Life

Life is incredible, a unique gift of a vast and mysterious universe.

Life is not a commodity to be used and abused, taken for granted and treated as if it is expendable.

The whole Earth is an amazing ecosystem, located in the sweet spot, the Goldilocks, habitable, zone, of our solar system. Whatever people think or believe, we owe our existence to the unimaginable forces that made that possible, by accident or design. It barely matters which, it is open to debate only because we are indisputably here, life itself gives us that opportunity and what is for certain is that whatever we choose to believe, it is not worth killing over.

It is spring in the UK, the season touches land in the south west and heads off north east at about 2 miles per hour, taking nearly three weeks to cover Britain. A time lapse video from space would show a tide of yellow daffodils sweeping across Britain. Nature wakes up from its seasonal slumber in a celebration of colour.

For me personally, there is always a day when I suddenly feel it, my spirits lift and I feel more alive. As a teenager I was assailed by wander lust, an overwhelming desire to hit the road, when hitching was a wonderful way to travel. That may be just a male perspective, I do not know, and if it is, well that’s part of the problem of humanity.

For me it was liberating, the journey was more invigorating then arriving somewhere, putting myself into the hands of the unknown, travelling in the company of kind, and occasionally not so kind, strangers and between times, Shanks’s pony.

I learnt about serendipity young, events that were entirely unexpected and unlooked for that were life changing. like the brief time I worked with a guy who was a gentle existentialist, a word I neither knew nor understood, but he woke something in me that is inside me to this day along with my gratitude.

If I can say anything about my life and what is meaningful to me, it is a feeling of trust in the unexpected. I do not seek unexpected events nor anticipate them, there is no logical reason for them that I can see, they just occur with such a peculiar insistence that I accept them. It’s no ticket into an easy life, changes are challenges, with the focus on growth, not comfort, and the changes that have swept into my life have been the greatest challenges I’ve faced and not always happily or willingly.

In fact, I am a late comer to happiness and even now it is elusive and I know of no way to seek it for its own sake, it arrives in moments as something glorious. The first time I knew it I was 35 years old, walking my dog in a wood in the darkest, deepest, depression, head down and bowed under. Something began nagging at me, battering me for my attention and in incredible frustration I stopped and threw my head up and yelled, “WHAT!” Very loud and angry.

I was assaulted by the most magnificent sight, I was in a bluebell wood and the sun was streaming through the trees in misty cascades. I had never seen trees before that moment, nor bluebells. nor even sunlight. I was wide open and naked to unimaginable beauty for the first time ever and it filled me with awe and such happiness to be captivated by anything so wonderful. It lasted about 10 minutes and then slowly faded away, despite my hunger for it to stay, and the depression returned like a curse. But some part of me knew and acknowledged that a seed had been planted, something so grounded in reality it was undeniable.

It took me many years to be present to beauty, years of learning it was always present, it was me who wasn’t. These days the darkness of deep depression is the stranger because I can turn my attention from it to a real world in which beauty exists and is undeniable and I know and trust I will be restored, in hours or days, and sleep is my restorative friend. I have learnt not to fight depression, but to give in gracefully to the need for rest and sleep and let it work itself out. It always does.

I offer no universal solutions to depression, this is my journey, my own experience and not a prescription for anyone else.

The point is that there is much that is dark in the world, utterly horrific, imposed by those for whom life is cheap and who dominate our world. A great tide of evil, grasping and merciless and wrong. I do not pay attention to people like Theresa May because they have anything meaningful to say, I pay attention because they must be resisted. Unlike depression they cannot be accepted and survived, they are a wilful force against humanity and life. They seek power and profit and know no other ‘values’. It falls to the life-full to oppose the lifeless, who daily deal in lies and oppression. If they chose they could bomb the land I live in, my home and my life, for whatever they would seek to gain from such a desecration.

They destroy nature for greed, all nature, including us, the nature that gives us life and is life. If it is possible to have a sacred duty, then for me it is to protect life and to treasure it and that means opposing those who destroy it, without losing myself in hate. And that’s tough. But at 67 I am not an ignorant child any more and I am better than this desecration. I have made a long and difficult journey to be where and who I am today, and, in life or death, they can’t take that away from me. If I am forced to die I will die as whole (as whole as I am in the moment) as I am right now. Whatever comes after, if anything comes after, they might steal my life, but they will never, ever, steal me, because I know who I am and that is no small thing to be able to say and mean with certainty. But it is true.

There is a line and anyone who crosses it does so at their peril. It’s a line that was crossed a long time ago by those for whom power and greed are their masters. They may be great in their own eyes and be surrounded by sycophants and all the trappings of wealth and power, including military and domestic police forces, but none of that excuses the use of power against others. That is their fundamental crime, their abuse of power for self serving reasons. Those who presume that is their right and believe they are in the right, are wrong and always will be, and anyone who is grounded in humanity and life knows that. Once we are awake and aware it is self evident.

Keith Ordinary Guy