The order of things

So far, I am arranging the memoir under these chapter headings:

  1. Get Yourself Born into Intergenerational Misery
  2. Experience Vicarious Trauma through Your Friend Being Raped and Murdered by a Japanese Serial Killer
  3. Marry Your Ex-Girlfriend’s Brother
  4. Surprise! Mr Hyde in Suburbia
  5. Find Out Why Your Husband is Urinating in the Kitchen of an Evening
  6. Find Yourself and Your New Partner Being Chased Down the Street by a Phalanx of Reporters

You’ll note, dear Reader, what I was referring to vis-a-vis the dose of irony. But despite that, I am deeply serious about the writing, and of honouring the people I have encountered along the way. This is no small matter. Reflecting on my life in this corner of the world, there is almost as much that I can’t write about – or can’t do justice to – as that which lends itself to shaping through language.

I am reflecting on this in particular because I am in the midst of losing a dear friend: by in the midst of, I mean at any moment. I do not know how I would include her in the above, although she has been there for most of it. Maybe I will yet find a way.

I recognise that the desire to record is also a talisman against the void beyond being. And because Walt Whitman was right: What invigorates life invigorates death.

Even if we understand that dying is the token of our existential luckiness, even if we understand that we are borrowed stardust, bound to be returned to the universe that made it — a universe itself slouching toward nothingness as its stars are slowly burning out their energy to leave a cold austere darkness of pure spacetime — this understanding blurs into an anxious disembodied abstraction as the body slouches toward dissolution. Animated by electrical impulses and temporal interactions of matter, our finite minds simply cannot grasp a timeless and infinite inanimacy — a void beyond being.

Maria Popova at The Marginalian
In happier times