As I was leaving Allen’s Bakery this morning (Allen’s is a glorious place hidden in an alley way in darkest Roath, Cardiff with an old Victorian oven and fresh organic breads, ciabatta and pastries.yum) I was stopped by an elderly gentleman, in his 80’s. I’ve seen him getting a morning pastie from there before, but today he stopped me and asked me what I thought the nature of reality is. A bit dumbstruck, I answered in a nonchalant way that there is no reality, only our perception of it. Luckily, he seemed pleasantly surprised by this answer and launched into his views on how this life and that to love are the only reality. That the creator of the universe creates with only love and as humans we need to understand this concept or we will never progress to a new reality, but instead be stuck in a perpetual loop, not getting anywhere. I told him I agreed and his eyes lit up – He referred to governments as the controllers, and that it upsets him greatly that in his late years, nobody ever seems to learn from history, and if anyone questions – then they will be silenced. His Afro-Carribean accent and deep rumbling cadence assured me that he spoke from experience and held a refined wisdom. Then he thanked me for listening and got into his 1970’s Mercedes Benz, and I walked home.
It’s moments like these that feel almost so unreal you know they must be real. It seemed timely to talk like this – only last night I was thinking about the terrible loss of Jon Clee, a popular face around Cardiff, and part of the foundation of the music and design scene here. His work has adorned album covers and club posters since I moved here over 8 years ago, and I know many people who were so close to him, and loved him dearly. The reality of how his passing has affected so many people dear to me, and the wake up call everybody seems to have had from it moved me to uncontrolled sobbing last night, the first release I’ve had all week, and been needing to have since I heard the news. Although I didn’t know him that well (he was someone I’d been introduced to, and we’d exchange pleasantries when out and about) his death seems to have really shuck me deep down. It’s made me look at my life and friends and my attitude to living and made clear that it’s so important to live each day like it’s your last and to love your friends and family so wholeheartedly because when all is said and done they are all you have in this world (and they will be the ones to shape your memory when you leave this reality).