Friday, 30 March 2012

On the Significance of Days

Hi all!
This week's post may be a bit self-centred and less about writing than this blog should be but, eh, isn't that what blogs are for...?

So today is my super secret alter-ego's birthday and so March 30th has that bit more significance when I wake up in the morning.  It's one of those, 'what could happen today, will it be really interesting?' feelings, (unless you just oversleep as I did).  Well, it was interesting in that I went out to S-bucks and got some really cool cards and all but mostly today was just calm, quiet, not very eventful.  How it all started though, oh boy was that fun - at 12 o'clock this morning I was elbow-deep in horrible, greasy water trying to unblock the drain so I could finally walk the hour's journey home.  My non-writer life was going on in full force - a late shift at the venue in town that I'm on the hospitality team for - and it wall thanks to Ed Balls and the Labour Party having some sort of dinner which required me and the five or six others that work late.  But it was all awesome because at the stroke of 12 my beautiful dress began to fade and my friends reverted back to mice my friends gave me a rousing Happy Birthday chorus, we wrapped up the washing, and all the pressure of Arghdon'tspillcurryonEdBalls! was lifted.  We finished up, went home and I got up late today and didn't feel guilty.  That's as cool as my other-life can get right now. 

But if we go back a day, as my most estimable internet BFF colleague stalking-victim Tealin did, then we have a much more substantially significant and profound day.  Tealin has been following R.F.Scott's journey with her One Hundred Years Ago Today series but today I look back to the Antarctic and that sorrowful day that Scott completed his last diary entry.  I'm no expert but I've gleaned that at this point, 100 years ago, Scott must have been as low as he could be: depressed, exhausted, bereft, with dwindling supplies and having missed his shot at being the first to conquer the South Pole.  Scott and his team achieved and went through so much but ultimately it came to this point - Scott's end.  I want to say profound, appreciative things but all I can think of is, with reverence, a line from Joss Whedon's Firefly - "They did the impossible, and that made them mighty."   It's a day late but here's my tuppence-worth - take a moment to consider what they did, what they were and what they became because they were mighty men that went through so much in the name of science and, I guess, eternal glory.  Well, "Scott of the Antarctic" is how we remember him, and I'll leave you with some words from his last letters:
(To Oriana Wilson, about husband Edward Wilson, there with Scott)
 I should like you to know how splendid he was at the end – everlastingly cheerful and ready to sacrifice himself for others, never a word of blame to me for leading him into this mess. He is not suffering, luckily, at least only minor discomforts.

His eyes have a comfortable blue look of hope and his mind is peaceful with the satisfaction of his faith in regarding himself as part of the great scheme of the Almighty. I can do no more to comfort you than to tell you he died as he lived, a brave, true man – the best of comrades and the staunchest of friends.
  (And to Mrs. Bowers, on her son Henry Robertson Bowers, also there)
I write when we are very near the end of our journey, and I am finishing it in company with two gallant, noble gentlemen. One of these is your son. He had come to be one of my closest and soundest friends, and I appreciate his wonderful upright nature, his ability and energy. As the troubles have thickened his dauntless spirit shone ever brighter and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end.

The ways of Providence are inscrutable, but there must be some reason why such a young, vigorous and promising life is taken.
 If you're inclined to look their journey up, you should; it's amazing and inspiring - to keep going and seek out your dreams.

Until next time, folks,
Neil 

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