Cancer. Pandemic shielding. And now post-op recovery. I have spent a great deal of time this last two years trapped behind glass. Sometimes, unable to use all my senses to the fullest, especially in relating to my kin (human or not).
Windows, laptop, TV and phone screens shield me in my vulnerable state, at the same time frustrating me from my usual state of being out and in nature. But at least they offer a thread of attachment to the natural world. Sometimes, it is watching my pigeons on the balcony, through double-glazed patio doors. Sometimes, it is simply staring at a photo of a clear blue sky on my iPhone. Or, through my bedroom window, observing a vast cloudy dome full of circling swifts readying for adventures south.
At times in life, it can feel bizarre and extreme; looking at a mountain through plate glass whilst sipping coffee in a cafe, high up on a cable car run in the Alps; peering out at a vast desert through a jet plane window.
Sometimes, it is simply watching nature programmes on TV, cupilustria present as an ache throughout my whole being.
There is no obvious noun in English for this state of being. So I have come up with something new.
Glas ~ Welsh for colours in nature (green, blue, silver, grey); also English glass from PIE root g̑hel and g̑hlō; old English glæs, glass and glǣm, to shine.
Cella ~ Latin for small chamber, inner temple. Somewhere enclosed, a form of captivity.
Glascella ~ Noun. A state of being. Trapped behind glass or screen, unable to access directly the wonders of nature that can be seen or heard on the other side. Seeing nature with an extra sheen.
That night, on Skype, I was in a state of glascella, wondering if I’d ever touch your face again.
Looking at the birds through the rooflight, glascella overwhelmed me, and I decided to plan an escape to the hills.
I felt a deep sense of glascella as I watched the programme.