Sunderland Can No Longer Make Ships

Life’s an illusion and I’ll tell you why. There’s a small wall I’d walk upon as a child. It outlines a shop delivery bay at the back of my town. Now crumbling and perhaps soon to be demolished, I’m almost certain local residents barely know or care about its existence. However, I can tell you the top layer of kidney coloured brickwork is smooth at the edge; making it easier for little ones to climb up. “I used to jump off that wall”, said my teenage son seeing the inconsequential boundary last. Thoughts of him perched precariously on the wall tapping his feet building up his confidence before the jump…


Life’s meaningless then we die. Birds tapping their feet on the grass attracting those worms below who contemplate it’s raining above… a meme arguably transferred genetically like flight and nest building; or learned through repetition and experience? Perhaps fledglings eventually jump from the nest because life is meaningless for them not to do so. The natural pecking order has us at the very top of the evolutionary tree and all for the same reason; to jump.
Life’s an open-book exam, which sounds a lot easier than what natural selection affords other species as a harsher way of passing, but pass we must. Surviving into our senior years is a goal we hope to achieve. So where are the answers in all those libraries of our collective intellect? The pages whose ink fades ironically at the chapter explaining cure and comfort to those who suffer this cruel fate. What is there to achieve when the very material you’re built from is literally crumbling away? Madness!
Dementia; a ‘reward’ for passing those tests that life has hurled at us along the way. A mass extinction of joy and sorrow. It has no discrimination. It has no want. There is no purpose; for without thought there is no perception of depth, volume, beauty or grace. Nor can it be black and void of nothing. For surely that too would need a semblance of sense. Biology killed by the physics of time or the physical world killed from biology’s own self-destruct button? Life is an illusion yet Nanna stares back at me with eyes that witnessed my little tapping feet and confident jump so very long ago. Her timeless laugh chained to those sinking memories from when ships were once made on the Tyne. Brief abridged biographies of long forgotten skills.
Her illusion now different to my own. What Darwinian reason is there to deceive the true scale of our own melted ice caps; to be lost without learning and captive to our predators? Anxiously appearing at the surface wanting to escape the soil before the rains fall and flood our home… a torturous trick of the mind. The reason why we protect, we raise up, we give flight to the next generation. Nothing can take that away from the ‘unassuming’ wall. It stands to reason; we build on it. May I wish your own legacy be cemented with layers of only kind memories if our purpose here ever becomes fragmented.  🐦   Thanks for always supporting our show.


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