Resisting the temptation of extra coffee to try and lift a dark dim mood. I have done exercises and had hot baths and doubled up on meditation time and shouldered through some community service, but the sense of being ground flat and chewed up is still there. Taking today one breath at a time and grateful to be sober.
An email from someone who grew up in my long forgotten country telling me that General Peter Walls died yesterday at the age of 83 — the man who was once head of the Rhodesian armed forces during the Second Chimurenga or bush war. I didn’t reply because I have no nostalgic or patriotic feelings about that former British colony, now Zimbabwe. It is a complex historical situation, but the reality for me is that colonialism in Africa was fundamentally racist and that war was bloody and unnecessary. For those of us who lived through war when we were young, even the most traumatic memories are tinged with something of that vitality and optimism which comes from being so young amidst violence and the nearness of sudden death. But no excuse to glamorise war, ever.
I think I will have some coffee after all. Reminding myself what Ted Hughes, a poet who lived selfishly excessively, remorsefully, said:
“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”