When I heard My father’s voice in a radio programme talking about the early RAF I wondered how it was possible to find oneself diminished by trivia. It is very easy actually like running out of money. I have a friend who cares for a partner who has dementia. He is in hell, the first stages of dementia are subtle and most apparent to the unfortunate carer for a while my friend had to get used to the bereavement , the loss of his friend, the person he once loved who is replaced by someone he does not know.. Dementia brings with it an irrational anger towards the very one who looks after their every need, dementia sufferers are determined to present a convincing façade for the rest of the world for as long as they can and the condition is hard to diagnose . So as my poor friend suffers in an impenetrable silence dragged down into a miserable world of squabble and trivia potential brain squalor, nobody wants to know least of all the doctors, one more person who can manage perfectly well because they always have. I listen because I have seen it and I know my friend well enough to observe the ghastly slow death, of truth and beauty. He has taken to going to a counsellor who comes out with the old chestnuts , disengage, live your own life etc but how is that to be done? One suggestion is look to the stars, as those early flyers did , “Per adua ad astra” the RAF motto. I can see how my father had seen the sky, knew that this was the path to enlightenment and incidentally the RAF were the first service to ban racial discrimination namely who was it who helped to train the Tuski all black Pilots in the USA. This is exactly what the great philosophers tell us but there are several kinds of stars you just have to pick the right one. People should listen to the real victims of dementia. They might find themselves in that position one day., I told him my friend not to stop loving himself, to hang onto logic for grim death. My father died young and I only knew him for fourteen years I wonder if his destiny was to go to the stars while he was on top of the world ,The RAF paid my school fees for which i was not sufficiently grateful at the time it was of course a recognition of his services .It would be nice to know he thought I had made a good job of things , my dogs certainly do.
As for “moi” my stars shone tonight listening to Bach Mass in G minor performed at st John’s Smith Square by the sublime Gabrieli Consort, everyone a soloist all of whom shone and inspired. Music can do it actually, it is all consuming and does not permit intrusion on the narrative the greatest story on earth was that?