I have a friend with the most glorious hair. Waist-length, black, shiny, thick like a great, fat rope. And yet, when I saw her a few days ago it was no longer. The swish had been replaced with a cute bob. Why? ‘To make wigs for children with cancer.’
And what about when another of those ‘please sponsor me to get thin and fit and take photographs of myself on a mountain top’ lands? Are people still doing this? Yes. Are we still sponsoring them? Yes. We used to donate publicly because we wanted to look marvellous and big-hearted, now we do it privately… resentfully. But we still do it. Why do we do it? Karma. Clearly. Karma is why we do it. Because there’s no dodging karma now, is there? Oh God.
Welcome to the Karma Grab. This is always lurking at the back of our minds but really crystallises around the age of 40 when mortality bites. The sicknesses and tragedies that we used to connect with intellectually, we now connect with emotionally. What used to be merely understanding the awfulness has now evolved towards connecting with the awfulness.
And so we become desperate and we make gestures to the universe. We ride bikes up sheer drops in the Dolomites, cut off hair and we donate money to Great Ormond Street every time we see one of those adverts. We have become the bleeding that we never understood. We want to help…everybody…including ourselves, anticipating that moment when the universe tells us, ‘Thank you for waiting, karma will see you now.’