Friday, 8 November 2013

In the autumn of our lives

Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance.

Yoko Ono

Following a recent glut of newborns in the neighbourhood, I was  reflecting on life, the universe and everything.  As well as these words of Yoko Ono's I was struck by a letter in a waiting room magazine, captioned A Good Age, describing a couple's life.  Here, a widow described her late husband's childhood, summing it up as a good age; his RAF service during wartime, a time of intense friendships, another good age; their early time together, courting, enjoying sharing their young lives, a good age; marriage, a house, children, problems yes, but working through them together, a good life, another good age; then retirement, grandchildren, sharing new hobbies - another good age.

Not everyone's life can be summed up in these tidy chapters of idyllic harmony.  Some might even think it as a life wasted because there's no reference to the years spent touring Scandinavia in a rock band, or an exhibition at the Royal Academy, or winning the US Open (tennis, golf or tiddlywinks), the book I wrote, the mountain I climbed, the stamps I collected, the business I ran, the places I visited.  A Terry and June life, lacking any of the spark of the life of our own dear Joey Ramone, Dylan Thomas, Captain Oates or Gordon Comstock.  But that would be unfair and I say to Joyce Taylor, Haxby, Yorks congratulations on living the life you wanted to live.

Having recently had a bout of reading biographies and autobiographies (Warhol, Shackleton, Morrissey, Bill Drummond) a number of things struck me.  One: people have selective memories. Two: there isn't a single right way to live a life.  Three: one life, live it.  Richard Thompson was completely wrong when he sang Life seems so rosy in the cradle,  but I'll be a friend, I'll tell you what's in store, there's nothing at the end of the rainbow, there's nothing to grow up for anymore.  It is great songwriting but it isn't true.  Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere (angel).  Nothing's gonna touch you in these golden years!
Dedicated to Noah, Pepper, Winter, Dylan, Erin, Daisy and their parents.

1 comment:

  1. I like the views and share your feelings and sweet memories of good old days when people use to interact more person to person and with minimum distractions from social media / cell phones and other modern gadgets. Life was simple.