Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Immortality is not an option...

With the sad news this week that Chris Squire, co-founder and bassist with prog rock legends 'Yes' had passed away at age 67, my attention was drawn to the fact that he was only my senior by 20 years.

That's 20 more birthday cards, christmas dinners and only about 80-100 more conventions.

A stark reminder that, contrary to popular belief and gamer lore, we are all mortal. And that made me shiver in the early hours, despite the heatwave in the UK at the moment.

And so, as I sit at my desk and look around my studio, I realise that a life of selectively collecting and acquiring things of joy and beauty to gamers and similarly-minded pop culture enthusiasts (let's not use the G-word) I am a at once a little distressed at the whole mortality business, depressed that I have ostensibly wasted so much time on such ephemera and yet, elated that I can literally get up and cross the floor and touch something which was created by one of many artists who have brightened the lives of thousands - if not millions - of people who were lucky enough to witness their brief tenure on this blue marble in an ink-black vacuum. Not just a print, mind you but the actual painting or sketch into which some of the creator's essence must have seeped as they sought to leave their mark on the day-to-day history of mankind. It may not change the world, but it may change one kid, sitting in his or her bedroom and from that those kids may carry on giving life to dreams.

My own book, was a an attempt at achieving some degree of therapeutic catharsis. It worked to a large degree, but what is better than an emotional purging, is when I receive an email or in some cases get stopped at a convention to be told how much someone has enjoyed my story or how they have had such a similar life thanks to gaming and music. It's a really powerful and humbling feeling when you realise that your own brief time has affected someone else positively, doubly so when they take the time to use a measure of their own time to tell you in person.

Because gaming has been such an integral part of my life for better and for worse, I have to relate to the world through my window of experience. Thus even those musings on the human condition and my own mortality therein are tinged connected and interpreted through gaming.

I am now more determined than ever to get out and see the exhibitions, and listen to the bands I've not seen yet. Ironically, it is only two weeks since I purchased tickets to see 'Yes' next May. Tonight I am off to see Fleetwood Mac, who I have wanted to see for years and whose music I always equate with painting a Dwarf army back in 1987, in a squalid shared house, in the middle of what was a relationship which was spiralling like a wounded wyvern towards a pine forest. Well two positives versus one negative is a majority isn't it?

Although I have pretty much done with historical gaming, I am planning a couple more fantasy projects and have two model railways being professionally built for me, so I have a lot to get my teeth into, and I'll be damned if I leave them unfinished, as I have countless times before, believing that 'there's always tomorrow.'

Sometimes a healthy reminder of mortality can be just what the apothecary ordered.