Thursday, July 27, 2006

If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

I am back in OX4, processing my thoughts from the last 10 days and rejoicing at the ferocity of tonight's thunderstorm... I'm sitting in our little conservatory with all the lights off, feeling battered by the sound of the rain on the plastic roof yet also knowing I have shelter from the storm.

It's a fucking enormous storm though, so this feeling might not last. The roof could cave in at any moment, is what it feels like. I am working off the battery in case of a power surge. It's wild and elemental and feels nothing like benign northern Europe should.

I am also thinking about A, who has to decide whether or not to subject herself to chemotherapy. These decisions seem never to be clear cut. It's not quite the Russian roulette that is unprotected sex in Southern Africa, but it's still a game of chance.

Humans have a particular relationship with risk. I think it's one of the things that makes us human. When I was younger and a bit fucked up, I used to walk down the middle of the road late on a Friday night, when I was wasted and nihilistic and wanted to taste exhaust fumes and feel engine heat. I surely risked my life, or risked my health at the very least, yet... at the time, if you'd asked me, I'd have said what is life for if you can't bet against the odds every now and again.

These days I stay on the pavement, but I take my risks in other ways. I still like to taste electricity in my mouth during a big storm. And I feel for A, who has to decide how much sickness to risk for how much health.

joella

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