Distinct lack of radio shows lately, disaster struck this week as I was unable to do the show due to illness. Thursday was a really bad day as I had to play at Backlash's third birthday that night also and had to choose one thing to do as I didn't have the health to do both. Apparently I am allergic to winter (or heating or fucking something), which is great as I am heartily looking forward to a Christmas of sitting inside, feeling weak, (on the days I'm not working) struggling for breath and trying to bore my finger into my left ethmoid sinus.
So what all this means is.....a doubly good show this week, which I will strive hard to make. Also had to cancel playing at the Space Camp night at Rogue, which is intensely annoying given I practised all week for a slightly different set to usual with some weirder tunes than usual. Guess I'll keep that set for the New Year when hopefully I'll feel a little better.
Not to go all Xmas guilt here but it actually is boggling how much we take our health for granted, and what the body is capable of (or incapable of) when not functioning correctly. What a worthless shell it can be, and yet from the outside everything still looks the same. I don't know what kind of damage having to force yourself to act normal when you feel not just bad, but so bad that you can't listen to what someone is saying properly, that you begin to think you need to sit down instead, does to your psyche. Probably not a lot, though you genuinely feel WEIRD, in the truest sense of the word. Still, if anything I've also learned how resilient the mind is, through all this. But you know, the bizarre thing is anyone can get struck down with a long term illness, and yes I know of course others are dying and terminally ill and far worse off than me, but it still is so utterly......I can't even say UNLUCKY cos it's not unlucky it's just the reality of a world on which we are actually just animals aswell....things happen to us which we can't control, and that is a fact that sometimes life makes you realise with blunt conviction.
I think in a situation where things are going really badly, for whatever reason, and seem utterly fucking hopeless, you actually realise how when things are going well people believe, if not necessarily in god or faith (tho some do) that their life is on some sort of course, that there is something guiding it. What I mean is that when things are going well, bad things can seem like a blip. How many times has someone said "oh it'll be ok" as a response to something bad? And most of the time, 99.9999999 percent of the time, they're right. It is ok, because things resolves themselves, the problem goes away, you meet the person a week later and something else is the problem, you progress, and everyone is happy.
But life doesn't go this way for everyone, it simply doesn't. Things happen which refuse to be resolved, which linger, which force people into daily confrontation, which mean you meet that person a week later, or a month later, or 6 months later and you want to lie about what your little story is. Why? Because it's the exact same story, nothing has resolved itself, nothing has changed, you haven't changed. And nobody knows how to deal with the stubborness of this impasse, least of all yourself. Feeling contented is normality, resolution is normality, closure is normality, all else is deviation. It sometimes feels like the world around you tugs you towards this resolution even when it just can't happen. Like when you watch the news and they end a story about a missing person in that false sombre tone that says "we may never know what happened to.........". But why may we never know? What they're really saying is "if we never find out what happened to this person, that's ok, because we're putting this in the mystery box, and that means it's over". Every story must have an end otherwise it's no good is it?
It's almost like we've come to believe, because most of what happens to is so joyously minor, that things naturally just work themselves out. "Things naturally just work themselves out", it sounds so perfect and sensible and plausible. But it's just our way of explaining the fact that nothing happens to us for the vast majority of our lives.
When things go wrong and just won't go right, whether health or whatever else, this veneer of optimism is just destroyed. You realise that there is no plan! There is no consistency except an illusory one. Nothing is protecting you from the abyss that in theory is around the next corner. Happiness really is fleeting, contentedness, normality....just the same.
Right now I can't actually remember what it physically feels like to feel normal, to feel like going somewhere, to breath deeply without worrying about the breath, to think thoughts for any length of time not filtered through bodily malfunction (and imagine what a genuine terminal illness or one of the thousands of conditions ten times more debilitating than mine, a trifle, must be like)
I don't know which is sadder, when you first stop doing things like drinking or going out and feel disappointed, or when a year down the line you realise that you no longer even entertain the notion of doing these things, that you have almost succeeded in killing off the part of you that used to be excited by them, that wants to do them, life can change so quickly and so dramatically.
Even within something terrible happening to you, and I suspect this is even true of people going through really fucking awful soul destroying tragedies which dwarf mine (which is basically a life consuming nuisance), even within whatever awful shit happens I think we find footholds of control and cling on to them. We find ways to think we are back in control again, rather than just floating in the wind at the whim of circumstance...we find a hope to cling on to or something to make us believe it isn't all that bad...but what do we know? It's just a fucking stab in the dark. Imagine how people who suffer multiple deaths in a family must feel, it must cause a total lack of faith in "life", in everything about normality and living and being a human being. They must see then that we are none of us in control. Illness or accident or death, the phrase "these things happen" is quite apt, happen being a passive verb, they happen, we suffer, there is no perpetrator. So we hope that they never happen to us, ironically without any idea of what we're afraid of, anyway mostly they don't happen to us.
The more I think about it the more I think that everyone has this underlying faith...even the most hardened atheist, subconsciously at least. To live every day and to enjoy life is to believe in the myth that we are actually in control. It's funny...I spent most of my late teens and early 20s going out and making every effort to lose control...and now it's lost completely well, it's not the same loss is it....back then I was 19...now I feel 90.