December 31, 2010

Darkest Days

So, here we are in the deep midwinter, at the end of another year. Not the most productive in terms of blog posting, and frankly not the best ever in several other departments.

Don't get me wrong: lots of things are still great. Life is good. I'm happy to be here, happy to have been around to see everything that 2010 has wrought and very much looking forward to its successor.

Still, it has been a pretty fucking difficult year.

Central to that, obviously, and inevitably the defining event of 2010 for me, was the death of my father, Peter. The circumstances of it -- the excruciating consumption of that extraordinary man by one of the nastiest cancers, the pain, the weakness and diminution and erosion of life, the burden of distance, that awful schizoid separation from the process when here, that awful immersion in it when (with no other purpose, nothing to locate the experience in everyday existence) there -- haunt me still. Not constantly, not at every moment -- I'm still fully functioning, able to live in the present, nearly always -- but enough to catch me off guard at unexpected moments, to bring me up short and remind me: he's gone, we're bereft, that's the way it ends. And it will again.

Hope you're ready, sunshine. There's plenty more where that came from.

As if as a last little fillip of Fuck You to wind up the year, the coincidence of climatic whim, widespread illness and yet another, albeit not so well-defined, death in the family, conspired to comprehensively annihilate all our midwinter holiday plans. That Umbrian excursion was, perhaps and in part, intended as a counterbalance to the year's misfortune, but it was not to be.

All told, the unplanned London substitute went well. Family and friends gathered. Gifts were exchanged, food was eaten, drink was drunk. There was even snow, which never happens here; if a bit thin on the ground and grey and icy by that point. As one of the many ill ones, I was actually slightly relieved not to have to fly. But the whole episode was very much a Plan B. A reminder that intentions count for naught. A final smirking twist of the 2010 knife.

So much else didn't get reported. Do I even qualify as a blogger these days? Writing this shit down often doesn't feel like fun anymore. Often. Not always. The urge remains, just less fulfilled. I find myself thinking in the day: blog that. In the night, I don't.

2010: hardly epic, but FAIL. Thin, thin, thin.

The new year awaits.

Must try harder.

Posted by matt at 2:18 AM | Comments (2)