(With permission from Renton)
Choose life. Choose
love. Choose being disappointed at the overcast sky and the ensuing storm.
Choose being amazed at the resulting vibrant rainbow. Choose snapping the
rainbow with your mobile camera and Instagramming it instantly. Choose
forgetting your earlier disappointment. Choose life. Choose love.
dragged to a concert by an artist you don’t like and whose music you find naff.
Choose going because your best mate is going. Choose miming the words of a song
you didn’t know you knew. Choose putting your arm around your mate’s shoulders
and joining in the chorus. Choose losing your voice when you sing more songs by
this artist you didn’t like and whose music you found naff. Choose life. Choose
your newborn’s head. Choose filling up your lungs with her fragrance, a fragrance that translates
as purity and innocence. Choose laughing at the silliness of it all because two
years ago you said you didn’t want any children. Ever. Choose closing your eyes
and feeling this moment, remembering this moment as you cradle that little head
in your hands. Forever. Choose life. Choose love.
Choose helping that
old lady or man cross the road. Choose stopping the traffic and grabbing their
arm as they readjust their glasses. Choose carrying their bag and asking if
they are all right. Choose life. Choose love.
Choose giving way
to a stranger at a T-junction as cars pile up behind you. Choose smiling at
him/her as you do it.
Choose holding a 99
Flake in the middle of torrential rain somewhere on a beach in Cornwall in July or August. Choose being
under cover in a deserted restaurant with fellow miserable-looking
holiday-makers who are equally holding onto their 99s for dear life as the dark
sky turns even darker. Choose breaking into a well-known, popular song, slowly
and sotto voce at first. Choose smiling
at your fellow, miserable –looking holiday-makers who join in as soon as they
recognise the melody. Choose life. Choose love.
Choose falling out
with your loved one over a petty issue. Choose retreating into your own cave feeling
bitter, while your other half retreats into theirs with similar emotions. Choose
making eye contact some time later in the kitchen as you do the washing up and
your partner tidies up the dinner table. Choose cracking a joke you know will
elicit the complicit laughter that will make you both inch closer to each
other. Choose looking into their eyes as you say sorry and they say sorry back to you.
Choose passionate, unbridled make-up sex. Choose life. Choose love.
Choose walks in the
park, bike rides by the river, outings to the cinema, random visits to friends,
unexpected acts of kindness to strangers, voluntary work at your local charity
shop, reading poetry alone, reading poetry to others, skinny-dipping under a full moon, playing pranks on
your children, getting caught in the rain, staying up all night to see the
sunrise, crying in the theatre.
empathy, selflessness, friendship, trust, solidarity, respect, humanity. Choose
humanity. Choose humanity.
Above all, choose
life. Choose love.
Next Post: “Of
Literature and Other Abstract Thoughts”, to be published on Wednesday 31st
May at 6pm (GMT)