I have always been faintly amused by the idea of earnest Christian converts sliding down a giant birth canal into a pool of holy water. Or whatever it is they actually do.
According to Wikipedia “individuals who profess to be “born again” often state that they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Yeah, right, well I had something slightly different in mind as I was wandering slowly through the snow covered mountains today.
More like that equally improbable concept of a “New Year’s Resolution”. Turning over a new leaf. Starting again. Doing things differently.
I’m not often too bothered about being born again but recently the concept of turning my back on my past has taken on a new importance.
Before I left for the mountains, I had been through a particularly difficult few weeks with somebody I have rather ignobly and perhaps harshly called the Pig. I don’t have any personal axe to grind with the Pig other than my distaste for illiteracy, a lack of erudition and boorish stupidity. No doubt were I a decent Christian (god forbid) or (slightly more tolerable) a proper Buddhist I would take a more tolerant attitude.
But I am neither and the Pig has really got under my skin. Before leaving London I had an unfortunate incident whereby I was so enraged by the behavior of Mr and Mrs Pig that I was frogmarched to the doctor who was ordered to get me to change my ways.
And indeed I should. Hence on the eve of my return to that no longer “Green and Pleasant Land” I find myself resolved to turn over a new leaf. I think I have tried this a number of times before but this time it’s quite urgent.
So what will my re-birthed existence look like? Post birth canal, it will certainly entail ignoring Pigs which means I will no longer be able to contact most of my siblings. Mercifully.
It will also mean not giving a toss about anything very much. And quite honestly that’s about all you can do at an age when friends and relatives are dropping like flies around you and Shakespeare’s words take on an ever more poignant urgency:
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
Worry is absurd. I’ll do a lot less of that. People: I don’t think I will bother. With the odd and very rare exception. Meditation – I must do a lot more of that. Must try harder as the dullard’s head master might say. Gardening, walking along beaches, mooching in country churches, singing. My wife, my son, such family as I have left I must concentrate on.
Life is to be lived. Enjoy it while you can.