The Life of Brian

Believe it or not, the poem was not written for the COVID-19 pandemic. It was written in 1869, by KathleenO’Mara and reprinted during 1919 Pandemic.

And people stayed at home 

And people stayed at home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened more deeply.

Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.

And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal.

And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.

One does wonder will our earth be healed, and will we too be healed. Only time will tell. But I guess what it does tell us is that there is nothing that new and others have been there before us.

If my brother was still with us, he would be saying that this is all divine retribution for a life not well lived. His motto was: “There is nothing wrong with our world, we are just having a weird conversation.” Some conversation we are having right now

Not your average strait-laced kind of brother. He was a talented dreamer who lived in Glastonbury – where else and had eternal hope. Always saw the best in people but never really reached his true potential. At some point I will share with you his Big Brother audition tape – he got down to the last few in the final and would have been truly wonderful if he had got in. Certainly, their loss. I never really understood why he wanted to go in the House, but he saw it as his opportunity to challenge the way people thought. So yes, I can see why Channel 4 were wary.

His biggest down fall was his inability to control his finances. In other words, he was always broke. He believed in sharing in other words what you have is mine and what I have is yours except he didn’t have a lot – finance wise and it got him into all sorts of troubles.

I remember my mother writing to me when I was in Spain saying that Brian had invited them to stay in Wales with his partner and baby. However, he had omitted to explain what the living conditions were and when my parents arrived Brian and family were living in a huge polythene camping contraption on the top of a mountain in rainy Snowdonia! “We have sleeping bags for you,” he said to my parents perplexed at why they were annoyed.

He was an interesting Uncle to my boys, and he would be proud of what they are all achieving right now. Especially Toby with his filming as Brian’s video camera was like an extension of his arm. Wherever he went so did the camera. I have hundreds of his films charting demos, gatherings, events, parties, news items, interviews and much more. They are probably quite valuable archives of the 80’s and 90’s. He died 7 years ago from pancreatic cancer.

Right now, though Toby is on furlough (who had head of this word before) and he is at the bottom of the garden mending the fences and re designing the space. It’s a great project and he has definitely inherited Tod’s DIY abilities. Nothing is too much or too difficult. He just thinks out of the box and it is sorted.

“Let’s be careful out there”