For the first time ever (I think) I sit down to write my blog post without really knowing what I want to say. Without being mawkish, I want to mark the passing of two good women: fellow writers, fellow Scarborians, who approached life with wit and generosity. Jenny D and Jane B died before their time.
This has meant that in the last two weeks I have been to two funerals. Unsurprisingly these have unearthed a ragged diversity of disparate notions about my own mortality. Perhaps this is what funerals are at least partly for, to remind us our life is finite. And, in my opinion, we only have one life, after which we disintegrate to our constituent molecules.
Given this belief in ultimate dissolution, I suppose it doesn’t matter what I fill the intervening time with. Though, in the main, I would prefer to dedicate it to writing, friendship and connecting as much as I can with nature, as these are what nourish me.
Last Friday I spent an enjoyable afternoon with my sister at the Laing art gallery in Newcastle (https://laingartgallery.org.uk/). We saw an exhibition of photos from the Amber Collective which was most fascinating. Inscribed on the wall there was also a part of the Amber manifesto which struck me as apposite:
Integrate life, work & friendship.
Don’t tie yourself to institutions.
Live cheaply & you’ll remain free.
And then do whatever is that gets you up in the morning.
I am incredibly lucky to know what gets me up in the morning and to be able to pursue it with as much freedom as I have. Knowing death can be untimely is one more motivation to cherishing the pleasures this gives me.