"I’ve just watched the film ‘Quartet’ on BBC two. I was in the middle of writing on a different theme, but as this is loosely based upon or around my 54th birthday it seemed germane to share some of my thoughts about ageing.
I’m not sure that I know what it is to grow older. I’m not saying that I don’t understand the process because I do, but it’s so hard for us to see it in ourselves and yet we watch as our friends grow old around us. My experience of ageing is just the same as it is for everyone else I’m friends with. The reason I know we’re growing older is that we’ve started talking about it a lot more during the last three of four years of discussions—in our thirties we never did.
As with the subjects we talk about here, there has to be a point to it that feels significant enough for someone to read it. So often friends and supporters write to me saying how sad it is that I’ve now spent almost thirty years wrongfully imprisoned—this will be my thirtieth birthday behind bars—or they feel I’ve been so unlucky in life.
Of course my life would have been different in every way had this tragedy not befallen my family and me, but in what ways it would have been different is completely unknown. Would I have even made it to my 54th birthday?
For the most part, the last thirty years have been kind to me on many levels. The film ‘Quartet’ that I’ve just watched underlined for me what I and many others believe to be the true font of happiness—to be loved by someone who you love equally in return. If you are lucky, that situation happens when you are young and lasts a lifetime, as it has with two of my closest friends. It may be, as you are reading this, that it hasn’t yet happened and the person who will love you as you love them is still but a dream for the future.
I don’t want to ruin the film ‘Quartet’ for you but it’s a love story that takes place between two residents in a retirement home. The point being that we simply don’t know when true love might strike. For the characters it’s quite late in life, but the joy of true love salves emotional pain like nothing else and more to the point brings a state of happiness beyond anything else known to man. I believe that makes living almost blissful and utterly complete. If it’s not happened to you yet, it will do, maybe tomorrow, maybe next year. There is no telling when cupid’s arrow may strike.
Going back to why life has been kind to me, it’s because I feel loved by so many people in all kinds of different ways—people who allow me to love them equally in return. What would be perfect for me right now is for Justice to prevail so that I can enjoy true love as a free man.
The good news is that Justice may indeed be on its way."