Despite being in broad agreement with Dawkins on many issues I really feel he is loosing his mind with this comment https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-ouch-28879659 and undermining some of his more thoughtful interventions. This comment is outrageous, discriminatory and plain wrong.
On with the posting.
I will not keep referring to the various provisos I have been keen to emphasize in previous posts. I henceforth assume that you have read the old stuff and have absorbed the notions of:
• My fortunate position regarding love and support
• My enthusiastic uptake of pills that make you feel happy
• My desire not to hurt anyone’s feelings
So now I can say what I came here to say.
I am strangely content and happy.
There is no doubt in my mind that since having cancer a lot of my old anxieties have evaporated (good riddance). I know it’s a terrible cliché to suggest that illness gives you a new perspective on the things that really matter and I am not actually suggesting that. I have been spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about the things that don’t matter a jot and deriving great pleasure from them. We now have an aerial on the house that means I can hear Radio 3 in stereo for the first time ever. I have glued backed together our TV Dinner trays – neglected for years. In fact gluing stuff has become a positive highlight of my day. If I happen upon some neglected, handleless cup requiring a dab of Evostick I feel a wave of joy anticipating the 20 minutes of tweaking, elastic banding and scraping off the excess glue. I guess that activity is a bit like picking at scabs on your knees when you were six and in short trousers. Most satisfying! I have an exceptionally tidy study and now that I am so much more mobile my ‘nest maintenance’ is beginning to spread around the house. I have tidied G&A’s room, gathering up their books, putting them on shelves, not so anal as to be in any order but still on shelves as against in piles. Poor A has been subject to a radical reorganisation of his scores and all his drum hardware. He has taken numerous and unenthusiastic trips to our spider ridden loft to relocate redundant bits and pieces. M soldiers on womanfully making loose covers for a settee someone gave us, supported by two cats who insist on lying on the material as she machines or fighting with the tape measure.
So all in all the family focus and my focus in particular oscillates between – let’s call it “life and death concerns” and trivia.
Perhaps on my part it is some hidden desire to put things in order – but I reject that notion too. If anything I am creating less order by starting loads of projects, large and small, all at the same time. DIY, tidying, writing, practising, programming, finding fountains, car boot sales, web servers and of course this blog.
What is more interesting and more surprising is the degree to which I feel quite content with my lot. This is not really my usual state – I am not an unhappy person ever – well hardly ever – In fact I would probably be thought of as quite jolly, but I have been somewhat possessed by a few demons – mainly I think satisfying ambition and status – can’t honestly say for sure- but I have tended to lock myself away with an intense project and ignore everybody else. Perhaps I am doing less of that now – again it is for others to say – either way this dose of a fairly aggressive potential for misery has made me HAPPIER!!
I can’t believe this is just the one drug I take (I am off the sedating pain-killers). I gather it’s a tiny dose of a very mild anxiety reducer – supposed to take the edge off those ‘black dogs’ I referred to umpteen posts ago, not designed to transport you to Nirvana. Of course maybe I am just a happy druggy.
No I am going to say confidently that a life threatening disease arising in the circumstances I am in (see provisos above) is just not that bad. Perhaps it is the years of practise devoted to coming to terms with the fact that life can flip between great and shit randomly. The guy I met in The oncology centre from the village a week or so ago is dead now – not from the cancer, something else. I liked him a lot. He held deep Christian beliefs.
Off course I should not forget what it’s like for those around me, that love me, that would be incredibly thoughtless. Still I have a feeling that knowing that the main protagonist in the drama you have found yourself unwillingly participating in, is (so far at least) fairly jolly, nee content, can’t be a bad thing. Can it? Mmmm or can it???