I hate to begin my first ever blog with a sweeping and perhaps trite comment like life is travel, but I guess I just have, and life is. There is nothing original in this. Many people already view life in this way and many more will come to. It is no coincidence that Lennon’s lyric, ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’, is so often quoted. Life is not about the destination. Life is about movement, going nowhere in particular – we all know where we’re heading, for God’s sake. I came to see this once again, a few months ago, when I would come to experience the deepest tragedy of my 30 years. One minute I was talking to my father about heading to Mainland Europe, the next I was trying in vain to revive him after he’d collapsed. I did manage to revive him in some way, but as fate would have it, I never spoke to my father again. He passed away four days later. My travel companion, in the truest sense, had died.
Whilst this is the most painful and gut-wrenching experience of my life (and even this feels like an understatement), I have to see it for what it is. It is a happenstance of my travels, on that one big train we all have to ride, from the moment we open our mouths to breathe. Of course, having to endure grief, and a grief so personal, is rather severe. In a literary sense, I might view it like one of Ernest Hemingway’s plane crashes; whilst I’m sure I’ll survive, no doubt I will endure a diluted pain of it until the end of my life – and perhaps, I’m sorry to admit, it will contribute to it. Yes, the brain, like any other organ is vulnerable to life’s crashes. As a long term sufferer of depression – and with a dependence on alcohol because of this – I know this only too well.
But this is by the by. I have no plan to jump off the train just yet. There is so much more to see of the world, in a literal and in an emotional sense. Whether that means staring at a crumb in my hand, from the bottom of the biscuit tin, whilst I try to cleanse my perception – sans the social lubricant; or whether I’m running from the bulls or chasing a fish – lubricated or not: I intend to fight for life. I have always strived for adventure, hampered as I am by mental illness, as anyone who chooses to view my forthcoming blogs will see. Tinged as I am by sadness, life is for the living.