“Perchance…” Donne writes in Devotions upon emergent occasions; “Perchance, he for whom this bell tolls, may be so ill as to know not that it tolls for him”. When my headmaster first said this to us in high school, by way of explaining it was the end of the lesson, I didn’t pay it much attention, I’ll let you savour the irony of that.
Having returned to it recently though, and dwelling on it, every year straight, ever since, it gave me a realisation. That we so blindly saunter on down our self-destructive paths, that we fail to even hear the bells ringing out our lament, perhaps not “strutting and fretting our hour” as The Bard might have imagined it, because well, not all of us strut….But you get my drift, we aren’t awake.
The status quo, the glimmer of hope that maybe things don’t have to change. But here’s the thing, they do. The very nature of things is that they change. Relationships, Minds, Oceans, Trees, Paths, People. The one set of humans we swore we’d never be apart from, move on, the one set of rules we grew up with and never challenged, we move on from, the one set of ideals we were so enchanted by, are moved to the dusty corners of our subconscious.
So, if you grant me the luxury of switching to the meta fourth wall for a moment, that was the opening salvo, the traditional melancholy anthem that resides in my writing and my expression. But here’s the thing about forks in the road, it means we can take another path.
The bell has been ringing for some time and it’s ringing for me loudly, It’s time for a new year, a new day a new liiiife (cough), and this time, not to be heralded by the nonsense cliches of regret and false promise. Onward, to freedom. And whilst the choice ahead is in no way a simple left or right turn, defined by binary Krauss’s or Rambam’s, Minchin’s “storm” vs Rowe’s mathematics. Hitchens’ razor vs Tatz’s letters. (you get the point, i’m a prodigy) , the real point is…it won’t be easy, there will be complexities, I wont be either one person or the other, I will always be the sum of my experiences, and I will always only ever be the person I allow myself to be, it may take days or months or years, but i’m changing course now, masks torn up,
and in some ways, I’ll be the same, skeptic, laughing, conflicted, piercing-eyed, rambling, hyper, confused, “poor player”, trudging between Farringdon and Woking and Golders Green, that you either put up with or love, but one thing I’ve been promising myself for too long, and one thing will be different this year:
I’ll be me.
Or at least more like me.
I wish you, a joyous new year filled with only temporary escapism’s, and the occasional harsh truth. Family that is close and Friends that are honest, Goodness that is lasting, and badness that is fleeting. And if I have hurt you, I hope that we are in an honest enough co-existence that you will tell me and allow me to try to fix it. Make it a sweet one, be in touch,
love (,) Me.