Ah but is green still green in the dark?
Dog-tired and cranky as I turn into our estate.
It is well after midnight and every step is a step closer to the bed I crave now, the one I am actually visualising, a mirage of warm oblivion.
Soon I will be falling slowly into that blessed rectangle of bedded bliss.
A kiss upon my soft tousled-headed A before I go down easy ….
And we can go down easy
Oh, my lover, we can go down easy
Oh, my darling, we can go down easy
Funny how you are so tired you are almost hallucinating and brain chooses this time to come at you all philosophical.
In the puny haze of the lone street light the patch of grass I am walking on now is darkly dark, and suddenly brain pipes up:
Is green still green in the dark?
Of course it’s green, I snark, grass is green …
But the more I stare at it the blacker it gets … it’s blackly green … hold on, says brain, look again … there is no green actually discernible.
It’s only green because I believe it is green.
I have faith.
You gotta have faith.
George Michael moment here:
You gotta have faith!
Actually, typical me, I haven’t a clue of the lyrics, just the chorus
Because I’ve got to have faith
I gotta have faith
I’ve got to, got to, got to have faith
Anybody who has read anything I write here might have at least suspected that religion or formal spiritual beliefs do not figure much in my life.
I am getting older so naturally, I guess, I do think more and more of death, and maybe how long I might have left … how much of my kids’ lives I can hope to see before I pop off this mortal coil.
But this isn’t the full story either.
No obvious religious convictions or tenets have revealed themselves to me, or light my existential darkness, but I still think those thoughts.
We all do.
You know, the usual: who made the world, what happens when you die … why did Hiroshima happen … why do we have fatal foetal abnormalities in the first place …
Logical, day-time me doesn’t have much truck with obvious constructions of all-seeing, ever-loving Gods … there’s too many random acts of destruction, death and a million acts of unkindness going unpunished for that.
But still …
There are these unfurnished thoughts that surround everyday reasoning and pert, swaggering logic.
Like brain still dabbles in conceptions around things happening in my life in some kind of explicable way … the stories of my life I tell myself.
As we all do, regardless of creed, class or constitution.
You know, the way when you tell a story, listen to a story, read a novel, or watch a movie and things seem predetermined, like clear-cut moments of carved out destiny in the telling, or even retelling.
Isn’t that what stories are?
A way of making sense of life.
Of my life. Your life.
Stories find patterns and shapes, and cut pathways in our meandering journey, establish outposts of reason and logic in the seemingly random accumulation of experiences.
Even the unpredictable seems predetermined when we tell it as a story.
Life has meaning.
Meaning what, exactly?
I don’t know … it’s faith in its own way, isn’t it?
The idea that, despite the evidence, or despite the lack of it, someone or something is shaping our stories.
Or is that fate?
Things happening outside our control … predetermined by a supernatural power of some sort …
Now brain can have fun with all this kind of stuff.
I remember, years ago, in the middle of a deeply serious lecture and discussion around Freud and his rejection of religious beliefs, I announced to the packed hall:
“I don’t care anyway, I’m going to be immortal till the day I die.”
It got a laugh, but it struck me later that it kind of captured the comic absurdity of living as a day-time agnostic, but still dabbling secretly in notions of living forever and life having meaning, and all that.
Things happening with a purpose, the grass is green.
Even when it actually isn’t, late at night, in the puny haze of a lone street light.
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