I think I would find this easier on a laptop; it’s the fact that I have to get up off the couch and come through to the study that is the most difficult!
As discussed the last time, I should be continuing with my ever-increasing list of ‘things that annoy me’ but these are mere trivialities and, after the week that I have had, I have been thinking a lot about choices and the far-reaching ripples set in motion in an instant.
‘No man is an Island, entire of it self …’
It makes me smile when I acknowledge the importance, in my life, of that John Donne quotation. I had never read any of Donne ‘s poetry, previously, but my very first presentation in an English tutorial was on his poem, ‘The Flea’. I think I may still have been seventeen, at the time, so not the least bit embarrassing when one realises that the said poem is all about sex!
Digressing. I don’t remember when I first came across ‘No man is an Island’ – probably that first term at uni in 1977 – but it is almost the mantra by which I lead my life; and, by which, I have taught my children to lead theirs, also. One should always treat someone as one would like/hope to be treated oneself. Simple? One would think so but, sadly, few people seem to know or care about John Donne and his island; instead, we live in a world of ‘every man for himself’!
We are all individuals with a unique DNA but, at the same time, our lives are inextricably linked to others whether they be family, friends or those we meet along the way. Every decision we take, every choice we make affects someone else.
My situation, at present – and that of my children – is a direct result of a choice made by someone else; someone who disregarded the effect that choice would have on his family. The ripples set in motion have been far-reaching but, ultimately, he must live with that choice and the consequences, whatever they may be.
There’s the rub! Choices are not free and one must take responsibility for one’s own.
My father always used to say, ‘There’s a plan for every man’ – makes me smile. It was said as a form of comfort, as a reassurance that it was meant to be and I hold onto that to this day.
A song which brings back memories of carefree times and whose lyric I find, at once, both sad and haunting is George Michael’s, ‘A Different Corner’. The line, ‘Turn a different corner and we never would have met’ is thought provoking, to say the least. How different could your life have been if you had made another choice, or if you had never met a certain person? Do you believe in fate or are we, ultimately, masters of our own destiny? In hindsight, I can now see many crossroads in my life; forks in the road but, like Pop, I think I do believe there is ‘a plan for every man’. In choosing ‘the other fork’, not only would my life have been very different but so, too, would the lives of all those to whom I am inextricably linked. Now that’s way too much responsibility for one girl to shoulder!!
So … for those of you now wondering whether or not I have had a sense of humour bypass, the answer is a firm, ‘no!’ Without it, I would be nothing and, as always, for that I thank my Pop. His wonderful dry, sarcastic outlook on life is my strength. Have I mentioned, ‘No man is an Island’ …?
This is Trish, signing off. As always, nobody forced you to read it!