I was born at the tail end of the year 1930 which means that I am now 81 years old, a fact that does not bother me very much except when I find myself rambling on about celebrities of the past to younger people who have never heard off them. Johnny Depp, for example, will, in fifty years time, still be as fresh in the memories of persons who are under thirty today but will mean little to those younger than them. I find it difficult to accept the fact that I am older than most heads of state, politicians, doctors, academics, yet am neither wiser than they nor can expect to get their respect . Some relief from this feeling of inferiority does manifest itself when I learn that they have completely messed up their private lives through sheer lack of common sense and I should, having been married twice, divorced, widowed, have children and grandchildren and managed to live so far in comparative comfort, be able to give sensible advice to those around me who ask me how I survived inevitable pitfalls, but I find that my standards and experiences have become irrelevant with time. I therefore turn and look around me for a person I know whom I can trust because they have known me for a long time and then remember that the majority are dead. One of the unexpected setbacks of living for a long time is not having anyone with whom to share worthwhile memories.
Which leads me to a comforting possible explanation about the hereafter heard from someone, somewhere. We are perhaps like the larvae that live underwater in a murky pond but after a while climb up the stem of a plant to settle on a leaf above the surface where, overnight, we turn into a dragonfly. Suddenly we find ourselves in a bright, new, carefree environment with but one drawback - we cannot make contact with those we have left behind because we are now a different species.
Aware that I am nearly at the top of the stem and about to struggle to get out of the water, I have come to the conclusion that, though I will become a dizzily happy dragonfly and that the new world will indeed be amazing, I will surely be terribly worried about not being able to communicate with those I have left behind to tell them what it’s like. Can I hope that Messrs Zuckerberg and Gates will soon invent an app which will enable communication between the dead and the living? The alternative is, of course, is probably oblivion, in which case no one that I have loved and nothing that I have learned or experienced, will matter.
I think I’ll slip back into the past ..........