Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Life, Death and Slipping into the Shadows

I have the strangest feeling at the moment, as if I'm skirting on the edge of reality.  The kind of feeing you get when you wake up from a confusing, strange dream.  As if everything is a little out of kilter.  The feeling when you have a nightmare, and wake up still worried, then realise that the terrible monster doesn't exist.

Except, it kind of does.  I mean, does anyone else not realise we are scuttling across the surface of a rock, spinning in an infinite solar system, and (pretty much) we have no idea who we are, where we came from, whether there's anything else?

We have NO IDEA what's going on!

All around me, I see evidence that others don't feel as I do.  Businesses, established in 1884, still going strong. People who are working all the hours they have, but forgetting that the only thing they can't buy back is the time they're wasting.  People who have a horrible day because of a spot on their nose (forgetting that there will be an infinite number of years when they will look much, much worse, or not exist at all).

We are a tiny blink of the universe's eye.

I can't work out quite what to do with this feeling.  First of all, I want to immerse myself in life so I don't feel it anymore - I want to be blissfully in denial like (so it seems) the majority of humanity. 

Is it better to be in touch with the fragile and fleeting nature of life, and always feel a little bit 'out' and 'on the edge' and aware of death, or is it better to immerse yourself in the everyday but get hung up on silly things like whether you've got the right glasses for your face-shape, or whether you tip the scales at 50 or 55 kilos?

No matter what I do, at the moment, the feeling persists.  The way I see it, I have two choices:
1.  Lie down on the floor (because 'what's the point?')
2.  Live life to the full (because 'why the hell not?)

At the moment, I choose 2!

Because this feeling that I am playing the "game" of life - that the whole thing is just so overwhelmingly frightening and ridiculously funny in equal measure - gives me a kind of strength.  I feel quite brave.  Because, really, why not take chances, try, do something? 

But we are simply candle flames, flickering on a fragile wick and gone in an instant...

I went to a little concert tonight - little kiddies doing their best to dance and play instruments.  My Lily performed in a "ballet" (as far as 4 year olds can perform in a ballet), and I was torn between using my eyes or my camera?  Memory or moment?  Moment or memory? 

As I felt time slipping by, I realised second by second that this evening was already fading into the shadows and the flickering lights I was capturing on camera had already changed and moved.

And I felt my world and everything in it slipping into shadows and beyond my reach.

Then I looked into Lily's eyes and smelt her hair as she sat on my lap. And I knew suddenly that this - this was real.  I breathed my little girl in...

and I lived.


Janet said...

Oh Gillian, I came across your blog (cannot now remember how I landed here, but it was a tangent from Facebook.) Your writing is a great pleasure. I've read - raced through - several of your bouncy rollicking narratives. You are doing well ! Your four little ones will most likely benefit from a fine beginning. You have humour and you can relativise. It will all become miraculously easier in a few years. I feel you are going to be a great team, closely bonded, and full of life. I raised two little French-Australians in France now a generation ago, and I put much energy into it .. Your experience is more intense, and not quite comparable ; but I related well to much of what I read. Well done again. And your writing is a knock-out.

Gillian Harvey said...

Thanks Janet - what a lovely comment! :) xx

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