As I achieve half a century on this planet, it’s hard to describe how I feel. Delighted. Dumbfounded. Mostly I feel lucky.
Lucky. Lucky. Lucky.
Lucky that I was born into a family of uniquely decent individuals who account for all my best qualities.
Lucky that I was born into a family of faith, which gave me my first taste of beauty and wonder, even though I now find it in other places.
Lucky that I was born into a family of activism, because I know who gave me the lifestyle I now enjoy, even if the world seems to have forgotten.
Lucky to have met so many remarkable people and to have so many extraordinary friends, each an incredible act of survival and self-invention.
Lucky that I have never had to fight a war, flee my home, forage for food or fear imprisonment for my beliefs.
Lucky to be white, male and well educated in an advanced capitalist English speaking country with all the power and privilege that suggests, so much that I will never understand the full extent.
Lucky that I also got to be gay, with all its persecution, easing the embarrassment of being white, male and well educated in an advanced capitalist English speaking country with all the power and privilege that suggests.
Lucky that this tension between privilege and persecution has allowed me to slip seamlessly between the mainstream and the margins, for that is the true definition of privilege, being able to forsake it when you see fit.
Lucky that it allowed me to live a life a little left of centre, on the edge of the frame, where the action is always more interesting and the people always more compelling.
Lucky to have lived in a time of escalating liberation, allowing me to understand what both community and change really mean.
Lucky to have lived in a time of awakening and awareness when we started taking stock of how we treated the planet and its people.
Lucky to have lived in a time where we have the greatest opportunity yet to get closer to each other and understand each other’s pain and point of view.
Lucky to have lived in a time when technology ceased to be simply for survival or even comfort and became a tool to connect humanity and manifest the imagination.
Lucky to have lived a life of art, because art will never judge you as harshly as you judge it or those who make it.
Lucky to have lived a life of ideas, even though most were never realised, as inspiration is often its own reward.
Lucky to have lived a life of words, as I’ve known no greater adventure.
Lucky to have practiced this passion and gotten paid for it, an achievement that is a dream for most, who can only imagine what it’s like to get to be the person you were meant to be.
Lucky to have known both romance and heartbreak, because that’s what makes you inevitably human.
Lucky to know what it’s like to have been loved and been left alone, and to sincerely not care in which state I find myself.
Lucky that I don’t understand what loneliness means as I am so enamoured with my own company, I forget to seek out the company of others.
Lucky to still have my mind, which keeps me endlessly amused, despite having filled it with trivia and trash, worry and resentment.
Lucky to still have my spirit, despite the attempts of others to extinguish it.
Lucky that I still have my health, despite my attempts to destroy it in the pursuit of pleasure.
Lucky for the pleasures I’ve pursued.
Lucky to have survived so long when so many of my contemporaries didn’t, felled by disease or addiction or misfortune or suicide, when I could have so easily joined their number.
Lucky after all this, to have some kindness still left in my eyes, some hope still in my heart and that same hint of cheekiness behind my crooked smile.