Thursday, 13 December 2012
There's loads of stuff going through my mind at the moment. I could talk to you about how depressing it feels to watch the riots in Belfast played out on the TV, the terrible effect it's all having on the Christmas trade here, the damage to the city's fragile reputation and the fear that we're somehow taking an unwelcome step back into troubled days gone by. All because of a flag. Where on earth will it end?
I could also tell you about my old friend's mother who passed away suddenly this week, and the deep sadness I feel for her. I spent lots of time in their home as a child and those bittersweet memories are trickling back. What sorrow now for her family, perhaps even more raw at Christmastime.
I could talk about my cousin and dearest friend Maryrose, who died just before Christmas four years ago, leaving a young family and a loving husband behind her. A terrible loss of a short life that was blessedly lived to the full. An aching, gaping hole that she once filled so beautifully.
And yet despite all of this, here and for now, our little world still turns- there's presents to be bought, meals to be made, uniforms to be washed, carols to be sung. Life pauses in tragedy.... and carries on regardless. It's both a curse and a grace- the distractions and minutiae of our daily life drag us along with them and very, very slowly, the inner pain lessens. We carry on, not unscathed, nor without scars but still here. And possibly with a greater appreciation for today and for those we love. Sometimes anyway.
But today, I'm definitely not going to talk about any of that, because right now, I'm going to go and put on another load of washing after the vomit-athon we enjoyed here last night and then I'll do the school runs and the homeworks, and maybe later on I'll go to a wake. And tomorrow? Well, tomorrow I'm going to take myself into Belfast with Loverboy and we're going to enjoy our great city at Christmas time, and ignore the rest... for a little while anyway. Because life goes on.