Home Thoughts From A Fraud: Through A Glass, Darkly

Home Thoughts From A Fraud: Through A Glass, Darkly

Suddenly 5:30am I am not right. But am I wrong? Life... I am the only person I know who died, then came back... what have I learned? 

I lost my kid brother along the way. He had a heart attack two days after mine, and ended up, like me, in a coma. I made it out. He didn't, and his cremation was two years ago this week. Why are so arrogant as to think we are more important than any other species? As Lear says, "Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life/And thou no breath at all?"

I think this sums up what I feel.

It was written by DH Lawrence, in The Plumed Serpent. 

Zennor, where locals viewed the couple with suspicion and mistrust, in a peculiarly British wayI once stayed in his house in Zennor, Cornwall.

(Obv, he was brown bread, I mean, I stayed there years later.)

His wife, Frieda, was German, it was 1915, and he had just had The Rainbow pulped under "obscenity" laws.

And his passport seized, so he couldn't leave that hateful isle.

He was accused of being a spy. Thus we treat our artists and thinkers.

Here is what he wrote in those cloistered, hateful days:

"Gods should be iridescent, like the rainbow in the storm. Man creates a god in his own image, and the god grows old along with the men that made him. 

"But storms sway in heaven, and the god-stuff sweeps high and angry over our heads. Gods die with men who have conceived them. But the god-stuff roars eternally, like the sea, with too vast a sound to be heard. 

Frieda, left, and DH Lawrence"Like the sea in storm, that beats against the rocks of living, stiffened men, slowly to destroy them. Or like the sea of the glimmering, ethereal plasm of the world, that bathes the feet and the knees of men as earth-sap bathes the roots of trees.

"Ye must be born again. Even the gods must be born again. We must be born again."

I love this. It somehow makes me cry.

It is a strange thing to die, then come back. All I can tell from the other side is that there was nothing, just absence of anything. It was only when I began to come back after two weeks that I could see anything, I remember seeing gold stars in the fleur-de-lys style against a dauphinois blue background. I don't know if it was for seconds, minutes, hours or days. 

Then the hallucinations started, they seem to have lasted a week or so after comparing my memories with medical records on the ICU.

Now I am living my second life. It is strangely liberating. Carpe diem an' all that...

The challenge – and the opportunity – it to start again, to embrace life and, finally and crucially, to love it.