an adult-sized abacus, with metal 'beads' the size of a fist. They can be shoved back and forth with a resounding clang.

Faith is currently very sensory-orientated. She will watch television and movies and cartoons with rapt attention. She is also attuned to sounds. She does not yet speak as much as she did before the illness, though words and sentences increase weekly. She was much taken by these clanging bits of metal. She would move one and then prepare to run off to some other game. However, I would reply with a good solid clang, and back she would run to take her turn. It was a pleasing occasion to see her retain an interest in something where she also had to participate. Also, she had some flashes and smiles which have been missing.

And then, she had had enough. But she didn't just leave. She looked at me and said "Time Out." Her memory, her cognition, her on-going comprehension were all on display. And her annoyance. And her humour. And a perception that there could be a continuance of what was happening. All this with no prompts from the adult. "Time Out." Again, I did as I was bid.