Monday, 11 July 2011

Road rage

Today (Sunday 10 July 2011) I had two novel experiences.

One was seeing a story I have been intimately involved with (for the last 15 months) written up in a national newspaper. You can read all about it here

St Olave Hart Street in 1942.
It was from these ruins that Peter Turner disappeared. We hope he will like what has been done with the place since.

The second, which for a while—sorry to report—threatened to eclipse the joy of the first, was being called a “retard” by a rather aggressive fellow motorist who felt severely inconvenienced by a driving manoeuvre I had made. So cross was he in fact that he added a familiar adjective to specify what sort of impaired person he perceived me to be. Playground stuff really, but the encounter left me not only shaking for quite a while but also lamenting the coarseness of his manner, his lack of respect for my relative age and the fact that his very nice car was considerably more refined than he was. Bullying helps a guy get on, but what sort of world does it create? Of course I thought of all sorts of smart ripostes after the event, but the pervading feeling was one of sadness, not only for him but also for my desire to get back at him, to deface his vehicle, to insult his nationality…anything that would restore to me a sense of dominance and strength. I had even wanted to taunt him with the fact of my cancer in the hope that this would make him feel suitably wormlike.

The incident occurred while I was parking near our church and it was a relief to be brought up short during the service that soon followed by the ancient words of The Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”. I knew I must forgive this man or the cycle of violence would never end; I knew I must repent of my desire for vengeance. That was a turning point and I could return to living in the moment, the only healthy place to be. It is true that the ashes have been smouldering all day, but they are not as warm as they were.

In the afternoon my wife and I went to buy the new mattress we have been promising ourselves for a while. The choice in the end boiled down to two and we opted for “memory foam” supported by 2000 springs that promised both subtlety of support and durability (this not being an everyday purchase). Delivery is on Tuesday: can’t wait.

Our son and daughter-in-law are now back from honeymoon and they called in this evening to pick up some things to take to their first home. My daughter is practising for her driving test and so drove all of us the few miles to the new place, a well-equipped and reasonably roomy bedsit in a pleasant and convenient location. It’s a really good start, I am happy to say.

This morning saw injection 6 and by the evening my lower back was starting to ache persistently. Could this be the stem cells massing in the marrow, ready for harvest? I was advised that this might happen as the jabs took effect and to look on the pain as “productive”. I’m trying, I’m trying!

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