• You’re lucky to be alive

    Man jumping in to sky glad to be alive
    (Photo by Shane Rounce)

    If you’re conscious, you’re lucky. Seriously. Almost all the people who have ever lived aren’t alive right now. But you are (‘cos you’re reading this). Lucky you. 

    I was getting off the commuter train this week and it struck me: Bugger me, I thought, I’m actually alive at the moment. For ages I wasn’t, for ages I won’t be, but now I am. How refreshing. It pepped me right up.

    I had been a bit stressed.

    Run of the mill stuff. Work, home, kids, money, the fact that people are actually panic-buying legumes, the realisation of the futility of stockpiling (if the food supply chain collapses, it all collapses, brothers and sisters! Forget the bog roll). 

    Wasting my precious time. 

    Depression is the constant fear of losing something. You’ve got nothing to lose. Except consciousness. Are you conscious? Tick. It’s your lucky day. 

    Still feeling stressed? Remember, if life gives you cucumbers…

  • A walk in the cemetery

    gravestones in the sunshine
    A cemetery on a sunny day (Photo by Simeon Muller)

    I took a walk in the cemetery. The air was so clear that it made life undeniable. I stood on an asphalt path, looked at my shoes, inside which were my feet. I examined my legs and my torso. I was alive in a sea of dead. A massacre. Those who hadn’t made it strewn across the ground all around me.

    The view to the distant hills is fine, but I’m the only one who can see it. What a view! And in the corner of the cemetery, obscured behind a hedge, I find a children’s cemetery. The hedge creates an awful tenderness, to think that others have tried to shield their little ones from the wider cemetery by a beech hedge, and so from the enormity of what has befallen them.

    There is a pitiless howl about a child’s grave. The fluttering butterfly on a string, the toy dinosaur, the flowers. There is nothing left but to walk away.

    As I depart the gates, a shock of pigeons break from a tree, scattering into the cool blue air. Then, from the wall, I see a sleek young ginger cat, a pigeon in its jaws that is virtually its size. The pigeon is beating its wings in protest. The cat has it by the throat. It won’t let go. It drops down below the wall with its prey.