Driving to Bunnings last night with the warm summer-ish wind in my face, i was thinking about the plumbing, how much safety gear i was going to need for my friends who were coming over this Saturday to help me out on the house and the fragility of life.
There’s a scene in the Wind in the Willows where Pan appears before some of the animal characters after intervening to rescue one of their children. Rather than have the rest of their lifes be haunted and changed by this experience, the god takes their memories away and they continue on for the rest of the book on their adventures (fighting weasels and whatnot).
Even though I was brought up as an atheist (or rather in a spiritual vacuum), that quiet and still chapter resonated with me when i read it at the age of nine or ten, much more so than Aslan’s puzzling sacrifice. I liked that Pan cared enough to find a lost child, I liked even more that Pan cared enough about those small lifes that he preferred to be distant and forgotten.
Anyway, that night, driving alone to Bunnings and thinking about endings and how so many people at that moment would be experiencing the loss of loved ones or themselves, I knew that even while in that moment I felt like I was grasping how much all of that suffering actually sums up to, I would forget that experience soon enough and only have a shadow of it left behind.