Two years ago, in October 2014, I completed the writing of a year’s worth of blog posts where I’d been thinking about the meaning of my life and what I’d do, and not do, if I found I only had a year of it left to live. I’d been asking people this question for the previous twenty years, for a reason that needn’t bother us here, but had never asked it of myself until a dear friend sat me down and turned the question back on me.
You changed my life that day, Sarah Jones, so here I am on a quiet Saturday morning acknowledging that and reflecting on what I’d do now if I had a year left to live.
Two years ago I summed up my year of reflections in this ‘top ten’ list of what I’d learned:
- You truly never know the day
- You know that stuff about the ‘Present moment?’ It’s all true.
- There has been a definite and seemingly permanent slowing down of the rage to succeed.
- I don’t have the time to ‘fix things’ – I would rather be happy than right.
- I am glad to be older.
- I am happy where I am.
- My camera and my writing give me great joy.
- Most stuff is useless or worse.
- Music matters deeply to me still. But not all music.
- All you need is love, really.
Then after writing that, and thank you for your subsequent and continuing life support Sarah Horton, I pretty much stopped working, went walkabout and wrote most of the blog posts you can meander through on here. It was great.
And I realise now I was thoroughly sick of working, almost sick to death of it. Particularly the self-employed version of working I’d been doing for the previous twenty years, where you’re always sort of working and every conversation, with everyone, might ‘lead to something.’
No sunny day was wasted. I got to know, in detail, the times of the buses to New Brighton. And I’d sit delightedly in the front seat upstairs taking photographs of the route, from Cook Street, through the tunnel, Wallasey and Seacombe, to peaceful days sat reading on the beach looking back across the river at Liverpool.
At Liverpool, where I actually did continue to work some of the time. Just not for the money. In L8 in Granby and in L4&5 with Homebaked. Both of which contributed to the slow germination of what I’d now do if I had a year to live, which is of course Coming Home.
Me and Jayne Lawless, my artist friend from Everton, have now been in full operation as Coming Home Liverpool for four weeks. And if I were really in my final autumn, and which of of us truly ever knows, I can think of nothing I’d rather do than what we are doing.
So sat here, early on a peaceful Saturday morning, at the end of another busy and fulfilling week, I thought I’d write this down, add it to the ‘Year to live’ thoughts and then get on with living it.