Sunday, 6 May 2012

A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH....

I realise that the phrase "a matter of Life and Death " sounds rather dramatic, but it's been a strange week.

Fellow bloggers have been busily posting photos and accounts of new arrivals, and the beginnings of new life, in the form of ridiculously cute piglets, chicks, ducklings, goat kids, spring lambs, new puppies, marmalade kittens at http://aagaardfarms.blogspot.com/,  a new foal at www.stilettosinthemud.com/favorite-blogs.html, and even a baby donkey (can't recall who posted that).

And as if to maintain the status quo, my own animals have been on a killing spree, and I've had to "man up" and shovel up remains of two deceased possums (may they rest in peace). One appears to have been swiftly and cleanly despatched; the other "rent in twain" in a frenzied attack. A reminder that our cute pets are still hunters at heart, and no amount of petting, pandering or training can truly change their basic instincts that are embedded deep within their DNA.  They're just doing their job, for we ask them to keep rats away, but cannot hope to expect them to pick out a rat, mongoose or possum from a line up on a dark night. Even with a torch, I can barely tell which is which myself. In reality, my dogs are very friendly to people (perhaps they think THEY are people too?) and rarely even so much as bark at a human, with the exception of passing farm workers who go to and from their daily toil brandishing their machetes (machetes being the preferred work-tool for most here, and seen as an acceptable item to carry around - you can travel on an early morning bus and be surrounded by workers with a veritable armoury of machetes - in every shape and size. Strangely, this sight can strike terror and anxiety into the heart of any newcomer the first few times they encounter such a morning commute, but after a while one comes to realise that there is no malice, and it's no different to the carpenter with his work bag full of hammers and chisels - simply tools of the trade).    Anyway, as always, I digress........

Other matters of Life & Death, have included the passing of a dearest friend's father, who sadly lost his battle with cancer this week - a what an epic battle it was! He definitely subscribed to the "do not go gently into that good night*" school of thought.

He has been lying in state these past few days and many other friends have been to see him and bid him farewell. I have NOT - for me his body, lying in state, is just that....a body. The wonderfully charming, and gracious soul, who once occupied that body has now departed.  I will choose instead to remember, that same gentle man, as he was several weeks ago, when, although feeling rather unwell, made the time and considerable effort to call in to have afternoon tea with my mother. As though in some kind of ritual of mutual acknowledgement that time was running out for one, or perhaps both of them, and that this may be their final chance to "take tea" together.   After tea they bade each other farewell, and as I walked him to the gate, I couldn't help but wonder which one would be the first to leave us.   Since then, my mother has actually shown tremendous improvement and continues to soldier on.  Sadly, her friend John, was just too sick, and too tired.......

I have never been to a State funeral before.  The Prime Minister announced a few days ago that our dear friend had been granted this high honour. I hope that it will somehow be comforting to his family and friends, to give him this great send-off and final farewell by way of celebrating his life and his achievements. 

And whilst all this has been going on, I read of the passing of an amazing sounding lady, the artist Nancy Asbell, who although suffering from Lupus syndrome - a seriously painful and debilitating illness, continued to the end with the mantra "Celebrate the day! You never need an excuse to be inappropriately happy." - how wonderful, I like the thought of being "inappropriately happy", though I know there are those who, for some reason, feel that being inexplicably happy is in some way defiant or impertinent - either way, just simply not acceptable. I'm sure at some time in your life you've heard utter the phrase "what's (s)he got to be so ^*!%^&* happy about"?  Why do people say that? Surely we all have something to be happy about? What's so wrong with showing our gratitude with a beaming smile and infectious laughter?  I for one shall continue to be "inappropriately happy" at every opportunity possible. Are you with me?

*Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 
  
~ Dylan Thomas



9 comments:

  1. Great blog post! Thanks for the mention :) Reminds me I need to post pics on the blog about our newest addition! Hugs Kimber from www.stilettosinthemud.com

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    1. Thank you Kimber - huge hugs back x

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  2. What a touching post. And funny too. You had me laughing about the machetes, and then teary eyed at the nice comments about your friend's father and then smiling again about being inappropriately happy.

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    1. Thank you 1st Man - now you have made me teary eyed thinking of you being teary eyed - what a pair we are. At least we ended on a high note! Hope all is well with you. I wanted to share a pic of a garden with you, but couldn't work out how to post it on your blog?

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    2. I haven't figured out a way to post pics to other people's blogs either. I've tried. You can always email it to me. houstonray AT gmail DOT com and if it's something you want me to share, I can make a blog post about it.

      Thanks again, enjoy your company and remember to always been inappropriately happy! :-)

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  3. Beautiful words as usual, and eagerly read! Inappropriately happy, love it!

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    1. Thank you so very much Lesaja - making the world inappropriately happy, one person at a time : )) x

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  4. Nice post. I love the idea of being inappropriately happy. Let's do it!

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    1. ABSOLUTELY - LET'S! We have to thank Nancy Asbell for that thought and phrase. It's a shame I discovered her via her obituary...but together we can ensure her spirit, and wonderful approach, lives on through us being inappropriately happy...

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