Friday, 2 September 2016

Notes on Death and Significance.

Several times during the six days I was without the internet there was a song I wanted to listen to on YouTube. This was it:

As I’ve gone through life I’ve picked up on odd pieces of music and marked them out as good candidates for my funeral. Given the nature of the occasion, I think this is my favourite because there’s such an air of optimism, elegance and simple peace about it. When I did finally get to listen to it again, I was struck by the scene I imagined before me. I was at my own funeral watching proceedings, and was struck by the fact that the people gathered there were focussed on the memory of me. And I felt that for the first time during my current mortal existence, I mattered.

Ah, well, I suppose that can be put down to poor potty training as a child, but the next little note is something different.

There was a vole on my path this evening. He was sitting still and seemingly uninjured, but his head was down and I judged that he’d reached the end of his time. I picked him up gently and placed him in the greenhouse where he could at least be peaceful and free of the unwelcome attention of predators. And he had my blessing, for what it’s worth.

The point here is that I know that death is the natural and necessary conclusion to every life. I know it and accept it, but I can’t accept it with equanimity. Every death hurts, even when it’s only that of a lowly little vole.

So where does this photograph of my ex wife fit into the scheme of things:

She’s very small within the overall image, but because she’s wearing red – at my behest – she’s the most prominent element in it. And maybe that gives the clue as to why I still like it after all these years.

You see, I’m singularly unimpressed by the powerful politicians, the wealthy business magnates and the all-conquering heroes. It seems to me that if anything matters at all in this crazy world, it’s the small things on which everything else is built.

No comments: