Thursday, January 14, 2016

#14 / A Birthday Book With Good Advice

My son got me a book for my birthday, the plot of which is John Lennon being squired around Ireland by a taxi driver, Cornelius, while he (John Lennon) attempts to get to an island that he (John Lennon) has purchased, somewhere out there, offshore, out in Clew Bay.

And the taxi driver (Cornelius) is always doing his best to be helpful, his best to be supportive. Gives good advice:

Look. We are all terrified, john. There is no mystery to it. If you weren't terrified, there would be something wrong with you. The world is a hugely uncertain fucken place. Things can go either way and at any time. Step out of the bed in the morning and there is no guarantee you will step back into it the same night. The whole of your life is up in the wind and it might take off in any direction. We are all terrified at least half the fucken time. So what matters? For a finish? If we are all terrified and if it all ends in hell and misery and roaring fucken death anyhow? I'll tell you what matters. How you hold yourself is what fucken matters. How you walk through the world is what fucken matters. The set that you have of the shoulders. That's what matters. Is the chin held up in the air and proud or is it sunk down on the chest like a frightened little pup? That fucken matters, John. It's all a gamble. We have no control. We have no hope. We haven't a prayer against any of it. So throw back the shoulders. Comb the hair. Polish the shoes. Never let a plain girl pass by without compliment. Keep the eyes straight and sober-looking in the sockets of your head. Look out at the world hard and face the fucker down. And listen at all times, John. Do listen to what's around you.

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