Two things happened that made me feel sad today.
The first was hearing that a Facebook friend had said a final farewell to her beloved equine companion; the second was watching a video of 80’s band Altered Images singing ‘Happy Birthday’ on YouTube.
On first appearance these do not really seem particularly related to me at all in either terms of gravitas or relevance.
Both were ’virtual’ things that I had simply come across on my Facebook timeline; not actually happening in my immediate physical space. Not really anything directly to do with me.
I had no real personal connection with either event.
But both were real. And both stung in their own way.
While the reason I felt sad for my friend’s loss is obvious (I stared at the photo of her pony for a long time, imagining the smell and sounds of the paddock); the image of Clare Grogan prancing around on Top of the Pops with a florid red ribbon in her hair is perhaps less clear.
But it was the ribbon that did it.
Just before I reached my teens I recall dressing up like Grogan to go to a disco, or at least I thought I looked like her. By putting that ribbon around my head I experienced that first sense of individual power, I was strangely projecting my own personality into the world through the identity of someone else.
Playing at being a grown up; I was not afraid.
And oh how that first tantalising feeling of empowerment seems to stretch on through time and grab at me now. I was so innocent.
But I guess that is all part of it, life, death, living, loving. Giving yourself so totally to someone or something that it would totally crush you if you failed to do so. And then it breaks you into unimaginable little pieces when it leaves you anyhow.
It would appear that on this journey we always lose something along the way. Every turn of the road brings us to a sacrifice, as well as presenting us with a new gift.
I got up from my desk and glanced out of the window into the garden. I could see the rosy blush on the apples on the tree, a moment of light, wonder and joy; life is always with us.
Carrying on regardless.
And then back into focus, I carry on with my day.