I was blown away yesterday.
It has been 10 years since I first parked my car in the spot marked ‘Rod’
We often measure lifetimes in decades.
I’m in my fifth, my kids in their second.
The 20’s, 30’s, 60’s pick your favourite and off you go.
What will become of the 2010’s?
None of this is what blew me away.
I was talking with a patient who has cancer.
She is dying of the disease.
It is 10 years since she was first diagnosed and the fight began.
Indeed – you might consider that in the time period I have been knocking around in Doncaster, she has also been walking the boards, through investigations, diagnoses, prognosis and treatments. I have been bumbling along, living my life, growing my family and she has been living with the uncertainty of cells that have gone awry, moving through her body & likely, despite what we now know about molecular and cell biology, the consideration of some misdeed, as Susan Sontag related – first TB, then Cancer then HIV and now, Dementia – the diseases of morality, or perhaps, better, the diseases we think of when we think of God and retribution… What have I done to deserve this? Can’t I just get-on and live my life? If you travel to West Africa and talk to the populations affected by Ebola, it won’t take long to find someone who will associate the disease with upsetting God or the deity, a payback into suffering. And yet, we all know we are subjects of chance, of happenstance, of occurrence. I happened. It was. Just. Random acts of kindness we accept as making us feel more at home, disparate acts of illness, disease or tragedy, we try to find a meaning. We search. We likely blame, assign culpability, focus our energy and why? Why is because we have such short lives, our passage through the cosmos so insignificant, love is eternal but our impact on the world transient. We seek meaning, we seek a constant, something to cling-to, a mark to leave after we have passed, whether a love-heart carved in oak or a disintegration, condensation wiped-away. We apportion blame, we take responsibility, we weigh-up the good and the bad and the uncertain. No one really knows, no one has a clue, it is all reading in-between the lines; hoping that we’re on the right track.
- 20. #30.