July 4, 2017

P1060413

Today’s song is by Lewis Watson, who you might remember me posting one of his tracks after Holly and I got engaged. This one’s called Hello Hello and is incessantly lovely.

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Current chain of writing days: 46

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This last week for me has been an odd one. Winter seems to have brought with it the remembrance of mortality.

Yesterday, I rode home to see police tape encircling the park across from our house. A couple of police cars remained, but little to suggest the need for so much blue and white checkered tape; which was damp and disheveled after the days wet and windy weather. I walked into the house to find a calling card had been left by a detective from the homicide squad asking us to phone if we had any information. ‘Homicide’ stood out from the card, bullying the other words out of the way. I now knew what the crime was. I walked into the lounge room to ask the Lady Holly if she knew anything about it. She didn’t. She’d been around all day but had missed the police and, it being her first day of holidays, had barely left the house. I googled ‘Brunswick West News’ and found an article that had been put up only twelve minutes before. A man had been killed, stabbed during the night, seemingly after he’d sprung someone breaking into the sports center located in the park. He’d left a trail of blood from the building to a spot under a tree, where a local resident had found him at 8:30am.

I’d walked through that park in the dark that morning, cooling down after an early run. I’d likely walked past his body, but as it was before the sun rose, saw nothing. The revelation upset me, shook me up. I don’t know who the man was, or the unfortunate person who found him, but the whole thing was much too close to home, and has left a bad taste at the back of my mouth, made worse by the uncertain knowledge of if I could have done anything. Possibly not, and it’s all moot now.

After that I did some chores around the house as I mulled it over and then open my laptop and clicked on facebook to see a friend had lost her mother to her battle with MS.

To add to these two tragedies my Grandpa had a stroke last week, leaving him currently in hospital, as well as in the thoughts of all his vast tribe. My Dad is one of nine, all of whom have sired between one to five kids, so it quickly adds up. This ultimately means my Grandpa is currently surrounded by a lot of love. His wonderful kids have a roster going, with one of them by his side in the hospital ensuring he is cared for, and the other with my Grandma, making sure she has the same. This fact is beautiful, it swells my heart, and makes me proud of my Dad and Mum, my Aunties and Uncles, and of course, my Grandparents. Proud to be a member of that tribe. Proud to be a Robb.

It’s still sad, though. It’s sad because he’s in a hospital room in pain when he’d rather be home with his wife. Sad, because at ninety three the awareness of mortality is hard to avoid. Sad, because there’s so little any of us can do.

Humans are oddly cursed. We have awareness of our own mortality but also the ability to, not forget, but, ignore this fact most of the time. This can be a double edged sword. If you think too much about death it would become impossible to function, and belie the greatness of living. Think too little and its sudden appearance becomes unimaginable and gut wrenching. A middle ground is hard to find, and it’s still never easy. My Mum, amongst the many updates about my Grandpa in our family messengers, said it best: Mortality sucks.

And it does, but it’s important to remember that living doesn’t. That living, and life, and having lived, is a gem of a thing never to be wasted and never to be taken for granted. A life lived is never lost, even if we lose the person.

So, for now, let’s all live.

Talk soon

Damian

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