Still living

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed a lack of Friday and Sunday blog posts here on Wrycrow.

This is due to an unexpected medical emergency, where I ended up being taken into hospital via ambulance for a whole battery of blood tests, ECGs, X-rays and suchlike. All for free, of course, thanks to the wonderful NHS (which is in dire straits right now with the awful government cutting it to the brink and preparing to flog it off to private companies).

Not to bore anyone with details, but I’m fine and recovering well. But of course, writing was really the last thing on my mind over the weekend.

Of course, all this excitement also happened on the weekend of my birthday, so how about that?

Such events do interesting things to one’s perception of life. Having a scare throws into sharp relief what matters and what doesn’t. It reveals the myriad of minor stresses and annoyances with which my brain likes to occupy itself to be really very small things after all, not the grand tragedies they can appear to be.

Health, loved ones, nature, faith (if you can even call it that – faith in yourself, faith in love, faith in being). These things matter.

Who we are matters.

Life matters.

Not in any ultimate cosmic Meaning of Everything sense, of course. I am still pretty nihilist when it comes to some Big Meaning. I don’t believe in a creator god and don’t think the universe has some plan or final purpose and to be honest I think it would be a pretty horrifying place to live if it did. Who wants to be a cog in some vast unknowable machine?

But life matters now, here, to me as I live it. And that’s meaning enough.

We don’t find meaning, we create meaning. We are the universe making meaning for itself, and that’s pretty amazing.

Life is – fragile. And short. And it can pass you by without even realising it, while you’re busy with work and bills and politics and small talk and smaller minds.

But it matters.

Look up. If you’re inside, look out a window. See the sky, really see it. We are on a planet with a thin but precious atmosphere that allows all of this to exist. And beyond that, we can see stars. Even in the day, our sun one among endless billions. We come from there. Bits of stardust in our eyes, our hearts, our beings.

Look down. Even if you’re inside, beneath all the concrete and wiring, there is earth. Soil and stone and bone and creatures and history. We come from there. Earth in our bones, ancestors singing in our blood. From dust to us, to dust again. We were not placed on the earth as some religion’s myths have it. We grew from it.

This matters.

Did you know that I have spent some number of decades afraid of truly living? And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Hiding ourselves out of fear, fears given to us, chained to us, laden upon us by parents, churches, schools, bullies, authorities, abusers. And we grow with those chains digging into our psyches so much that we take them in, believing them to be part of us.

They’re not, and they can be broken.

They must be broken.

Live. And live deliciously, in glorious real-ness.

You are of earth and stars.

Have you ever noticed I do this thing where I talk about “you” or “we” when I mean me? Another fear, another way to distance myself from the reality of my own lived experience. My life, which has been questioned, limited, labelled, bounded by others and their pathetic threadbare hand-me-down fears.

I am of earth and stars.

I will live.

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