I've been sorely preoccupied of late, my computer keyboard has been silent - a heavy heart just isn't conducive to light fingers and flashing insights.
It was the birthday of one of my sons last week. I have four sons in Scotland, we rarely talk. The distance between us can be measured in more than miles. But this isn't about me, it's not even about my sons. It's about a friend of theirs, a nineteen year old who was always 'in or around' our house and if truth be told we were always in or around his. The son of my guitarist playing partner and friend James. Jamie, a truly beautiful young man who only had one expression - smiling.
Last week they all went out together for a drink to celebrate my son's 19th birthday. Jamie didn't come home. Somewhere in their headiness they became separated around midnight. After a massive land and sea search Jamie's body was found nine days later in the local harbour.
For days I've wanted to rage, for days I have wanted to scream, for days I have cursed God and every stupid little insignificant thing we trouble ourselves with daily. This is a 'stop the world' moment. This is not what life is supposed to be like, right now in Scotland two people who were once my dearest friends are grieving over the loss of their beautiful son and no one ever deserved such a fate less than they do, less than Jamie did. Right now my sons are trying to come to terms with the loss of their best friend and I'm trying to grasp the pompous stupidity, the pathetic preoccupation I have had for the last five years with 'being right'.
Life is too short to preoccupy ourselves with what's 'wrong' in relationships, allowing the icy nature of what separates us to become solid and frozen in time and space. What unites us is to be revered, glorified, revelled in, dare I say worshipped. At the end of the day, it's all we have.
To my oldest and dearest friends, you had a son any family would be proud of. Sleep well Jamie lad, sleep well, my heart is awfy sore this night but by God do I remember that smile.