Saturday 30 October 2010

A Practical Guide to Some of Life's Top Things - (number nine in a series of ten)

Sunday 31st October

Last Sunday, naming no names, someone read the post and declared – “I don’t understand.”

I was a bit miffed, as I had deliberately written the post in a way that I thought would help those who might find themselves there for the first time.


Why would you think that?

Ah, it was then!

So - ignoring that - I will offer to make this week krisstal, I mean crystal, clear.

1. Every Sunday, here on Bitsnbobs, there is a special post.

2. NORMALLY, Sunday offers a digest of the previous week’s posts – to save the busy folk; a one-stop catch up. (It’s called The Digestive.)

3. AT THE MOMENT though, on Sunday I am offering a special series – A Practical Guide to some of Life’s Top Things.

4. It was inspired by a challenge/suggestion/a why not consider/an if you think it might be interesting/brain burp from Mary.

5. The Practical Guide has been incorrectly called a supplement – you can’t actually pull it out.

6. Every one of these Practical Guides is written as a dialogue between me, and him - he is shown in italics.

7. In every one of these Practical Guides someone, me (or him), quotes someone and then pretends to forget the name of the person we have quoted (in fact the first week it was an honest mistake, now it’s deliberate). These quotations, or who said them, will feature in the End of Year Quiz (at the end of the year).

8. As an ongoing motif, sections of the dialogue, between me -and him, are repeated.

9. There is no number nine.

There is NO number nine!!??

There is no number nine.

That’s impossible – it’s meant to be a ten-part series and last week was number eight!!

No, no you misunderstood – there is no number nine in the LIST. The list that tries to clear up what is going on for anyone who is lost.


Whatever……BUT there IS a NUMBER NINE in the Practical Guide of....

Hang on - I’ve noticed something else about this series of Practical Guides.

You have?

I have!


Someone always says “whatever”.

They do?

They do.

Whatever, anyway… there is a NUMBER NINE in the Practical Guide to some of the Top Things to do in a Lifetime.

And a quote?

And a quote, though I can’t remember the name of the person who said it – though to be honest when he said it he was quoting someone else.


Well, a while back I made a bit of a mess of things so I signed up for the Landmark Forum.

Is that that thing the French government classifies as a cult?

Could be, but that wasn’t my experience.




Well to cut a long story short I signed up for the advanced course too and somewhere in that the coach started to promise that later in the course he would tell us the meaning of life.


There was a big build up to this moment, in amongst all the other stuff, he would constantly look at his watch and say things like, “in two hours we will get to the meaning of life” etc. You have to understand that the other things that were going on in the Forum were earth shattering, so someone explaining the meaning of life seemed to us to be a distinct possibility.

And did someone tell you?

Eventually, after a coffee break and late into the evening, he walked in with a big book under his arm, strode up to the lectern and announced, “It’s time, the meaning of life”, and opened the book.

Which book was it?

Well, that’s the bit I can’t remember – it was one of those big books, what are they called?

The Bible?

No - something to do with those towns that do all the rowing.

Never mind, what did they tell you?

He turned the pages slowly then stopped and said, “Here it is, The Meaning of Life.

What is it?

Life: the period between birth and death.

That's it?

That's it.

Number nine?

Number nine – live!

Do you remember Michael?


Michael. He sent me an e-mail.

What did he say?

I’ll quote –“I remember the night seven summers ago when I was at a garden party at a neighbor’s and a couple of friends of mine finally got together after fancying each other from afar for a while and never both being single at the same time. Three weeks later she knocked on his door and said that she didn't think a relationship was a good idea as she had just been diagnosed with cancer. He replied that that made it even more vital that they spend as much time together as possible. So she moved in with him. Conquered the cancer (losing a breast on the way). A few months ago she told him that she had got cancer again and this time it was terminal. He said - Let's get married. They did, this Summer.. She has been reasonably well until last month when it migrated into her spine - very painful. He's looked tired and not a well man recently but we all thought that was to be expected. Last week he was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and will almost certainly die before her. I can see their house from my office window. It saddens me but also gives me the energy to kick ass in the counseling room - life is so precious, don't waste it!”


Mary said...

Amen, Michael. What a a heart breaking story!

Last night out of the blue, an old friend from Vancouver called me. She had been going through many difficult events and had moved a couple of times. I had been trying to find her for almost 8 years.

Just like that there she was. She sounded good and healthy. Almost back from a dark journey.

I hope I will be able to see her soon. She was a good and true friend.

She said to me that life was indeed too short -- she has decided to live.


popps said...

Another thing the Forum taught me Mary was that a hope is just a hope, do it!