I feel like I’m on the other side of the Covid-19 debacle because the thing that’s keeping me alive is human contact. I have Chemo every three weeks, a nurse hooking me up to the deadly killer drugs that are designed to kill the cancer that decided to invade my body without so much as a by your leave. I have close family primary carers and other loving family and friends who shop, transport me, chaperone me, check up on me and generally make sure I’m ok. They are the unsung heroes of this whole thing. Every time the hospital sends me on my way, they do so on the unspoken and unquestioning assumption that I have that support.
Covid-19 isn’t even an especial danger to me when every bug out there is a danger because Chemo has knocked my natural immune system for six. They even took out seven teeth that showed signs of root infections which could be life threatening.
I feel like a spectator as the government screw everyone else over in their masterful plan to create the biggest man made domestic cull in our history. I’m the one who feels lucky. The damned cancer tried to kill me and it was entirely the fast action and skill of our NHS doctors and nurses that pulled me back.
I absolutely genuinely feel incredibly sorry for everyone suffering the Covid clusterfuck. It’s a deliberate fuck up of epic proportions as people struggle to make ends meet and live any kind of life. I am in lockdown till next year and, in this situation, my enemy is neither the government nor Corvid-19, mine’s internal and that supersedes everything else. If I want to stay alive, I have to respect that ‘out there’ can kill me and keep my head down and deal with the enemy within.
I can’t help but feel a certain gratitude for the cancer, it has propelled me on a very unexpected journey of discovery of just how gorgeous life is. It’s like I jumped from level 3 to level 10 in one fell swoop. Like I dodged a bomb, but took a hit, and suddenly the world is infinitely more gorgeous, colourful and precious.
Oddly enough, I have yearned for this kind of raised appreciation of life and nature on this wonderful planet we live on, but was held back by the learned oppression of the unspoken daily grind. It is all too easy to get chipped away at and beaten down by circumstances and to lose sight of any kind of bigger, better, picture. Tory Britain is being ground down by the misanthropy of the criminals in Westminster. They are truly disgusting creatures, no respecters of life or of anything other than their own self serving avarice and greed and contempt for our lives.
You know, as an educator, I’ve always wanted people to find their own potential and I have always considered the role of education as facilitating the process of self discovery as well as learning about life, the universe and everything. It’s a hand in glove thing, the one goes with the other. If you’re not discovering yourself what’s the point of any other learning, what use is it going to be if it is not life enabling? Because, let’s be honest, the vast majority of stuff we learn in school is almost entirely useless and subsequently forgotten. I have an A in O Level maths and I could no more do calculus today than fly to the moon. What I do have is the habit of enquiry, a bone deep desire for learning that is, quite rightly, for life. I am driven by an insatiable curiosity, a bone deep desire to see beyond the horizon in a process of discovery that delights me.
I had no idea I was about to be assaulted with a vicious cancer that nearly killed me, and very briefly did. It has changed me in ways I could not possibly have imagined. And I can’t help being delighted. Some of it has been an absolute bastard to deal with, without question, but the other side is a vast appreciation and a well spring of joy in life.
And why not? This great big pot luck chance at life is an amazing thing, made dismal by oppression, much, if not mostly, caused by humanity itself, and our so called leaders in particular, and corporate greed, natch. Once upon a time it was both religion and the state, now it’s mostly the state. Dismal ne’er do wells who mean nothing good for humanity. Throwbacks to a time of empire when they and their kind ravaged the world. It is a little known fact that not one colonised country saw any of the advances the west enjoyed until they gained independence . But the mindset of empire is still alive and well, a presumption of worth and privilege, the grasping few at the expense of the many.
It’s not good enough. We should have beaten poverty and hunger by now. There is no excuse for not doing so. It’s a political choice, there is no lack of wealth in the world, just a lack of political will. They still use race as a weapon. Those who make war do so because war, for them, is more profitable than peace. The polarisation of wealth is obscene. We are being held back by the least among us and the world is suffering from devastating exploitation.
All the real goodness in the world is undertaken by ordinary people, not governments and certainly not corporations. The world is full of unsung heroes. Almost every food bank in Britain is run by unpaid staff. Homeless people are fed by volunteers, people who care. Vast numbers of people like me, who are vulnerable for whatever reason, are cared for daily by people who simply care.
Do you know the answer to, what is the most amazing thing in the entire universe? It’s not a trick question. It answer is life. You, me and all the gorgeous life that exists on this tiny blue dot of a planet in the infinity of space. Nothing else comes close to the wonder of life.
There is no question that living in a physical universe, subject to time and decay, life gets difficult and we all have to deal with sickness, accidents, frustration and discouragement, sometimes disasters and being mortal. But, whichever way you look at it, it’s a bloody miracle that it happens at all and we don’t even have a bank holiday to celebrate it.
Why the fuck not? We really did oughta have a TFIAD – Thank Fuck I’m Alive Day.
KOG. 13 September 2020.