If You Cower from Death….

Saturday 16th May 2020

One day these will just be dates.

Two bad nights. I’m worried about the numbers. What if they go up? Yesterday, listless, I searched for the hymn from Choral Evensong online and watched a massed congregation of church-going folk (frockage not a priority) singing it on YouTube. ‘How can I sing that Majesty which Angels do Admire?’ Not a good idea. Became overwrought. ‘When will I see the Queen again?’ I sobbed. I hope the neighbours didn’t hear. The proper Queen, I mean. Not from some isolation drawing room but in her car, amongst her people.

I thought about nipping to the corner shop for a bar of choc. As I would have done before. I could do it now – with bleaching upon return, of course. But I don’t know that shop anymore. As I know nowhere now. Is it the clamp of the plague or that our Country has been turned into the USSR? ┬áMaybe I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: did we ever think we’d live to see the State intervening in our lives in the way it has? I’m an anti-lockist. Criminal, I know, to have that view. It should never have happened. Although, to be fair, the Government probably had little choice at the time. But it must never happen again. It cannot.

I’m thinking of Dame Lettie, Muriel Spark’s Dame Lettie who fought against Death so ferociously she brought it upon her. Also the line from Larkin, ‘The Costly aversion of the eyes from Death’ … which I’ve always thought has two meanings: the literal expense, in mink coats, diamonds, having everything new each season and also the other cost, of averting the eyes, which brings on another kind of Death. I see it now. The true analogy with Dame Lettie’s story is not that dear Corona will get us even worse the more we try to resist (although respectable opinion suggests that, evaded a little less desperately, it might adapt more to us and we to it) but that if we cower from Death as our main project we enter into a state of Death more or less at once.


Posted Saturday, May 16, 2020 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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