Gertude Fester

To theraputise her was difficult. \i can hear and learn from what she is saying – what is troubling her is near to the truth. The good thing is that as a therapist I do not need to say anything, do not have to commit myself to anything. I could just ask a question like: Why do you feel that way?  What is it that confuses you-  What are your current dreams. I can hear and I have to listen to her- I do not have to give any answers. My! But she is really such an open book! She really bares her soul. Fascinating that she trusts me implicitly!

To client her means that I must respect her dignity, support her and subtly guide her on her way  – her journey to acceptance, healing, self-awareness, happiness, self- acceptance. I have to get her out of her negative space – client her to calmness, support her to self-sufficiency – why is it that time is so blank? What was the journey and how do I, did I, Florence De Villiers, meet this woman? I am discomforted by having to client her. I feel guilty. No I do not because all these things are fragments of her imagination – all her fantasies. She now wants to write a book on this…

I tranquil her – when she speaks she opens up all her wounds –  All her anguish and imaginative and now she’s approaching me for all her records – that is if  I have some memories- Is this ethical ? I do not  know what to say to her. I could just keep quiet. Did she find the help she had wanted? She is now thinking that she is reliving the past. She came to us wanting help but she is experiencing more powerlessness and lack of control –  she is being controlled by us – By medication – We meant well to help her…

I clocked her as she entered. I did not want to listen to her. I will clock her out on time. I must not give her any extra time and let her clock me. I’m the therapist – I must clock. I have the clock in my hand and in my power like I have the clock to stop her. Does it matter how distressful she is at the end at that moment? What if it is clock time? I must clock her out of this room and the clock will bring relief – just clock her out of my life for at least the next two weeks.

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Gertrude Fester

Gertrude’s Ghazal

What is this dangerous spiralling inside my self?
I am searching for the Stillness of granite, of water, of self

The mountain purples in morning sun, soft sun’s caress on rock
Where is this Stillness of granite, of water, of self?

Inside me is a Samurai sword, piercing pain
I gasp for the Stillness of granite, of water, of self

I am an oak leaf dancing, a pine’s rigid spindle
floating, searching for the Stillness of granite of water of self

I am a gushing river rushing, a meandering stream of melting snow
Confusion abounds still, no Stillness of granite, of water, of self

I’m a swallow merrily singing, a fish eagle swooping on prey
I grope, strive, deprived of Stillness of granite, of water, of self

Yellowwood, elm, fynbos, iris, orchid, protea
Accepting my diversity I reach for the Stillness of granite, of water, of self

The mountain maroons in orange twilight. In the warm embrace of the hazy moon
I celebrate. I am Stillness, granite, water, myself