Geography makes a difference. In the last place I lived my study was on the way to my bedroom at the end of the house. The house was a basic rectangle. This house is pretty well square, and the study in one corner and my bedroom another. What that means is that often before in the old house on the way to bed I’d stop off at the study and then find myself seated at my desk and typing away. Until recent times that hasn’t happened here. I don’t pass the study on the way to bed. I go straight from lounge to bedroom, and so I haven’t stopped off, haven’t been given excuse to write – until the last little while.
Geography counts (or is that traffic flow?), but the difference these last few days is all attitude. Can’t pin it down except to say I’m less regulated. The linear progression from couch to bed has been interrupted. It’s the weather, or the state of my life, or the fact I don’t have a bedside lamp any more, or whatever, but I’m bouncing from one room to another. I’m alert, my mind wanders, I’m curious, I think, I’ve got something to say even if I don’t know what it is.
So it seems tonight. It’s warm again. The time is 10.45pm. I’ve got half a bottle of wine in me, a bit of cheese, I’ve watched the soccer with Cheeseboy, wondered who the hell Sophie Black is, and it’s all been pretty mellow.
It’s very still. The world seems asleep. Something falls from a tree outside and rolls down the roof. Somehow that makes the silence deeper. Somewhere Rigby sleeps – probably on my bed. Somewhere tomorrow is being queued up to become today. Somewhere a lot of things will happen, become news, unfold and reveal themselves. Somewhere the things I wonder about are still being determined. That’s all somewhere, and somewhere ahead. This is now.
It seems so trite when you write it like that: this is now. But it’s something that might have crossed Marcus Aurelius mind two millennia ago sitting in a tent on the Danube. This is now; what comes tomorrow. Of course there have been hundreds of thousands of days since. We know pretty well what came next day, and the days after. As one day people in the future will look back and know. As, probably, I will, in a week, a year or whatever. But now is now, as it always has been. I don’t know yet. The cogs turn silently in the background. Scenery is being hoisted into place. The lead actors practice their lines. But, as yet, the curtain hasn’t lifted.
I’m sorry if I’m seeming metaphysical. I guess this is some expression of the strangeness of the reality I’m living in. Remember, this life is new to me. I learn as I go along. I’ve never been this far before, never lived these moments till now.
Here I am living in relative comfort and ease. Yet it can go. It probably will. Somewhere that script is half written, if not more. What is now and fully present will likely be something of the past. I transition, probably, from one state to another. At some point the curtain will rise on a revised destiny. Probably. But not yet. Now this is mine still. This moment and another and another. It’s like moments of life you grab and hold close to waiting for the executioner to knock at the door. I’m alive now, and now, and now, and now… And then not…
I have to say it’s one of the things that somehow intoxicates me – the mystery and uncertainty of simply existing. No-one knows for sure what comes next. Sometimes what seems inevitable is thwarted by the randomness of fate. What was closed opens, and what seemed black is revealed as white. Surprises land in our lap, new vistas become visible from one day to the next. This is the charm of living. Sometimes.
As far as I know nothing is written in stone. Anything can happen. We have some say in that, as we should. I believe, all the same, that there is much that is sheer chance and opportunity, like blossoms that float on the breeze.