When you are born you should be presented with a 70-year-diary, every day already filled in, a bright red ribbon tied around the cover. Then, as you work your way through life, you could constantly check where you were up to and what lay ahead. Or perhaps it would be best to leave it closed, the ribbon left done up.
When I was young milk, bread, groceries, newspapers were all delivered to the house every day. Now I have to go miles to a supermarket.
Old age finds you sailing the Sargasso, through scattered “In Memoriam’ notices littering the surface like seaweed.
A crowd, a host, of white and yellow and orange daffodils.
In old age, save me from counting down towards death from cancer, one spoon of morphine at a time, in an aged total care facility.
In old age, save me from counting down towards death, one crossword at a time, in an old people’s home.
A cancer diagnosis isn’t an “intimation of mortality”. Instead it announces, with the blast of trumpets, the roar of jet engines, the explosion of dynamite, that your life has changed in a big way, and that your mortality is no longer a given.
An argument often made these days about long-lasting and unwinnable wars is that “we owe it to the dead” to keep fighting forever and never lose otherwise their sacrifice was in vain. Nonsense of course – just a recipe for never-ending wars because you just keep adding more and more dead. I wonder if the same logic is at play with religion – people think they owe it to all the believers of the previous 1500 or 2000 years to keep believing otherwise their faith was in vain? Just a recipe for keeping the malign influence of religion alive in the world forever.
I wonder if Helen of Troy started a social club for ladies who launch?
When I saw petals scattered all over the garden path I thought “there must be a peony!”