While I was looking back over my last two posts, this song came to me. Why, I know not and there isn’t going to be any great epiphanic, blessing-counting, “right-on” moment here, where I tell you that all has been revealed and life has become this shining miracle. (Hmmm – perhaps “shining” AND “miracle” is a bit much?) Anyway, back to the plot. It could be any number of things – age (erhem) and too much alcohol for too long (erhem erhem) being the strongest contenders – but for the first time in my life, I see where Blake was coming from in his “Songs of Innocence and Experience”. When I studied the Songs at University; with the imperiousness of youth, I raised an eyebrow and sneered at that old fuddy duddy for dissing “experience”. Experience was something all of us craved – experience of anything and everything, as long as it was different and exciting and especially if it was “meaningful” and “profound” (that’s what studying D.H.Lawarence before one is old enough does to one), was deeply to be desired.
But now, when more time is spent looking back than looking forward, I wonder how on earth I got here. What strange quirks of fate, shifting sands and decisions made unthinkingly or under pressure brought me to where I am? How might things have been different and would I want them to be? Such vivid images of childhood and youth, growing up in an Africa so far away, friendships made and dissolved, and so many dreams and feelings gone unused.
And yet (here comes the “shining miracle” bit – maybe) by making careful choices now, but taking time to think and reflect, by doing the things that matter to me and putting aside the things that don’t, by simplifying and uncluttering and abandoning guilt and anxiety, sometimes, it is a wonderful world…..and so I am back where I started.
My daughter says I suffer from “analysis paralysis”. Maybe I do, but that’s okay too.