In almost every case the birth of a child is a moment of Joy, occasionally Panic, Fear or Unease: normally the product of stable parents but sometimes not, the child might be blessed with love or any response from a range of emotions. In almost every case there will be a reaction to his or her arrival in the world, and for a number of years, his life will be the subject of scrutiny and dialogue. Surrounding him may be Admiration, Love, Joy, Celebration, Envy. Jealousy, Pride, Desire, and a thousand other emotions dwelling within the human heart and waiting for expression.
In time pride in his achievements or shame at his record are both possible, and he may experience differing reactions. Our friends above will jostle and sometimes party together over his presence. Indifference is not an obvious presence at the birth festival but it knows that, in time, of which it has an infinite supply, it may be left free to investigate your vulnerabilities long after those other responses have found a fresh outlet for their interest. You, now past your period of note, will be free to explore your own insignificance in its company, and only your final disposal may possibly create a last small stir of interest among those other long absent reactions.
In far too many places Indifference is the primary companion of the elderly. Robbed of instancy, their experience and insights have no appeal to those fed on a culture of ‘Upgrades’. or seeking a fresh distraction from the grind. Long after they have ceased to ‘join in the party’,’ hold a celebration’, or make a point, the elderly may stare out of the window or watch mindless television, while they explore the concept of obsolescence. The phone is silent now. Few knock on the door, and those who visit do so largely through guilt rather than joy.
It is in the uninstructed, unobserved moments of our lives, when we show our true nature . When, unguided by our neighbours or public scrutiny, we treat those without the power of response in a manner which might be chilling if observed. Some souls show compassion and bring a moment of light to these forgotten lives, but many others, lost in their own anxieties and careless of your worth, may do the very least they must if they are still to be thought civilised.
Now, in a warehouse called a home, or at some unvisited address, that baby, long after the celebration of it’s birth, may now find Indifference to be its sole companion, seeping into it’s being like a debilitating fog
What will be lost, in this silent transformation? The years you shed, and the laughter that you shared when your character still made its presence felt. Now as you lie exhausted in some vacant lot, visited on occasion by Compassion and its old friend Empathy, those things you know and shared will lie, dormant wisdoms behind your unfocused gaze, and those who have yet to taste the fruit you eat, free of flavour and low on nourishment, may place you in a home where you may sit in rows on wooden chairs, and be fed like chickens in a shed.
“Life is Life is Life” the poet said, and sought to include all beings in the whole but somehow in an age of obsolescence, when fresh updates clamour for our attention, these forgotten souls, uninterrupted by events, explore the quality of universal indifference and, left to their own devices, see beyond this view and rest their gaze on some unsighted land.