We are fragile beings. All our hopes and fears, ups and downs, aspirations and plans are predicated on the mens sana being supported by a corpore sano. It has not been a great couple of weeks in that regard for your correspondent. Out of as clear blue sky as you get in post drought Britain (aka Noah’s flood mk II), my back has given in to years of abuse, and I have been laid low by what my parents’ generation used to call lumbago.
I am not talking heart disease or cancer. This is not diabetes or one of those critical complaints that can trigger payments from the insurance company. But staggering around looking like one of the senior citizens on a road sign does nothing for the morale. Having to pull out of a golf tour having paid for it goes against the grain.
Even wrestling with the demands of a commuter’s day in London is beyond me at the moment. So far from skipping down the escalators, I can barely put one foot in front of another to cross the road.
It is humiliating. Also it makes you think about the millions of people who are far worse off – and have no reasonable chance of recovery.
What matters is maintaining a sense of perspective. Everything we do depends on us (fitness and mental ability) and other people (are they OK?). Decision making, and all the cerebral stuff I get very excited about, have to take second place to something more basic and elemental.
So in place of the pontification and cynicism you may have noticed on this blog, please note today at least a modicum of humility and realism.
We are what we are. We are what we are capable of. We owe so much to others, because we bring nothing into life, and we can take nothing out.