I decided that for one week I wouldn’t get on Twitter, look at my blogs, listen to the news on radio or TV, and check my email. Except for one slip when I flitted through a room in which someone else was watching the Obama visit (Barack who?) I passed my test with flying colours and I have no idea what happened last week. What’s more I couldn’t give a rabbit’s arse.
The reason for this utter lack of interest in the uncertain and treacherous political world is one brilliant seven-week-old baby boy, entrusted by his Mum and Dad to me and Mrs Chook for a large portion of the week. Armed with gallons of decanted breast milk, we took him out to coffee, several lunches and a few dinners, and bathed in his reflected glory. In the wet, hostile heat of the tropical Queensland afternoons, I turned on the air con, laid myself and the baby on the bed, and enjoyed post-prandial naps to the award-winning soundtrack of baby dreaming.
I swear he acquired at least a hundred new sounds during the time he was with us, and he learned to pee like the Bellagio fountains every time I let him go naked for a bit of kicking exercise. He also learned to poke himself in the eye, how to give his new Captain Calamari toy a good walloping, and the names of a whole bunch of vegetation when Mrs Chook gave him botanical lessons in the garden in the mornings.
The Dog, I have to say, was beside himself with jealousy and behaved very badly, digging enormous revenge holes in a garden we didn’t own, necessitating surreptitious night visits into the empty block next door for bucketfuls of soil.
All this bonding caused me to reflect on the long journey home about love. The human capacity for love is infinite, and every time I have cause to remember that it strikes me as miraculous. A new being enters the family and snuggles into his or her place in the heart, and the heart expands to accommodate without so much as a murmur.
It was worth every minute of giving up all distractions to focus completely on loving. We are beings with a breathtaking, mind-blowing capacity for love. Immersion in the political world doesn’t seem to be conducive to accessing those capabilities. A little bitty baby on the other hand, took me to a place I never want to leave, though I know I will. I also know I can get back whenever I want.
That old grouch Bob Dylan put it nicely:
When evenin’ shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love
I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawlin’ down the avenue
Oh, there’s nothin’ that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love
Thank you, Archie Baz, and your Mum and Dad.