Saturday, January 02, 2010

Nobody lives forever

Today is Sunday 27th Decemher 2009 and, to all intents and purposes, Christmas is over. Just the New Year to get out of the way now and that will be that until next year. That's what it means to most convicts anyway. But, as we all know, I have to be awkward - nothing is simple with me. I have my birthday in between Christmas and the New Year and what this has meant over the years is that whatever presents may have come my way have always come with the words, "This will do for your christmas AND birthday." I've told you before - it's not easy being me!

Lots of things happen at this time of year. We have all of the awards - "Man of the Year", "Sports Personality of the Year", "Biggest Mug of the Year" and all the rest of them. Then we have all of those programmes on the idiot box where everyone tells everyone else what hopes they have for the coming year and, of course, we have the insane and pointless practice of making New Year resolutions which we have absolutely no intention of even attempting to keep. 0h, we think we intend to keep them, but that's only because we are usually pissed out of our brains when we make them - apart from us poor little cabbages in prison, that is. (Although I am certain that there are a few drunks in here too!)

None of these, or any of the other seasonal lunacies, is attracting my attention this year - not a bit of it. What is exercising my three working brain cells at the minute, and has been for some time now, is the fact of my own mortality. Nobody lives forever, although there are one or two around who give the impression that they might. Every time we turn on the idiot box, there they are, and seem to have been since Adam and Eve were arguing about the best fruit to use in the cocktail and settled for apple.

When we were young, we just knew that we were indestructible and would live forever. William Hazlitt got it right when he said:

No young man believes that he shall ever die.
It's true too - that's how politicians can persuade young men to be soldiers and go off to war.

The young never die. No, it is the old buggers like me who do that. The older we get, the more aware we become of our own mortality. We know that we are not far off meeting the Grim Reaper when our contemporaries begin to drop off this mortal coil and we suddenly find that we are attending a lot of funerals. 

Willy the Bard told of the Seven Ages of Man, and I suppose that he too got that more or less right. What I mean is that the Bible mentions "three score years and ten", which would give Shakespeare's seven ages ten years to an age. In which case, I am into my seventh - three years in, in fact: the old dotard, sans hair, sans teeth, sans just about every­bleedin'-thing.

Yes... I am becoming aware of my own mortality, no two ways about it. Oh, I am not saying that I am about to snuff it and everybody should start a collection for flowers, nothing like that. I'm good for another thirty years yet, and, with the advances being made by medical research, that could well extend a long way. However, medical research and the passage of time to one side and notwithstanding, I am fully aware of my own mortality. And it comes home to me most sitting in a cell in the silence of a quiet night, surrounded by the sobs and groans of the tough guys.

It also comes to me that I could do no better than to finish with the words of Nicolas Sarkozy:

Life is the same for everyone when you are alone at night in an empty room.
Good luck for two thousand and ten.

The Voice In The Wilderness


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year~~!!!............................................................

Donnie said...

I disagree mate. Everyones experience is different. If you practise mindfulness then time alone can be the most powerful.