I've been trawling through the blog archives, which go back to June 2008. I deleted lots of posts during 2010 and 11. Others have survived, some interesting, others not. For a while it became a diary, a record of trips made, books read, pretty things like flowers noted.
Then that became too much in terms of the intrusion I felt from people reading it. And as soon as you feel like that your writing becomes self-conscious and no use and the thing becomes dead and stilted and generally not good to read.
However. The quote above appears on a Durer etching of his good friend Willibald Pirckheimer. I wrote a blog post about it back in 2011 after visiting the Northern Renaissance exhibition in Edinburgh in the Queen's Gallery. I liked the quote then and I liked it now when I found it during my archive trawl. It feels apposite, at a time in my life when I feel surrounded by death and am looking to find a way through. To find the light, if you like.
I've been writing this blog for eight years, on and off. Readers, supporters, have come and gone during this time. A couple of them have died.
Willibald Pirckheimer died aged just 60. I don't expect to have a long life either - I haven't lived an especially healthy one and I'm sure bad habits will catch up with me. None of us know how long we have. My conclusion about life - well, today's conclusion - is that, well, I can't figure it out. You have to feel that it's okay to have lived, and to pass away trusting that it's also okay that you haven't figured it out and that you don't know if it's all random or if you really have mattered, as every grain of sand matters. My on-going task for however much time is left to me is to try my damnedest to figure it out.