Last Monday, Sir John Tavener was on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week‘, talking about illness, mortality, and the power of music and poetry to touch us, to awaken us to life’s beauty, and to remind us to live fully. Because death is always around the corner.
Life, he said, is a creeping tragedy, and for this reason there was no better orientation to it than learning to be cheerful, and nothing more important to attend to than love.
He died the very next day.
It’s easy to forget that sudden illness and sudden leaving is an ever present possibility for all of us, and in our forgetfulness to live as if the hassles and hurdles we face each day are somehow separate from life, a burden we have to overcome before we can really start living at last.
But of course, if you’re reading this that’s what you’re already doing – really living. How could it be any other way?
Perhaps it’s time you put down your story about how things are meant to be so that you can wake up to life and live it, just for a while, as it is.