Most of what you’ll read here is life and fun, with episodes from my past, amusing and serious. But I have an unwelcome stranger lodged in my brain, as you’ll find if you explore my stories. Our destinies are interlocked, but its deadly presence reminds me every minute that each day of life is a miracle. This is my space to reflect on life, and an interactive area where we can share our experiences freely. Without you, this blog has no reason for existence. Carpe Diem!
Scene from HMS Pinafore - it does have some relevance below!
I slept late today, after a night where I lay awake round 3 am for a long time. It happens, usually after a night when we’ve seen friends, had a glass of wine…. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before this tumour manifested – it’s often been the way. The waking up early I mean, after a stimulating night’s conversation, a little wine and probably foods I don’t normally eat.
I used to get up and do things. Now I tend to wait, still my consciousness and let it drift in calm waters, contemplate the fortunate things I have and stay away from the ones that gnaw away at peace of mind. Then I drift back into sleep and usually wake past the time I would normally get up. But it’s probably best for me to have such episodes earlier in the day, rather than late – the stimulation, I mean. More and more I seem to need routine in my life.
November is almost over. Last year at this time we were playing squash three times a week for an hour at a time, and I had just finished filming a musical. I loved doing that. After years of practice and making some terrible mistakes with technique, I was just starting to get good at some aspects of this craft. I loved getting to know the plot word for word, where every person on the stage was going to move for every second of the show, night after night getting the best angles possible under whatever conditions.
Then going home afterwards and getting each show straight on to the computer, watching each second, groaning when I slipped up in the filming and vowing to correct that the next night. I could discuss each scene with Tracey, who spotted things I could not see. These were very special times.
HMS Pinafore closeup
Later, I would review all the various nights’ shows and put together a version for the performers and production team to view. They are all so busy when a show’s on that they never get to see what the audience does. This was my favourite time of all, as friends who had participated in some way and who knew the show very well could watch it, laugh at it, at each other, at the blooper section at the end….
Their enjoyment was my reward for the many hours put in editing video and sound, trying to show it all at its best.
All that disappeared for me in one minute when that fiery twitching in my right hand started nearly a year ago. The right hand index finger controls the speed of zoom of the lens, which is everything when switching from an intimate moment on the stage to a wide angle shot. Sometimes I could do that virtually imperceptibly. But that control disappeared in an instant, leaving me with shaking, pulsing right hand fingers over which I still have little control, a year down the track.
That was a world, a year ago, when an end point for life for me seemed as comfortable a mystery as it is for most people. And so it should, I believe.
Once long ago I asked a fellow who I regarded as a strange chap in many ways, ‘Would you like to know the day you’re going to die?’
‘Oh, yes!’ he said without the least hesitation. ‘I could then plan my life perfectly.’
I was stunned. I couldn’t then and still can’t now imagine wanting to know the day I was going to die, whether it was near or not for decades. What a terrible burden that would be!
Then it occurred to me that maybe there are others who think the same way as he did. Maybe there was something that happened earlier in life that would make you desire this knowledge. Perhaps I am the odd one out. I wonder how many people feel like he did?