Of Unborn Ghosts

The following is an excerpt of lyrics from the song The Greatest Show On Earth, the last of the track list from the album Endless Forms Most Beautiful courtesy of the exceedingly talented Finnish band, Nightwish.

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.

Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.

The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara.

Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton.

We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people.

In the teeth of those stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.

We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds,
how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state
from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

Written by Marco Hietala & Tuomas Holopainen. Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.

The sentiments echoed by these powerful words point to one simple fact, that we, all of us, regardless of what we may be going through presently, are indeed fortunate to have even been birthed into existence in the first place. We may complain every now and then about circumstances or situations that, for most things and often in hindsight, turn out to be rather trivial matters but consider the unsettling alternative for a moment.

The possibility that each of us, no matter the current state of our lives, may never have been born to become who we are now in the first place was incredibly high. Astronomically so. A skilled mathematician could probably postulate a number or a percentage to validate this claim no doubt. And yet here we all are.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be here, right now, as my thoughts circulate in my mind to write this. It is disturbing to contemplate that had even a few things in my mother’s past occurred even just a little bit differently, then the life I have now and the person I am today would never have existed. Someone else could have taken my place. Another person with another life, for better or for worse, for the state of that ghosts life can never be known.

They are simply they that never were and will never be.

That person who had the potential to exist but does not. It is equally probable that no variation of me may have ever existed. These thoughts are both troubling and fascinating in equal measure. Such debates have their place in both science and spirituality but I suppose I am simply grateful that I turned out to be someone who is even capable of contemplating such thoughts. You never know, another me may not have ever even bothered to listen to Nightwish in the first place! I shudder at the prospect.

Forged From Reverie.

There Is A Tomorrow

We are each of us tested from one day to the next. Sometimes small battles, sometimes larger wars, but our hearts, bodies and minds are capable of withstanding the barrage of life’s many sorrows.

If you falter one day, there is a tomorrow. If you are wronged in some way, there is a tomorrow. If you cannot stand the thoughts raging in the maelstrom of your ruminations, if the demons taunting you with bitter words refuse to relent this day then close your eyes and go to sleep. You can start again tomorrow.

Don’t be ruled by the shadows in your mind. Cast aside the ghosts of resentment, of self doubt and of self loathing. Don’t let your yesterday determine your tomorrow. Give yourself the time and the opportunity to begin again.

Withstand the storm, stay strong and use that dark day to make yourself someone more experienced, someone more capable, a person of great worth, potential, determination and strength.

Be stronger than the person you were the day before. Be greater than the person you were the day before. Allow yourself to become a better you.

All that stands in the way of becoming this person, is you.

Forged From Reverie.

My Harbour in the Storm

We each of us must embrace the chaotic tempest that is our adult lives. It is both an invigorating freedom and a tiresome burden to navigate our days devoid of the shackles of childhood as we make decisions that impact how our time will unfold in both the short term and the long term. Some days are better than others.

I am not going to go into any great detail about how difficult life can be because it is simply just very different for every single person. There are some who have it very easy and there who some have it harder than others. There are also those who whom life has dealt a very harsh hand and who must endure more than they should have to. I do understand sometimes that it can all be a little too much to bear.

I’m not going to pretend my own life is all smooth sailing but nor am I going to expunge my thoughts here as I write, complaining about difficulties that we all must deal with to varying extents. I am not living a life of decadence and frivolity. I am not swimming in vast rivers of wealth. My days are not devoid of physical pains or mental anguishes. Life is what it is. But there is one regard however, where I consider myself to be a very fortunate man.

I would like to believe that, at least the majority of us, have our homes, our shelters, our fortresses to return to. We each have our own harbours in the storm. My own is the home I share with my fiancé and our little hound. You can see us up there in that slightly fuzzy picture up above where Oghren is of course extending his curiosity by trying to sniff away at the peculiar device taking the image in front of him.

Our home is not overtly imposing, burgeoning with trinkets, visibly grandiose or what I would refer to as a statement of defiant intent to ‘show’ the world what I am all about. But it is a reliable place of harmony, one where I can return from work each evening and just close my eyes and not worry that the world will follow me inside. There are no aggravations or arguments awaiting me, no unresolved, deeply ingrained issues that need to be hammered out when I walk in and there are no expectations to provide comfort and extravagance to fulfil desires born of shallow, demanding, pointless vanity. There is only affection, camaraderie, understanding and the excitement of a dog whose actions make it seem like he hasn’t seen me in weeks even though I have only been gone for a short while. When that door closes, it is just us and this makes me one of the happiest men breathing.

We are celebrating our thirteenth year together as a couple at the closing of the month. My mind is both filled with great memories of our time together throughout the years and also excited about the ones that are yet to come. To be with her is to know what peace, stability, love and long lasting companionship truly mean. Oh, and being rewarded with vast quantities of valuable loot from a high level partnership that rampages throughout the planes of Borderlands and Diablo 3 of course. There is little better than cooperative, split screen gaming with your companion.

I am now, and will eternally be, grateful to be able to return home to my harbour in the storm.

Forged From Reverie.