Saturday, May 10, 2008

"Please wait, while we try to connect you .."

For the last 2 weeks I have been out of sorts. Not seriously. Generally, I have just felt like an alien residing in a less than familiar body. Normally, I am a disgustingly, healthy, energetic, enthusiastic, positive individual. But just over 2 weeks ago I sallied forth for my usual afternoon trot and tottered back feeling like I had just done 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. Crawling, miserably to the scratcher I muttered to anyone who cared to listen, "It'll be gone in the morning, its just a 24 hour thingy". Next day saw me a blithering mass of jelly, shivering and full of aches and pains, unable to summon up the enthusiasm to do anything other than moan piteously. "Its probably a virus" the vet cooed knowingly down the phone to me ... "Just treat the symptoms and get back to me if it persists for longer than 10 days". "10 days!!!!" my brain shrieked .... "doesn't he know I don't do SICK????". But bang on the button, the vet was right, on the 10th day it started to ease off. I felt human again. "Hmmm ... a walk by the river would be nice .... or perhaps I'll do a bit in the garden ... maybe, after I've washed the kitchen floor". I'm just kidding about the kitchen floor. I don't do kitchen floors.

Anyway, being forced to do as little as possible has its advantages. My brain, in feverish bursts of manic activity, had great fun tricking around with momentous topics that rarely see the light of day in the whole of my health.

No time. You see.

There is a God.

In the midst of the earth shattering ruminations on whether the earth is really round or whether if everybody was deaf, would there be such a thing as noise, came the usual suspects such as happiness, internal tickings, friendship, connecting, love, hate, ageing, children, important things, not-so-important things, time-wasters, imposters, physicality, spirituality, sadness. The devil making work for idle hands. Of all of these the one that kept cropping up was the feeling of connection.

On and off through the years, I have felt varying degrees of connectedness to myself, my family, friends, work colleagues, strangers, animals, plants and even, sometimes, inanimate objects. At times, too, there have been periods when the black dog was in full flight, growling and snarling, hackles raised, disconnecting me, daring me to acknowledge my own existence in the greater scheme of things. Daring me to acknowledge and accept my own responsibilities as a living, breathing organism. Daring me to believe, from the black hole of disconnectedness, that the only way out was through re-establishing the tenuous links. These tenuous links that constantly reflect back our own unique existence. The wave from the postman, the smile from a stranger, the enthusiastic tail-wagging from the neighbour's dog, the comment on a blog post. Little acts that reinforce the sensation of having a right to be here. They, in turn, encourage me to reach out, to smile and laugh, to be aware of others who maying be battling their own sooty canines, to have a lightness of being, to connect to all living creatures in my small corner. Really connect. This is the essence of my existence. Without it, what am I? What are any of us?

Life is short. Life is precious.

Carpe diem.

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