“Life, it’s not what I thought it was!” The Wonder Stuff
Or, as defined by my dictionary:
life n: the state or quality that identifies living beings
I was once working somewhere very posh by Upper Berkeley Street. It was a lovely early Spring day, crisp but with piercing sunshine, and I had a view out onto the street. I remember seeing a young guy walk down the pavement and emerge from a patch of shade into the sunlight. Clearly I wasn’t close enough to see his pupils constrict or anything like that but I remember seeing his whole face change as he blinked several times and nearly stumbled, trying to make the adjustment from the dark to light.
At that moment, the vulnerability of human beings hit me like a train. We can do amazing things and survive the most horrific physical and mental tortures. Yet we’re so vulnerable to the slightest thing, like a sudden patch of unexpected sunlight.
I never much liked Biology at school – the whole slicing up a cow’s eyeball kind of put me off. But I have a fair concept of how the human body functions. And it blows me away. This next line may only be relevant if you’re a Pratchett fan but what the fuck does a spleen do & how do you make it work?!
But, seriously, think about it. Really think. About yourself, about someone you love, about the people around you. How do we ever come into being &, once here, how do we manage? Skin, eyes, limbs, fingernails! All those thoughts & feelings and weird senses and instincts that we can’t even find words for. Our capacity to do so much. To be so much.
Now I’m not saying that means all we can do or be is good or anything like that. What I am saying is that it is incredible. Think about that word for a moment ‘in credible’. From ‘credible’ meaning believable, incredible means something that is practically impossible to be believed.
And I truly think of people like that. The friend who goes through hell so you’re ok, the lover who makes you feel beautiful, the stranger on the street who holds a door open for you & suddenly the world is a much nicer place. The capacity for all that and much much more is incredible.
Human beings are damn bloody amazing. And that is worth remembering every day.