Dispatches from Life #1

I wrote this piece after reading an article in the newspaper one lunch time.

There was such a depth of recognition in Philip Gould’s writing about bliss and about being so deeply present in a single moment that my body felt electric, spun.

He was writing about  his impending  death but in this, his death became his life

He said:

“And so my death has become my life. And my life has gained a kind of intensity and power that it had never had before. You can go for a walk in the park and have a moment of ecstasy. I go to the Frieze Art Fair in Regent’s Park opposite our house. I go to the exhibition tent and I sit there and have a coffee and I feel ecstasy after ecstasy after ecstasy. This is built upon this feeling of certainty, of knowledge, of death. There is ecstasy because I am not dead yet.”

Isn’t that the most perfect definition of life?

As a child I recall feeling ecstasy many times over – it came to me in ecstasy too.

And I know I am not alone in that feeling.

Riding a bike at dusk, swinging higher on a garden swing at twilight, mum and dad watching on, the birds singing all of us caught together connected in time, sharing a moment.

Then too, sitting alone as a child intensely aware of the sunlight through the window, dust motes dancing, my heart painfully full and expanding fuller and fuller in every moment.

So simple.


Our natural state.

So very certain of this.

Later, sitting at the café I feel wave after wave of ecstasy for being alive and for every precious moment that follows.

I meditate on life, on being alive.

I am alive.

I am alive.

I breathe.

And follow that breathe as it enters and exits my body.


Life is this extraordinary gift.

A blaze of glory.

And knowing my end is inevitable, will  I open wider and expand more fully to live this?

I am not sad but immensely grateful for being alive.

I want to inhabit all of me, straight out and round into all the corners, no shame, no fear, practising forgiveness for every second of every minute of every day until I remember that each is a thought and even that can leave my body. Grace in surrender too.

I am grateful to a very brave man for revealing more of life in his death than I thought possible.

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