Written in 2012 – still relevant.
Family is sometimes the place where you don’t belong. It is sometimes the worst group of people to be near. It is sometimes the farthest place from your heart. Sometimes though, it is just a place where you used to be.
The souls that make up your family are those roots that bind you to your past, and prepare you for your future. Reflected in their eyes are the strictest judges and most hated jurors. A place where guilt and conscience can not escape. The park benches of their counsel are places from which you must take something good away.
The long walks, into your own failings, regular tortures which you subscribe to. The heavy word, the careless grunt releases torrents of acrid lecture which must surely infiltrate you’re very being.
A few years ago, I was sitting at my desk, a cup of warm coffee filling the air with pungent medicine smells, when I realised that through all the years of my life, I have never given anything of value to my family. In that same vague feeling of mind, I also realised that I had never done anything or been of any use to any person that had ever fallen into my life. Such are twilight thoughts. As these neurones kept the early morning express in my head going, I realised that for most of my life I had been waiting for that one big thing to happen. That one flash of brilliance, that one blinding light, that one moment of clarity, to make it all see somehow less grey. I realised that my life had for so many years been stumbling through the generalities of life without stopping to work on the details.
The coffee was getting cold by this time so I threw these thoughts away into myself and turned to getting some sleep. Stranger things have happened in the world, but as I woke next evening I realised that I may have missed my big thing. What if I had simply walked by that one big thing that could have made all the difference. What if I hadn’t heard a piece of advice. What if I hadn’t taken a wrong turning that could have lead to the right ending? There may have been the greatest revelation in history that was now lost forever – because I was ill that day. Such are the thoughts of dusk. Would it not be the depth of irony if that one moment of brilliance in an otherwise dull and insignificant life was to be missed because I missed the train? What a cosmic joke that would turn out to be. Even funnier than the funniest thing done by a very funny person remotely connected to the Monty Python team.
Universal japes aside, in all seriousness there must be a moment that I am waiting for. There must. I mean – all this life to bum around in and so far nothing worthy of more that a scribble on the margins of eternity has happened. Mind you the margin of an eternity can be a sort of large place. I’m having to use large script – the type you get on billboards – in Oxford Circus or Times Square. Without stepping sideways into the realms of literary and visual cliché’s – let me ask : Have you ever looked at the sky on a clear night? Have you ever seen the stars wink at you – and some occasions make lude and suggestive comments?. Well I have. ( Some of the suggestions were very interesting but the prospect of practical Cosmological Karma Sutra pains me – yes that’s the word ) All those bright twinkling children of the universe. Bright points from both the future and the past all make me wonder why? Not the usual ‘Why am I here?’ or the lesser known ‘Why are my white shirts now pink?’ or even the rather hurried ‘Why is that glass describing a graceful arc towards my face?’. No. I mean the original one.
Nothing else. Just that. Pure, complex, strange, beautiful. Just the thought generated by that simple concept is so pure that it sometimes hurts to perceive it. And no – the answer (against all evidence provided my smart Alec philosophers who haven’t got a brain cell between their egos) is not Why Not?
I think it’s one of those eternal questions. Where the answer forms part of the question and the question forms part of the answer. Very odd. Very beautiful. Very human. And isn’t that just the thing though?
That’s humanity for you isn’t it? All inside out and upside down?