Reading Sanskrit to a Pony
According to Lou Reed, that’s what life’s like, without you. Yesterday Lou Reed left us. And so did Patrick, the husband of a very dear friend of mine. I had an odd day today, it could have been a Perfect Day, in many ways, were it not for the news about Pat. I hooked into building the chicken run, it was lovely and warm but not too hot, good friends, good food, and our ewe nearly had her lambs. Late, I know, it wasn’t planned, maybe they’ll come tomorrow…and that’s what life’s like, hey Lou? A mayonnaise soda.
I often head for lyrics. I used to write them out, listen over and over again to get them all, my cathartic process. I have a few scrawly hand-written pages tucked away. It was of course Lou Reed providing the soundtrack today ; ‘What’s Good’ over and over and ‘Fly Into The Sun’ (both worth a listen if you don’t know them – youtube!) So earbuds in, I ruthlessly slashed and chopped at bamboo to make the fence for the chicken’s new run.
It’s almost a year since I made the drop-everything-and-go dash to the funeral of another dear friend. And two more close friends have died within the last five years. I had a good bawl over the bamboo as they all came back to me. It’s what makes funerals such a uniting time, I guess, the commonality of our grief. It seems crazy to have had four contemporaries die of medical causes at my very spring-chickeny-type age. To give you a clue, a couple of mates were killed in skiing accidents when I was in my twenties. That wasn’t the clue. Here’s the clue; that was twenty years ago. It’s young, don’t you think? To have friends dying of cancer and diabetes and heart conditions?
And I look at all of them and I wonder if anything could have been done… if anything would have changed the outcomes? And I’m not sure. I’m really not sure. I watched a documentary the other night about a young (my age-ish) mother with terminal breast cancer. She bravely admitted that she became a bit complacent with her treatment and the relentless monitoring for changes, which probably led directly to it becoming inoperable. And I know that more than one of my friends could have fallen into that category. But it must be so hard, so tiring, such a godawful drag, the continual vigilance and management of a recurring or chronic
condition. They say the cure’s worse than the disease with some of those things, hey?
I don’t have any answers, particularly. I do have ideas, but they can be so easy to spout, and they sound great… but there are such deep-rooted changes that need to occur; deep in our very psyches.
I don’t know. All I know is I wish that Adrian and Kelly and Mark and Patrick were all still here.
But not fair at all.