22 Jun, 2006 These Are Good Times!
Pleasure and the pain, agony and the ecstasy, heaven and hell, are just a few of the expressions that could be used to describe my life over these last weeks where I have split my time between touring throughout sun drenched Europe in all it’s bliss, and returning to London on whatever free days in order to continue the extensive dental work that I must have done.
In truth there is very little pain. (If you discount the bashing to your wallet!) That said, who in their right mind relishes dental appointments, more so when it involves getting on an aeroplane to leave behind some paradise destination or other, only in order to fly straight into the dentist’s chair in the heart of bustling London – a city that I have never even nearly loved!
Some bigger benefit does however come from the hours I spend on the surgery chair. One thing for sure is that in those moments I realize with great certainty how incredibly fortunate I am, not only in being able to afford the best specialists whenever I am in need, but more that – I dwell on the realization that throughout my life I have been given good health and hope with all hope that that is a reward that will continue as long as possible.
As it is I have an acquaintance in Sicily who for most of his life has been paralyzed from the waist down. A massive fan of Simple Minds, it is a pleasure for me to know him. Talking on the phone just the other day I could easily detect how much he is looking forward to our upcoming concert in the Teatro Greco. Usually I do not need extra motivation but I would want to be on top form that night even more so, and just for him in away, as a little payback for what he has given me.
Because when I come to think of it, each time I talk to him he comes across always as entirely enthusiastic about life and the great things that it has to offer. And therefore “inspirational” does not even begin to describe my feeling towards him and millions of others in similar positions and who everyday rise above the most profound challenges that encompass them within their lives.
The sort of challenges incidentally that I crumble at even when only asked to imagine, never mind actually experience!
Again in reference to my Sicilian friend, I recall having a chat while sharing a beer some years ago, wherein I asked him how he coped so well within his situation. Despite at that time my lack of understanding of the Italian language, I do recall him telling me in a thick Sicilian dialect “I forget myself! And so instead I develop interests in beautiful things in life, such as literature, music, paintings, in all kinds of things. For me the world is full of beautiful souls, interesting people. Nothing is going to stop me experiencing the world that I feel is out there.
And nothing can as long as I forget myself!”
In telling me that he became not only a teacher to me, but a master! And equally the kind of philosophy that was inherent in his attitude is in fact the kind of philosophy that I have connected with; although admittedly it takes a lot of discipline for me to be thorough with it because speaking personally at least, I do find that it can be so easy to take all for granted. As a result I do need to constantly remind myself that whatever I have going for me today, might not always be with me tomorrow and being so I do try to relish even the smallest of pleasures.
And with that, I now feel that it is time for a walk in the park – after I have brushed my teeth of course!