Looking at the theme I’ve changed to from the last one, that solid row of houses by the shingle beach in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, I felt it was just too everyday and deceptively safe in contrast to some of the things I talk about.
The topics of many of my discussions center on the insecurity and impermanence of life, especially for those who fall through the cracks in the existing socio-political and economic system. Yet, in an odd way, that is what middle-class life seems to be, a veneer of security which could be diminished or vanished at a stroke of a pen, so to speak. We usually don’t want to go there, but at times I wonder if and when the seeming stability and security of our lives will just melt beneath our feet like the polar ice caps are now doing.
Natural disasters, economic and political upheaval and over-night bankruptcy seems too common these days. One could become a refugee one day for being seen as ‘subversive’ by any government inclined to decide on certain discriminatory policies for their own political benefit; or what they think would give them political mileage. Employment security has become a slippery slope down which many could fall almost overnight, even if one has been outstandingly loyal to an employer, who may or not appreciate it. The bottom line being profit for the company, whatever it takes. So, the descent to poverty or having less is not just a nightmare but a possible reality. Natural disaster strikes any time, anywhere, sweeping away the dreams of many, all that normal people have worked and slaved for. But, none can tell when to expect that sudden tragedy. A shallow reply would be…” buy insurance”. But insurance can’t protect you from death or loss of your priceless memories carried in the form of usually mundane objects like a coat button or a child’s drawing. When those are lost, what have we to live for?
I am still a learner driver in life, learning how to tackle the new hazards, hair-pin bends, slippery roads, sudden obstacles and reckless road users that cross my path daily. I guess the irony of life, as I see and experience it, is quite accurately displayed in that picture of those solid and safe town houses along that beautiful seashore.
So we continue on Life’s journey, till one day no material security will matter anymore.