Whether or not I express it in words, it is my constant refrain that I am lucky. I consider I have always had a lot to be thankful for and it staggers me that my luck hasn’t yet run out as I am sure it must one of these days. For the time being my frame of mind is unclouded by anything but amazed gratification. The sentiment though is not especially dignified. Nor is there anything spooky about it, like the alignment of the stars or destiny or hidden power (much less the archaic “portion of life” theme – which is really some religious apology for what is in fact bad luck). It’s just everyday luck of the draw. I suspect that my relentless affirmative disposition, bordering as it does upon smugness, rankles some people (which is why I tend to keep it to myself). Yet as my mother has so often posed rhetorically, “What’s not to like?” There is nothing calculated about the conclusion; it is an entirely fluid and uncontrived summing up. The closest I come to contaminating the belief is to presume to avow that even the second-class moments of my life turn out for the best (which might mistakenly be interpreted as an admission of the occasional bit of bad luck).
Certainly there are times when I have felt less than chirpy but those interludes are infrequent and – here’s the point – they have invariably given way to more buoyed circumstances. While I don’t expect that things will always be so charmed (such blind aspiration is too absurdly groundless) I do however figure that after having lived this metaphor for almost 67 years I can speak with some acquaintance upon the subject of good fortune. I find it unimaginable that my existence could be characterized as anything other than providential. I would even go so far as to say prosperous. Here I am bordering on fitful enthusiasm as my lot hardly qualifies as affluent. But I can tell you that for me it is in clover no matter how it is viewed by others. My secret – that too is more luck than design – is that I see my small triumphs as huge successes. I suppose one could diminish this flightiness by suggesting that my targets are uncommonly common; or that I suffer some chemical imbalance which catapults me from temporary despair to astronomic cheerfulness. But even such jaundiced stratagem does not dampen my fervour. My euphoria far outweighs any competing despondency. And there is that little business of extending the charity to those with whom I associate. This positive view of life isn’t merely selfish absorption. Even for example if the sphere of my fraternity includes a part-time criminal or other ostensible low-life, it is my twist on the affair to pierce the veil and see the underlying substance. Besides every door has two handles. At worst I might be just a bloody-minded happy prig who is not about to allow the petty eventualities of life defeat him!
It is never beneath me to relish what I have and I take considerable pride in what I’ve got. I actively indulge myself in my philosophical and material blessings. Granted the material world is of especial attraction to me. I am very tactile. Some chaps no doubt get adrenalized by mathematics or other brainy diversion but I much prefer ivory or gold or metal of almost any kind. Even plastic! Yes, that’s right, plastic! There are some extraordinary plastics especially those of moderately elastic form. My particular preference is the plastic found in high-end spectacle frames though there are other lesser known usages.
Losing oneself in the material world does not normally warrant approbation. After all it smells so inherently vulgar. But oddly it is a stepping stone to some of the more ethereal broodings of the mind. The way I look at it, if it is possible to write a poem about a tree, then zeal is discoverable in anything. The material experience can be a vicarious extension. I won’t for example pretend to understand the mechanics of a fine automobile or a complicated watch, but I can sense their magic. These things allow me to reach an apex of delight, an overall sense of well-being, a unity with my surroundings. Oddly there is a strangely carnal feature to the allure though it is certainly more corporeal than libidinous. On occasion my global content infuses even the most rudimentary functions, deriving gusto from the flow of one’s blood, the nourishment of food and the invigoration of the cool morning air.
This complacency includes a measure of arrogance. It is for me laughable to imagine anything superior. The immodesty is more the product of rationality than gloating. Who in their right mind would think they could change their luck in any event? It is nothing short of preposterous! To pretend that we accommodate our condition is the real egotism. The key to the enjoyment of life is solving the same riddle that there is no past or future, only the present. As wont as we are to cling to the fiction that we can alter either the past or the future, it is impossible. Instead we must soak up all the value of the present and from that our life will hopefully blossom. But just in case that formula fails for any reason, it doesn’t hurt to have some luck!