Once again I find myself sitting here sort of alone. I always seem to end up listening to music and drinking a glass or two of wine. The music these days will be Bush, Gavin Rossdale, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, or one of his other projects…. maybe Riverside or Opeth. Whatever, the music seems to find its place within me and that place is invariably somewhere in the past. It isn’t that I don’t look forward to the future, I do and very much. No, it is simply that I now have 55 years of very precious memories, life’s lessons and many rambling and bizarre thoughts about how to make sense of it all.
I have been extraordinarily fortunate in my life. I have packed a couple or more lives in already and who knows? There may yet be much much more. I certainly think I have yet to have my 15 promised minutes of fame, for example. I remember very well Jack, my Dad’s best friend being taken aback by something I said as we visited an old Cornish tin mine. He was filling my head with how hard my life would have been a hundred or so years earlier especially if I had to work in such a place. Confidently and assertively I told him the equivalent of ‘Bullshit, I’d own the place!’ Jack tells me every time he sees me he always knew I would excel….
Well, I don’t own any tin mines. I don’t own much at all actually but I do OK and I have traveled, met, experienced, seen happiness, felt sadness, loved, hated, been loved, been hated and so much more. I have had missed chances and missed disasters. In short, I have had and hope to continue to have, a pretty interesting life. So why not sit here from time to time, glass in hand, music playing, reliving, rethinking, replaying my life.
When I look back, I do see moments that had real importance. It may have been nothing more than a feeling or a hint. I do wonder if that moment was like a wormhole that If had I chosen differently would have dragged me off kicking and screaming down a different path. Or perhaps, those strange moments with that strange feeling that I cannot truly describe were like checkpoints – moments that one can rapidly revisit in technicolour glory to re-explore in a different era, in a different mindset, from a parallel reality perhaps.That is what the poem I wrote tonight is about. The Way Back.
Is it only me that has such moments and wonders over them all of my life? I wish my Dad was still here – I would ask him.
Such moments transcend everything. They take on an importance of amazing proportions. The memory of them oscillates from forgotten to suddenly recalled with a sense of profound shock and awe (to borrow an awful expression). I like the checkpoint idea… as if at some point in time I press a button and say make this point easy to come back to from any other point in my life.
Another way to look at it is that time doesn’t exist at all. The sense of time passing is simply an illusion and these check points are there to let us know that all points in our life are always accessible.