Thursday, 6 October 2011

Seventh Floor

Its a strange reminder about how how a position can change perspectives. Yet again I am in that esteemed establishment, the Arosa hotel in Paderborn. This flying visit was requested a while ago but I have been reluctant to make the journey. This time, I am in the lofty heights of the seventh floor where I can see all of the town stretched out below me, as so often before. Only this time, the view is further and I can see more of the countryside beyond the grey conurbation.
I suppose I was aware of the surrounding countryside before. I just never gave it any thought. It is not really unlike the countryside at home except that perhaps the fields are a little more regular in shape. I have no idea whether there was an equivalent of the Enclosures Act in these parts.

So, once again, I am struck by the rapidity with which I am suddenly elsewhere. And after my rather unsociable Friday evening flight at 9 p.m. this evening, I shall undoubtedly be disorientated by the discovery that I am home again, without seemingly noticing the intervening process of transition. I have long since given up attempting to assimilate the amount of information that such a journey presents to my eyes and ultimately my mind: There is just too much of it and to attemt to do so just results in mild motion sickness.

But it does make me think very carefully about how rapidly situations change. That which seemed unthinkable can in moments become the only choice of action. Once I was berated for my table manners by a well-meaning if misguided soul, on the grounds they would let me down if I ever had to represent my company at dinner with customers. "Yeah, like that is ever going to happen!" I thought.

Lately, there have been too many sudden requirements for a change in perspective. There have and continue to be too may funerals for my liking too. Some of them are rather poignant, like the team mate of my son who, at 20, succumbed last week to cancer. We are all aware of the pointlessness of railing at Fate and the unfolding of the Universe, but this was a particularly bitter loss for anyone who knew him. The words of countless parents and teachers over the generations never rang truer: "No, Life isn't fair!"

And so, looking out from this window so high up, and knowing my vantage point will soon change again, I am suddenly unsettled. Certainties seem elusive and change seems to be constant. And in this we have to decide what to take with us and where to stand for the next transition.

My life has changed this week. Some things have been made clear to me about the attitude of how I approach life. I need to make some changes if I am to retain my sanity and that which I value. Deaths tend to do that to one, don't they? As does standing in a high place and looking out at the workings of humanity, nestled in a landscape.

Alas, I have a presentation to write and fifteen minutes in which to do it. So I must leave this here. It was, in its way, my own attempt to rationalise the processes that are happening in my head. It is not necessary that anyone actually read it, only, for the sake of rigour, that I feel someone could. That's hard to explain, but should you have struggled heroically this far, i am certain you know what I mean.

And now to get down to the nitty gritty of everyday life and to leave all matters whimsical in their proper place. Corporate head on, suit on, smile affixed.

More anon.

1 comment:

Librarian said...

Indeed, I know what you mean about it being not actually necessary that anyone read it, but knowing they could.
And I also know only too well about the sudden changes that happen in our lives and seem to be the only constant, the biggest one for me (so far) being the sudden death of my husband almost 2 years ago. Yes, deaths do that to you; can't get a more radical change of perspective than that, I guess.
I am very sorry to hear about the boy who died of cancer. Not being a parent myself, I can only try to imagine what pain they were going through during his illness and now after his death.