Thursday, May 15, 2008
I Can See Clearly Now
As I walked into OPSM across plush carpet swimming with beautiful women in white coats which apparently make them look more scientific and credible, I wondered into the optometrists room to have my eyes puffed with little whisps of air, to be embarrassed because I couldn't’t read the middle line of the eye chart and to listen to a chirpy little optometrist the age of my daughter tell me what I already knew, that I need new reading glasses, it struck me how lucky I am to be who I am and where I am. I wondered out after having my cornea’s photographed and much lens flicking with a shiny new prescription to browse the rows of Dolce and Gabana, Rayban, Sophia Lauren, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren and Chanel frames . . .of course I picked out a lovely little sage green Chanel number and sat whilst sweet little teen tried to sell me transition lenses and antiglare coating before cranking the figures to tell me that my new specs would cost a cool $800 after the refund from my health fund. I happily ordered said glasses which will appease my vanity and make me look cool typing into a computer where nobody can see my face anyway.
I sauntered home, breezed in to say hello to Otley and DrummerBoy happily shooting Mexican Terrorists, was greeted by a well groomed labrador with a stick in her mouth, pleased to have the alpha female back in da house, poured a nice glass of Preece Semillon Blanc, . . . then came in and watched the news.
How privileged I am . . .my only child, mother, father, sister, aunt haven’t suddenly been extinguished by the force of nature in Northern China and buried under tons of inaccessible rubble. . .My house hasn’t been devastated by mud slides cyclone and I’m not waiting after 7 days without water for a ruthless military junta to allow a paltry 30 Thai doctors in to relieve the devastation while the rest of the world, eager to help, is left in fragile negotiations with idiots on about how to dispense aid. I’m not afraid for my family still in Zimbabwe whilst I labour doing someone else’s ironing in South Africa and wondering if my mother and child have fallen victim to a racist machete. I’m not in a feeding queue in Darfour with a starving baby that resembles the progeny of some alien with wide fly-infested eyes and a swollen belly. I’m not in some middle eastern town masked and wired with explosives prepared to give my life to kill the infidel and meet my 17 virgins. I’m not even in the outback sniffing petrol and watching in an induced stupor as my children are sexually abused by their uncles and neighbours or shooting up against the wall and selling my body to slimy old men in Kings Cross. I’m not lying cold and hungry and disoriented with schizophrenic voices arguing in my head in Parramatta Park. I’m home, warm, loved, drinking wine, a roof over my head, a family who loves me, friends who care about me and so much fat on my body that if there was a famine tomorrow, I’d be the last to go!
I know where my children are, even if one is living in a Hostel in San Francisco. Thanks to the marvels of the internet and Skype I am able to talk to her today and any other day and tell her I love her. I know my son is happy, employed, well-adjusted and fabulously silly, in a relationship and offering to 'shout' me pizza. I moan about my expanding waistline, my sore knees and my rising level of debt but there’s food in my fridge and my dog has just had the remains of Tuesday’s Rogan Josh which could, if expanded with a little rice or potatoes feed a family of 20 in some starving corner of the earth. I feed a skinny old horse who should be converted into dog food or glue, on molasses softened barley to help him gain weight that would be sustenance to - I don't know how many people if only they could receive it.
I don’t want to swap my life with anyone less fortunate. I want to help and do what little I can but I thank the powers that be, for the little, insignificant, minuscule twist of fate that landed me where I am today. When the worst thing that could happen is my Internet dies, my washing machine is banjaxed or a bank cheque bounces . . .all I can surmise is that life is pretty wonderful on my side of the fence and although I'm not a religious person, my prayers go out to those who suffer.
I don't look through my Chanel glasses and see a perfect world. No pink lenses for me. All at once, I can see the lonely, the disenfranchised, the desperate, the hungry, the politically misguided, the bigots the purists . . But I am grateful for my position, given to me by a chance meeting between a sperm and an ovum - even though it's been hard at times, I have not experienced anything compared to some in this world and today . . because of that realisation, I am happy and eternally grateful and desperately sad that our third rock from the sun is such an awesomely and totally fucked-up place.