Saturday, 3 September 2011

Lucky Deluded B*stards

Bear with me on this one.

I have been fortunate to hold a number of different jobs over the years.  In a past phase, I held a job in health care which included a stint at an old peoples home what was referred to back then as being for the Elderly Mentally Infirm.  I couldn't wait to get out of there because it looked like a living hell.  It was typical of images I'd seen around the care of the elderly.  Wake up, toileting, changing the bed from the incontinence episodes, dressed, breakfast, into the day room to sit until about 11 when it was time to get them all toileted again in time for lunch before going back to the day room.

The day room was like so many others.  A ring of high backed chairs with a TV in the corner.  On the wall was what I always felt a patronising attempt to bring some reality orientation to these people, in the form of a board that said things like "The day is Wednesday.  The Month is November".  That sort of thing.  The reason being was that the home catered for old people who through a range of conditions were no longer in possession of a fully functioning mind.  You could see that in the day room when most of them sat there in the room, mostly silent with a thousand yard stare.  It is quite a haunting sight to behold.

One day I was sat next to one of the residents who looked like the sort of lady you imagine would make a lovely grandmother just by looking at her.  Unfortunately she seemed as lost as everyone else in the room.  What happened next nearly broke my heart yet it was over in a flash.  As we sat there, she raised her head, looked at me and a small flicker of life came into her eyes but soon turned to a look of sadness when she said to me "what am I doing here?  I don't belong here".  She was having a lucid moment where she possessed her faculties again and recognised the hell she was in.  No sooner had she said it though, I saw her eyes lose the spark they had and she dropped her head back into her alternate reality.

The memory of this sprung into my head this morning and was immediately followed by my memory of a movie I saw some months ago.  The film was called Knowing and starred Nicholas Cage.  For those who don't know it is about a maths genius who basically cracks a series of codes that lead to predictions of disasters, all of which come true.  The final code he cracks, points to an event which will result in the end of life on earth. 

These memories came to me as I completed my run this morning.  It was one of those runs where everything was pretty much spot on in which the runner has is experiencing "flow" and as such enters an almost trance like experience and I was looking back on how enjoyable it had been.  It had helped lift me from the dour mood I had experienced on my morning surf of various blogs.

The connection between all of these little anecdotes is knowing and not knowing.  I really enjoy reading the blogs that I do and I enjoy blogging.  I can't speak for my fellow bloggers but my rationale is to try and wake readers up in the hope that they will do something to help turn around the mess that grows around us everyday by exposing what remains hidden either by deliberate design or by lack of attention or ineptitude.

The problem is it comes with a curse.  If we were to take a quick look around the blogsphere today, fellow bloggers are showing some great insights.  But through it all is a thread of inevitability. They, like me are writing but we still press headlong into a future that seems unavoidable, similar to a racing driving still bearing down on a wall despite their efforts on the steering wheel.  We write but yet little changes from it as the majority continue on in their delusional waking coma, like the old lady I mentioned earlier who has long since passed from her torment.

Who are the lucky ones?  We who see what is coming up on us or those who only have the occasional flicker before falling back to sleep with their eyes wide open?

1 comment: