The prompt for Haiku Heights this week is the word ‘script’. I knew immediately what I wanted to write about but it is a painful memory. When my father was very ill with cancer I would sit by his bed for hours on end whenever I was not at work. He was a self taught man who left school at the age of 13 to work in the shipyards in the North of England where he lived. He spent his whole life working with steel, eventually owning his own business. He was in great demand as a consultant on huge projects from bridges to buildings like Canary Wharf in London and Terminal 4 at Heathrow. He was also recognised as a bit of an expert on safety in Nuclear Power Stations which he used to inspect. I absolutely adored him and shared his passion for bridges, buildings and anything of beauty.
Now my father kept a diary all his life and his last sentence on every entry was a prayer of thanks for his day. He always used a propelling pencil and wrote with a beautiful script. As he got weaker his diary became really important to him. However hard it was to write he would still insist on filling in the days news. He recorded every visit by doctors, nurses, priests and friends. The day before he died he was quite distressed that he could not hold his pencil and he insisted that I should write what he dictated, which I did. When he fell asleep with the exhaustion of it I took a peek at his diary and I was totally shocked by what i found. For the worst months of his illness he had ended every entry with a prayer to St Jude ~ patron Saint of Lost causes! This was a bit upsetting. But the really upsetting thing was that for the last two weeks his entries were in mirror writing. Every word and line was written backwards. It was still legible although the writing was getting rather spidery.
I found this deeply moving as it seemed to me that his life was going into reverse. After he died I mentioned the mirror writing to the doctor and he said it sometimes happens as a result of neurological disturbance. I suppose this would make sense as he was so ill and on strong pain relief. But I still found it very unsettling.
I have heard since that some people like Leonardo Da Vinci used to do mirror writing. It is a strange phenomenon still not fully understood.
As in a mirror
His writing flowed in reverse
His Life rewinding