The way I look at it - I could lose everything, I could be homeless, easily, I could lose so much that there wouldn't be anything to live for, seriously, I always feel just a few bad decisions away from annihilation, a lousy week, a poor run of luck, without being suicidal, I am always contemplating misfortune and death.
I was born in Bristol, a maritime city which once had a port of global significance, one angle of the golden triangle. I left there quite young, but I cannot shake it off, I long for it. I feel that my life up to now is all about getting back there, I fool myself it is the same as when I explored as a boy, that the abandoned docks, and haunting relics can still be found.
When I was young, God felt very real to me, whenever I needed anything or was nervous, I prayed to God and something always changed, God has endless time for children. As I got older I had a more complex relationship with God, the outcome of my prayers were not as I expected them, so I had to see the lesson in each disappointment or embrace it's dissonance.
I'm nearly an atheist but for the fact that life is so incomprehensibly strange and organised, has such definition and orchestration it seems entirely foolish to see this world just as an anomaly. In middle age, as health and death and anxiety for your children becomes a daily obsession, one wonders a lot about the permanence of death and what this life could be for.
It seems to me that you spend the first 35 years envisioning a future, a contented you, one on top of his game, fear free and somehow adult and capable. The second half of life, becomes more about how little time there is to do anything, then you get to thinking, what is the point of succeeding, you have such little time to explore any success fully.
Success to me as been reduced to seeing my children outlive me, we walk such a fine line between life and death daily, we are vulnerable at all times to pain, abuse, ill health; it regularly eclipses the joy a person can feel.
I worry that before I know it, I'll be laid up unable to leave my bed thinking how this is it and yet I'll be nagged by a feeling that I never really got started.