Thursday 26 January 2012

Hedd, Perffaith Hedd



To my cousin-once-removed David's funeral out west today, preceded by lunch with my brother and cousin and his wife at Ultracomeda, a deli on Narberth's High Street with a little restaurant attached. The sardines cured in vinegar are very good. We are tentatively approached by other diners we've never met but who turn out to be attending the ceremony and we can share reminiscences from very different perspectives.

Funerals are obviously reminders of mortality but they also have that unique facility of bringing you back in contact in my case with relatives I haven't seen for over 25 years although I had knocked about with them in my teens - it doesn't seem so long ago but suddenly we are all much older! This accentuates the sensation of how fleeting life is but I do not myself find this unpleasant or alarming but rather curiously soothing - you can't really take life too seriously when you realise it's gone in a flash.

But, as Marvell said To His Coy Mistress (circa 1652),

...at my back I always hear
Time's wing├Ęd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity


- and so you've got to get on with life while you've got the opportunity. This is often called a metaphysical poem but the writer clearly had his mind on the most physical of matters.




Postscript:

As you can see I have two new tom-cats who are so far nameless: any ideas welcome because it would be a shame if they were for ever to be known as the "little b*st*rds" (as in "Hoy there, stop tearing up the furniture you little b*st*rds!").