After hibernating, I’m estivating now…

This blog has spent the winter in a lazy silence. No-one complained. In breaking my silence I’m mindful of the judgement of Tim Minchin, who spoke (on ‘Australian Story’) of the morbid addictiveness of seeking affirmation. This blog was created precisely with that intention: I would write and you would like.


I’ve been thinking about this unattractive reality. I can’t see any way of sharing my writing without courting some sort of warm response. I could simply write and show no-one. Emily Dickenson wrote many, many poems and showed very few. Emily was shy; I am the opposite. So here we are, about to estivate. 

Allow me to plead a single, small justification for posting my writing in public. Some years ago a nurse I used work with in an extremely remote community, contacted me after I had posted some piece of writing. She told me she looked forward to my posts. She said, Óut here you can feel forgotten by the world you knew. There are no papers here. You look forward to contact. After I’ve read whatever you post, you come back here and we talk all day in my head. I missed your posts when they stopped coming.

One of the reasons I write is a simple delight in words. When I suffered a (very) minor stroke a year or so ago, it struck my words. A little blood vessel in my brain aged, shriveled and died. As a result a bit of braindied. That bit (called the pons) is responsible for speech. The stroke was slight, just a caress really. For a short while I slurred sibilants at the end of words. ‘S’ words came out in an unshapely rattle.


If my fate had been to destroy the pons entirely I might have lost all speech, a stroke of good luck for some, perhaps, but unbearably sad for me. So here I am, bursting into words as my world bursts into spring. I’ll try to bloom and I hope you’ll like. Just don’t tell me.

11 thoughts on “After hibernating, I’m estivating now…

  1. Hi Howard, I always read your posts and enjoy the way you write, as I’ve always enjoyed listening to you talk. Keep well dear Howard. Love to Netti, who by the way, I dreamt about recently. That must be a sign for another brunch soon, looking forward to more reading of your posts. Love Janette


  2. Good morning, Dr Howard G. Welcome back. God’s Blessings to you and your family. You’re the only Doctor I’ve known for an astonishing 50 or so years. I wish you good health and happiness. Sincerely, Rudi Leibel and family.


  3. I am so happy to see you back and posting again. And very sorry to hear that the invincible Dr Goldenberg suffered a stroke, however minor. I have replied previously to express my gratitude at your posts, but felt that maybe my responses were too effusive or embarrassing, so I stopped. But I have indeed missed your warm, humour-filled posts, particularly over a very long winter/spring during which governments in election mode have conveniently lifted covid restrictions despite the virus’s ongoing impact on loved ones’ lives…I could rant on, but really, I am just happy to see that you are again posting your writing. It is as welcome as the warm weather has been. Be well! You and your writing are very much appreciated.


    • hello michelle

      what warm reaction!
      thank you.

      i can only return to your your own kindness in your own words: “You and your writing are very much appreciated.”




    • anna

      you might just be my most faithful reader

      yes, i do write a lot of sad: it must be a way i have of dealing with the sad we see

      and i think it must satisfy my need to register the sadness of others

      this is a perverse pleasure!

      best to you and louis!


      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Howard, Good to hear from you again. Just the other day, i was thinking about you, when I saw some news item about the New York marathon, and was hoping you are well. You know, we call our grandkids grandrats now too, and think of you and smile about your humour every time. Keep writing and we’ll be reading. Greetings to Rachel and the twins as well. Susanne



    • susanne!

      a grandparent??


      congratulations on the grandrodents!

      i’ll pass on your greetings to rachel

      if you choose to contact her you might learn surprising news!




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