Two years ago I was diagnosed with an advanced condition of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) I was rushed to hospital and spent much of the next few months under treatment. I later discovered that the chances of me witnessing this two-year landmark were about 1 in 3. (30-40% survival rate)
So it was during a gig last night that I was struck with the (questionable) logical insight that I had a 60-70% chance of dying by the end of the set. I came close when the singer managed to forget the melody, rhythm & form to “Unchained Melody” in front of an attentive, art celebrity audience. But I don’t think that really counts.
So how do I feel? Well the answer to that question seems to be a string of paradoxes:
Shell-shocked yet grateful. More isolated from others yet more deeply connected. Acutely aware of the fragility of life yet more fearless. More confused and unsure of any beliefs, yet more lucid and clear. I feel like a ghost walking among the living, yet more alive than I have ever been. As you can see, elucidation escape me. I shouldn’t be here, yet here I am – and more glad of it than I can express with any justice. Again I must thank Bridget, my family, my close friends, colleagues and extended network for all the incredible support.
Last Sunday, my band, Rat Park (conceived before my illness) had our first public performance at the Park Lane Young Composers’ Symposium. It was an uncompromising performance in terms of style, vision and content in front of a knowledgeable, academic, critical audience and it went down really well.
We have our first full concert at the Guildford Music Festival in March 2007. It feels good.
Nothing is guaranteed and we all have a less than 100% chance of making it to any future date. This is both sobering and inspiring. If the next two years were your last, how would YOU want to spend them?
Follow your Bliss,