Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Question of Faith . . .

A very good and early morning to you all . . . 

I am back from the wilds and wonders of my Saturday travellings, having had my usual freezing wait on Crewe, this time accompanied by hoards of drunken football fans making absolute arses of themselves . . . I think when you are, say, mid thirties, the time for running up and down a station platform in a mob singing  obscene  songs about the sexual exploits of the driver of the train you are trying to catch - and probably vomit on - tunelessly, has passed and it is a fitting occasion to review and reflect on the life you are leading . . . still, it was a appropriate reintroduction to what passes for society following a lovely days absence . . . 

Whilst travelling I read a small book by the very capable Mitch Albom, author of "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" and "Tuesdays with Morrie", the latter being a great favourite of mine.  This one "Have A Little Faith" was similar to Morrie and just as moving; one particular passage referred to something called 'the second death'  and centred upon a quote from Thomas Hardy's "The To-Be-Forgotten":
They count as quite forgotten,
They are as men who have existed not

Theirs is a loss past lost of fitful breath
It is the second death

In the passage Mitch asks his old Rabbi what people fear most about death:

"Fear?" He thought for a moment. "Well, for one thing, what happens next?  Is it what we imagined"
That's big.
"Yes, but there's something else"
What else?
He leaned forward
"Being forgotten" he whispered.

Reading that I was struck by the fact that earlier in the day, before leaving, I had posted a birthday tribute to my Aunt Flo and had ended it by saying "you are not forgotten" . . .  I know that, with my clients, we often talk about those who have died still being with us in our hearts and thoughts; often I will remark how it seems as though the person is in the room with us, so vivid are the memories brought by the client and I think it reassures us that, even though we know and recognise that the person has died, somehow they live on with us, they do not know the second death.

You must excuse such sober thoughts before breakfast - do help yourselves by the way . . . beyond the library window the sky has become light and what passes for another day in terms of luminescence  has begun . . . my plans are somewhat loose and fluid today; I may pop across to the stately pile and have a cup with the OD, all depending on what the weather decides to do  . . . to get there on Sunday by public transport requires an act of faith beyond my capabilities and so a walk would be in the offing which would, of course, please certain canine members of the household - not least because of the fussing that would occur at the other end!  But we shall see how the day pans out and whether I feel up to it . . . I am also, disastrously, out of biscuits; not a digestive in sight! So a short bout of retail involvement is called for somewhere along the line . . . actually, I don't really appear to have much in the way of comestibles . . . I knew I'd forgotten to do something this week . . . ah me!

Plans for the forthcoming include a significant amount of rail travel yet again as I am to Bury twice and college once - the delightful girls at the ticket office are now well versed in my destinational requirements and it is a little like walking into one's local and having a drink waiting for you . . . something I have failed to experience for fast approaching a year now . . . good lord!

I shall wonder off and do something else now and leave you good people to your Sundays; I hope they are filled with pleasantness and jollifications and that they recharge the batteries for the week of fun ahead!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

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