What makes me happiest?
I found this marvellous book at Ariel’s Bookstore in Paddington. There was no earthly way it was being left on the shelf.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
1. What can happen in a second?
A life can be taken in a second, or spared. I know of a child who pushed a sibling to safety in a split second, thus saving his life from a speeding car about to make contact. I know a girl who was thrown off a building and went soaring through the air within a second. A moment’s lapse of concentration, a thoughtless word, birth and death… We look for grand gestures and symphonies as harbinger’s of change. We expect earth-shattering changes to occur over a day or week, and to hear the trumpeting of angels overhead. The truth is that it happens within a second. “I’m leaving.” “Will you marry me?” The birth of babies and the final gasp of the dying. To be attuned to the subtle nuances of people and events taking place is to be aware of the shifting of light. It all falls into shadows, then the light appears come morning. Fog lifts, rain ceases. A second is a valuable marker. Use it wisely.
My book launch is in a week’s time. I am feeling a little disassociated (as I do when I am overwhelmed, and my soul feels the urge to take flight). I am excited, and scared. Long car trips are carefully planned over a week, so that I can prepare a body already in inordinate amounts of pain. I will be sitting all day, before the launch that evening. Painkillers and Tens Machines, heat packs and stretches. The first concerns of my mind. Getting through the day in comfort. I know that hearing two fine men speak, an ambassador from the White Ribbon Foundation, and my friend Brian Bell, will render me teary. In a good way. The cleansing kind of emotion, where your chest is wracked with primeval rhythm. Seeing friends who have been with me throughout the years will leave me humbled. I am so grateful. I am terrified. I am relieved. I know this is the beginning of a wondrous journey. I am ready.