Evanescence (III)

3. St Anthony’s Pool

[Read parts I and II]

It is early morning, Summer 1991, the gardens of a college-turned-retreat house on the western edge of London. The Heathrow-bound air-traffic screams deafeningly low overhead, heading for touch-down. I am praying beside a goldfish pond.

I know that if I am still and patient the fish will get used to me and they will come to the surface. I am waiting for God. I am waiting for myself.

In the middle of the pond is a small fountain. The water, plashing, makes bubbles. Each bubble – a thin film of surface tension enveloping a pocket of air – drifts away, floating, idling, and after a while bursts. The air returns to the atmosphere; the water to the pool: nothing’s lost.

I am a bubble: a skin-encapsulated ego. For a while a few molecules come together to make this body. I drift, float, idle, and then, one day soon, not.

Time is short; we are temporary beings; what we think is important turns out to be of no consequence. So what does really matter?

Knowing that you are going to die, how do you want to live?

[Read Part IV.]

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