Once upon a time and served on a saucerful of secrets were the Sixties. For a while, it was the Age Of Camelot. There might not have been Merlin, but it was a time full of magic- magic in the form of music the world had never heard before that took listeners on various journeys of discovery and where they might have found themselves or else lost their way and ended up in Itchycoo Park or the Dark Side Of The Moon.
There were wise men who had dreams to bring the world together…and did. The four horsemen of the apocalypse galloped into lives with messages some understood then and whose words only resonate now. Words that asked about all the lonely people and where do they all come from. Words about that Nowhere Man making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
This is where I arrived by ship from Colombo at nine, was a stranger in a strange land called Hongkong, and thought nothing of living in a shoebox in North Point on the 27th floor with my parents, my aunt, uncle, cousin and grandmother.
This is where I took a Shaukiwan tram to Quarry Bay School, possibly the first “East Asian” to be accepted.
This is where I first faced racism- and beat that devil at his own game by being a good pupil- academically and in sports- if you call Rounders a sport.
We were having dinner with a few cricketers over the weekend. Not just any cricketers. World class cricketers. Guys with whom I was and still are in awe. But heroes rarely last forever. Most eventually disappoint.
These cricketers were talking about their complete disinterest playing in a five day Test match, let alone a series. How much discipline was needed. Being kept under lock and key. Every move being scrutinised. But with there being the 20/20 game, One Day Tests, it was all very much about big money for almost nothing and plenty of models, actresses and groupies for free. It was a Dire Straits song.
It’s not even a question anymore. It’s a fact. We’re over-complicating everything. Even the most simple things.
Unable to sleep the other night from sleeping too much earlier in the day after much too long an unnecessarily long night out, there was the idea to listen to one of those “racing and sports” radio channels. Mistake.
Some make it through the rain, some fall by the wayside. A few make comebacks for whatever reason. A sync deal for Pringles. Included in a movie. Or television series. Or have always been there. But in the Lost And Found of one’s mind. Words that can’t be deleted.
A song about the one who got away. The one you let get away. Slipped through your fingers. Butter fingers. The one who wore your ring.
That song that meant everything about another time. And which suddenly is more relevant today.
Friendship is such a very special thing. Real friendship. Not the ships passing in the night kind. Not the “I’ll always be there for you, bro” kind. And then disappear on “bro” only to return whenever it’s convenient. To unload. Download. All kinds of crazy stuff. Where you’re “bro” and “brother” and “dude” and a “real friend.”
Forget about those one only meets in the online world. Extremely rarely do they ever become anything more than mental clutter.
Many more will leave us. Friends, some more famous than others, musical heroes, music icons, political heroes, sporting legends and everyone in between. It’s the inevitability of life. Death catches up with everyone so it really comes down to what one does in the Now and in the Living. Without wishing to sound like a Hallmark greeting card…
Looking back isn’t the answer as it always means coming up against a wall of regrets. But there’s no time for regretting. The past has packed up and walked out the door. It’s now all about what can be done today which segues into tomorrow and knowing that something positive- no matter how small and insignificant- has been achieved.
It’s signalling the end of an era. It’s heralding something new about to happen. Some of us are wondering what’s in store next.
Some of us are facing our own mortality. And though trying to live life to the full in the allocated time given and move forward, there’s the nagging feeling that the race has been run and it’s time to coast. And so you wait for things to happen. The answer is on Netflix because it’s hipper than Facebook. Really?
For some strange reason, McCartney singing the line, “And I feel like letting go” has been playing in my head for about a week.
One can take this line positively or negatively and it takes a few rounds of mental ping pong to figure it out. There’s the need to go through a process. Perhaps it’s some form of cleansing and not holding onto things because that’s how it’s always been and Change can be difficult. And a little scary. Rather the devil you know and all that. But who wants to dance with the devil? Where’s he taking you? Or maybe he’s a she?