Peter Cook Counselling

Words are not the things we speak of, a map is not the territory:



Words....... plum blossom

In 1996 the playwright, Dennis Potter, was interviewed on The Southbank Show. He was fighting, with limited time, to complete his last play and died two months later. He told Melvyn Bragg who was interviewing him:

“We are the one animal that knows we are going to die and yet we carry on paying the mortgage, doing our jobs, moving about, behaving as though there’s an eternity in a sense and we forget that life can only be defined in the present tense.  It is “is” and it is “now” and that much as we would like to call back yesterday and indeed yearn to and ache to sometimes, we can’t.  It’s in us but it’s not there in front of us and however predictable tomorrow is ....... there’s the element of unpredictable; you don’t know.  The only thing you know for sure is the present tense and that nowness becomes so vivid to me now that it’s almost, in a perverse sort of way, I’m almost serene.  I can celebrate life.  Below my window in Ross, when I’m working in Ross now, at this season, the blossom is out in full now, there in the West, early.  It’s a plum tree; it looks like apple blossom but it’s white.  And looking at it, instead of saying, “Oh, that’s nice blossom.”  Now looking at it through the window when I’m writing, it is the whitest, frothiest, blossomest blossom that there ever could be.  And I can see it.  And things are both more trivial than they ever were and more important than they ever were and the difference between the trivial and the important doesn’t seem to matter, but the nowness of everything is absolutely wondrous and if people could see that.  There’s no way of telling you, you have to experience it.  But the glory of it, the comfort of it, the reassurance of it.  Not that I’m interested in reassuring people; bugger that!  The fact is that if you see the present tense, boy do you see it, and boy can you celebrate it.”

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