Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Thursday 13 August 2015

What am I?

Bev and I have been away, overnight Tuesday, along with Dad, Tim & Julie, Sye & Yve. We stayed in the Holiday Inn, at Brentford Lock, in order to attend the funeral service and burial of Dad's brother Bill, on Wednesday. The service was held in St. Mary's Church, Ealing, with the burial taking place in the family plot in South Ealing Cemetery. Uncle Bill was a very talented individual, a great model maker, he became a BBC film camera engineer whilst also pursuing a career as a professional musician. He played with many of the most talented musicians of the "big band era" and, due to his expertise, not only as a virtuoso saxophonist/clarinettist but also in musical instrument repairs, was held in high esteem by his peers. At the church, although held in a religious venue and conducted, superbly, by the Rev. James Fields - the overwhelming message was one of what a decent guy he had been and how he had made such a positive impact on those who were fortunate to meet him.
The celebration of his life was continued in Twickenham, at The Eel Pie Club - the jazz rooms belonging to The Cabbage Patch PH. We were treated to a musical master-class, by some of the most talented musicians of the big band/jazz genre who are plying their trade in, and around the pubs and clubs, of London and the South-east (possibly even further afield?) It was sensational and a fitting tribute to such a genuinely nice guy. Bev was blown away - she'd never seen Bill play live and the 20+ musicians, who made up the ensemble were there giving it all they'd got - Bill, being so modest, might have felt flattered, but would have approved, I feel?
The God Squad played no part in Bill's life, and the service reflected this, within reason. Obviously, anyone born in the 1920's and brought up in a working class home would have been christened, but that's as far as it went with Uncle Bill. His music is what under-pinned his existence - when he suffered a stroke and lost the ability read music - he lost the purpose of his being. He died, at home, after a massive heart attack - having been out listening to his beloved music, as played by his mates, the evening before. Something rather fateful, yet poetic, for such a great bloke!
Whilst we were sat in the church - a magnificent building - James asked us all to spend few moments thinking about Bill and then also ourselves. What do we bring to the table? Do we enrich the lives of others, as Bill had done?
I make no secrets of my cynicism of this religious twaddle - if you, as an individual, find comfort in your faith; then you have every right and I will never questioned this belief. It just don't work for me - simple! I am not an atheist, I want to believe that there is more to my being than life on earth, but I just can't buy into this man-made fairy tale, which has been the cause of more bloodshed than any other single factor in modern history. But "wow!" What a question - there's gotta be a blog post in this? So whilst I was sat, small light ale to hand, listening the wonderful sounds emanating from those unbelievably gifted musicians, who'd turned up to pay their respects, I found my mind wandering down different avenues. What have I done which could possibly be construed as a positive by others? Catching big fish, seeing more birds in a year than anyone else in Kent, attracting a scarce moth to the garden MV - doesn't cut it; as enjoyable as these events are, they are selfish and won't be remembered when I'm gone?
I'm going to spend some time thinking about this and see if I can get an answer? It was such a "bolt from the blue" type of event that I'm bewildered, shell-shocked, by the complexity of what a lifetime is capable of being? There's more to come - of that I'm sure - but I am going to take a step back and give it a serious amount of thought.


  1. Dyl, I've had several similar experiences at funerals where the departed's 'Life CV' has been truly full, committed and inspirational. I have then realised what an insular, selfish and boring person that I've been - not bad, just nondescript. But we cannot all be Uncle Bills!

  2. Steve, your words are very comforting, but there is more to it than "being Uncle Bill" That question has knocked me sideways - my mind is awash with thoughts and concepts that I'd never previously considered. I spoke with my supervisor, his morning. "How did it go?" - "OK - it was a surreal experience, blah, blah, blah!"- "Well back to work now - minge!"
    The reality slap of day to day existence - life still goes on. Dyl

  3. Dylan,
    Like Steve says, we've all experienced that "wake up" call from time to time as we attend funerals and the like - especially when you experience how much respect and love that fellow human beings are showing for the deceased and his/her life. That feeling of awe that washes over you as you sit in a place that you wouldn't normally be in, listening to such a celebration of a life, does tend to make you re-evaluate your own life, but, in reality you can only be the person that you was born to be, and have become.
    "The reality slap of day to day existence" is very, very, hard to break free from and normally, despite all our attempts at being different, we inevitably drop back to being who we naturally are - depressing, ain't it.

    1. Derek - I don't see my world, or who I am, as depressing! It was the simplistic realisation, that was awoken by that question, which has caused this particular bout of self analysis. I don't see any future in which I am not true to myself and those values that have gotten me thus far. It is just an exploration of my own psyche and the perception, of others, on how I have conducted myself during my journey through life? I will never be a saint and neither was Uncle Bill, it is a fact that all funerals focus on the good - no one speaks ill of the dead.
      These type of intellectual challenges are simply my way of ensuring that my brain cells gets some exercise, outside of the usual routine of the mundane existence of being Dylan. Life is good; and my grand-children provide a focus that I'd previously over-looked? How others view my contribution to humanity is up for discussion - I'm very happy where I am, although not too sure how I got here? - All the very best - Dyl