Saturday, 23 May 2009

They flutter behind you

... your possible pasts.

Part of R's legacy was that he taught me to put the past where it belongs - behind me. That what has happened needn't have any bearing on the future - not if I put my mind to it. Forget what was, what might have been, and concentrate all my energy into what could be, what will be.

He felt life was too short to bear a grudge. It was his intention to live forever or die trying. And he had plans. Boy, did he have plans! He wanted to turn my paddock into a wind farm, build a micro brewery in the barn, watch a game at every 1st class cricket ground in the world, build a straw bale house complete with observatory and plant a forest of oak trees, to name but a few.

At times this could make him impossible to live with as his mind was constantly running ahead of itself. Mundane things like finishing what he had started often fell by the wayside. There were times that I had to stamp my foot a lot to prevent him knocking down another wall. As I walk around the house, I have to smile as I see one of his unfinished projects or throw away another folder of 'research' for yet another plan. Given free rein, he could probably have bankrupted us several times over with some of his crazier ideas. But if he had, he would just have given me one of his grins and said, "Something will turn up".

I can't therefore regret any of my possible pasts. How could I? The one I opted for was the one that had R in it. And that was good. So good.

But I do so resent losing my future.

One of the sights I find hardest to bear is that of an older couple in waterproofs and walking boots. That was how we saw ourselves in our retirement. He would drag me up hills at every possible opportunity, so it eventually became easier to get fit enough to keep up with him!

Now I feel cast adrift. There are so many possible futures.
For now I am concentrating on getting the house finished, but then? Who knows? Go back to university, perhaps, and do another degree. But in what? Sell the house and live off the proceeds for the rest of my life? Nah, I'd be bored. Do voluntary service somewhere? Move back to the city, get a 'proper' job and restart my career? Travel the world? Move to another country and start again?

They flutter before me...


  1. You are a very wonderful writer and excellent and processing this crapload of junk you've been handed.

    Sounds like R. was a lot of fun, maybe even a lot like me (though I'm without ambition).

    At 3 years out (next week!) I'm beginning to see this open future, the next one, as a really good opportunity and I'm thankful for it. Can you see a glimmer of that? It sounds like you can... since you even muse on ideas such as going back to school.

    I wish you were closer to here!



  2. Yes. I think you would have got on well. He loved people with a passion for life.
    It's reassuring to know that this open future might eventually become something to feel good about. Right now it still seems so daunting and open-ended. Better to have lots of options than none, I suppose.

  3. Sounds like quite a bloke to have around the place. Especially if you could keep the sledgehammer safely hidden.

    Your future isn't really gone -- even if you feel like you've lost the only version of it that mattered -- well, yes, I know.

    I suspect that R was always right, and never more than now. 'Something will turn up.'

    Day by day, you'll get there. It's the only way.