I’m ready now.
I read somewhere years ago that life is a preparation for death. Which struck me as a miserable way to live at the time. But recently I’ve begun to understand what whoever said that might have meant. Now that I’m mostly happy, and now so many of the strivings and ambitions of earlier in my life have melted away like they were never there. So I’m ready now.
It’s Sinead O’Connor who’s indirectly got me thinking about all this over the last few days, after a friend on Twitter mentioned she’d been listening to her album “I do not want what I haven’t got.” Being reminded of that title I immediately thought “Me neither.”
And this isn’t about to become a hymn of satisfaction to my possessions. Few as they are they’re enough, that’s what I mean. Nor is this being ready meant to alarm the people I love. I have no reasons to think I’m about to die and nor do I want to. But whenever death comes in the time ahead of me, I think I’m ready now. The things I want from now on being more of what I already have. To grow older and maybe wiser along with you who I love, and to watch you growing happier and growing up in entirely your own ways. To be with you and around you as you become even more like your wonderful selves. To spend my time with you, sometimes on my own with each of you, would be great. I love the conversations we have and I want more of them. If sitting and talking with you were to be most of the rest of my life I’d be happy with that.
Except I need some of the time to be on my own sometimes too. Thinking, writing , listening to music and walking around. I’ve walked around all my life and so I’d never want to stop that now. I also want and need the time it will take to finish this PhD I’m doing, and to see where the university adventure might lead me next. I barely have the words to express the joy this unexpected learning is giving me, this thing I didn’t go looking for that turned out to be exactly what I needed when it turned up. I’m curious to see where it might lead me next.
‘Curious’ though, that’s the feeling. Not desperate or determined. Because ‘desperate and determined’ are over for me now. I do not want what I haven’t got.
I’d like us to have a better government, obviously, and I’d seriously like this virus to go away and to help, in my writing and thinking ways, with making a kinder and fairer society for us all for afterwards. Of course I would. Kinder and fairer have always been the work of my life. But I can’t make a better world out of my own determination and desperation, even though there were many times earlier on when I thought I could. I can’t.
Which doesn’t mean I’ve given up. I will do my writing and thinking, publishing some of it on here, and I’m always happy to talk about what I think with people who are happy to listen. I’ll always listen back and I’m forever happy to learn new things, new opinions, new ways to work out kinder and fairer.
Also, I should mention, I’ve done the practical things. My will, my wishes and also the continuous habit of clearing I’ve long had. I own and keep hardly anything. And because I like living this way it also means no one will have to clear up after me. I do my best to tread lightly on this precious Earth.
And though I’m happier in these later days, if you sometimes read what I write you’ll know I’m not relentlessly happy and don’t expect to be. Depression comes sometimes like it always has, but I’m better at dealing with that now. By talking with my friends, walking away from whatever has been depressing me, walking always, listening to music, being on my own, and waiting for time to pass. Knowing my life contains both light and shade and not wishing it were otherwise. Rich, complex, uneven and interesting life.
I remember when I was young and I believed in an afterlife something that always worried me was that heaven sounded boring, all those harps and angels. But now I like the harps, they’re in a lot of the music I listen to. And I’ve found my angels, here in this lifetime and mostly in Liverpool. I live with one and the rest of you aren’t too far away.
So this is written for all of you, the angels I know, as an appreciation. And it’s also for me, as a reminder about my time and what the rest of it’s for. Quiet reflections these, begun on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the end of May and continued through to a still sunny Sunday morning.
Another spring has been happening around us all, a strange one this but spring nevertheless. And, wishing for many more of them and hoping you don’t take this the wrong way, I think I’m ready now.