Miracles


So this very long year came to its end – a year which I didn’t know if I would see end when it began.

I was ill then, very ill probably, only two months after my brain haemorrhage, but now I have good solid medical reasons for hope. I was not looking for miracles just facts.

Some of these facts were all too clear when looking at the images from the various brain scans I have had through the year. At first they showed a star burst of blood, then a bit less and now, in the most recent one, images which have led my clever neurological scientists to say that there is now no evidence of any abnormalities in my brain.

A miracle? I don’t think so but if it is a miracle it is a miracle in the amazing resilience of the human brain itself and I have been very lucky and I can now look forward to the New Year with confidence and hope.

I wish that for all of you too.

In this most difficult of years, I have had to face up to many things, not least mortality and, if there is anything to find, some meanings to life.

Music has helped. As Noel Coward, that funny but serious-minded writer noted in his play “Private Lives” – “extraordinary how potent cheap music is.”

Now I don’t wish to belittle the works of that great Trance music band Above & Beyond, far from it, I think they are one of the most interesting musical phenomena of the last decade. Now they write “cheap music” but I am still surprized how one of their songs, “Miracle” has haunted me ever since my illness and how it has helped me find my way in a year that has been by no means all bad, far from it in fact.

My brain haemorrhage, now almost certainly a mystery which will never be solved by my doctors, opened up a new life for me. Confronting the probability of death and the purpose of life focused my mind and determined me to find myself when maybe up until then I was more than happy just to bump along letting life throw what it wanted in my direction.

In a way, that easy-go-lucky attitude is an attractive and healthy response to life’s mysteries but it can also lead to hopes of miracles when times get tough: the lottery win, the fairy godmother, the Blessed Virgin sitting in a tree, all hoped for interventions in the toughness of real life. Last year I decided to try to win back some control over what lies ahead of me. No use hoping for a miracle, as the song says, they don’t happen but maybe some bold looking at the facts of your life can help.

I tried to look life in the face last year, face the facts and to find my voice in an attempt to know at least something of who I am, why I am here and what I can achieve.

It has been an invigorating and in many way, a wonderful experience, frightening at times but exciting too. I owe an immeasurable debt to several very important people in my life, they know who they are, without them I might not have been sitting here writing this today. Without them too, I might not be looking to the future with joy in my heart.

I may have found my voice last year and that may be why 2009 marks the moment when I started to write poetry and to get it published. No more turning a blind eye to the light and no more bowed head in prayer because today at the beginning of a new year, a new decade, I do feel that I can live miraculously well without the help of miracles.

A happy New Year everyone. Here is that song, whilst you are thinking about your future, it might help you to make some important choices too:

Don’t they know that there’s something going on
What they’re harming with their indecision
But who will be left standing when I’m gone?
There’ll be nothing left but a vision

It’s too easy to turn a blind eye to the light
It’s too easy to bow your head and pray
There are some times when you should try to find your voice
This is one voice that you must find today

Are you hoping for a miracle
as the ice caps melt away?
No use hoping for a miracle
There’s a price we’ll have to pay

It’s too easy to turn a blind eye to the light
It’s too easy to bow your head and pray
There are some times when you should try to find your voice
This is one voice that you must find today

Are you hoping for a miracle
as the ice caps melt away?
No use hoping for a mïracle

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