It is three o’clock in the morning. I sit at my desk, the white screen of my monitor glaring at me defiantly, lost in the silence.
There are so few moments like these, when the world around me is sleeping and I am not; when the eastern horizon is still black and the landborne stars of streetlights are my only witnesses. At such times I am free – truly free – without the need of speech, without the relentless city burr, without the determination of the media to fill every pocket of the universe with lighted sound. My mind can do the travelling, and it does.
Tonight, long after a septuagenarian such as I should be tucked up in bed with a memory of Horlicks, I can take flight. A single thought occurs, maybe inspires? It is this:
Somewhere at this precise moment, at this very second, a new life is coming into the world, taking a first breath. At this same moment another is leaving,taking their last. Somewhere in an impact far beyond my fluffy hearing an injury is changing a life irreparably, while in some other place someone who was told they would never walk again is taking a first step.
Out there is a young man nervous for his future, feeling the gentle touch of a hand on his which says he need not be afraid; while out there, too, a solitary tear is falling from the cheek of one who sees their life’s love broken. A million games of win and lose are being played, a billion dice cast at this very second. Now. Again now. And now.
To someone whose eyes behold the rope, the chair; who sought to drink into numbness the pain beyond forgetting, or to those on that lonely walk home from rejection, those smarting from their first rebuff, or out on the streets gripping the knife of revenge, I can say nothing. I cannot ever know if you changed your mind. I can neither comfort nor discourage you.
But you exist for me. I have imagined you, or somehow reached out for you, in this moment; and that is the miracle of life we all should cherish. This huge complexity of chance, and consequence, disaster and triumph, that in some sense we all may touch. Now. Again now; and now, until the end of time.