“I would say I have a very complex life. I’m sure we all have complex lives. But I can’t talk about absolutely how complex it is.”
Go on, have a guess. Aren’t you intrigued? I mean, for starters it’s quite a heavy statement to be trying to tackle: the complexities of just one life. I know that no life is ever truly simple but neither does every life need necessarily be a complex one. You just get on with it. I like this quote also because it has the humility to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, other people have complex lives. Oh, but wait, it then basically pushes that away to remind us that actually their life is complex in a somehow more absolute kind of way. Not that they want to talk about it. Or perhaps they just can’t because they haven’t got the faintest clue what they’re on about.
How complex can a life be? As a simple concept very complex indeed – just think about the absurd number of things that have to happen to the human body just to make you switch on a light or make some toast or write a blog post or scratch your arse. Or maybe even scratch someone else’s arse. All those nerves and pulses and neurons and messages and reactions. If there really is some higher power that put us together then they certainly made it very complicated. To answer the question then: the answer is yes, life as a biological concept is very complex and we should be delighted to even exist. But we didn’t choose that complexity, and that’s worth remembering.
Now let’s look at life as the existence of our own selves; complexity as an acquisition above and beyond merely being. We know how to perform the basic functions and if we’re very lucky and emerge full formed and as sharp as nature intended we might just make something of ourselves. To create a basic rhythmic pattern we must eat, drink, breath and sleep. To add another layer we must literally add another layer because skin might be waterproof but it certainly isn’t cosy. Then we add fuel and warmth and shelter and communication and we establish how to get fixed when we are poorly. We ensure that we acquire both knowledge and skills and through this we establish understanding, and once we have mastered all these we may feel the urge to pass them on to others. These variables also mean we can perform tasks to earn money and thereby provide a better life for ourselves. Complex? Pish. It’s just nature, nurture and common sense, stirred in with a fat dollop of luck. And luck means more than it should.
This being the case we must turn our attention back to the mystery figure that we started out with. Just how complex a life can one have? What fiendishly complex person could we be talking about? Someone who absorbs the pain of others and forges paths that might lead to their spiritual equilibrium under the watchful eye of the great creator? Someone who has sacrificed their own contentment to serve those less fortunate? Someone who seeks answers, both practical and philosophical, to the questions of life and then aims to reflect their findings back onto all the challenges the planet faces in the hope that human civilisation and the natural world might reach a new, harmonious, interdependent relationship with one global, ecologically bountiful vision? Or perhaps they are the person who one day will lead this planet to fresh frontiers and at those frontiers we shall herald a startling new dawn for the solar system and all the strange worlds beyond it, reaching on and on until the end of time, or perhaps even surpass time itself?
No. That was a quote from Lewis Hamilton. Formula 1 driver and all round donkey’s todger. It was in an interview with the BBC about his life. Just so you appreciate what kind of man we’re talking about here’s another quote regarding how he has to juggle his time and not enjoy himself too much:
“And if I ever feel that I need to back away, I’ve got people around me who [are supportive]. Like [last] Monday, for example, I was, like, ‘Bono, I can’t be there Monday but let’s catch up on Tuesday because I’m overloaded. I need to sleep.’ It’s about understanding your body and making sure you stay centered.”
Questions, questions, questions. Complex, complex, complex. How hard must his life be? How complex can one get? Is it just me? Sometimes stupid is just too kind a word. Perhaps it’s even beyond words. A galaxy of complexity beyond the imagination of mere mortals? No, just driving fast cars. Bless.
G B Hewitt. 21.11.2019