17 November 2015

One quiet and overcast morning in 1979 I cycled past the market square in Cambridge, England, toward the university chemistry laboratory while the fruit and veg traders were busy setting out their stalls, again. “Every damn day,” I thought as I rolled quietly past. “They do the same thing every damn day,” as a sudden wave of gloom swept through me. How could anyone get up each morning to do the same damn thing every damn day, after day, after day, after day? And I now recognise that these momentary thoughts as I passed Cambridge market were the early waves of a transformative neurological tsunami. By the time I had reached the old wooden laboratory bench to continue my doctoral research, I knew that I would have to try to do something different with my life than chase the regular jobs in academia and industry that my peers were busy hunting and that I was being encouraged to prepare for. And so I did something different, and whether that was for better or worse cannot be known. Had it not happened I would not be living here, in this little Perthshire village where I now reside, and would not have been typing these words or thinking these thoughts. And now a transformative tsunami may be swelling again, I think. A welcome one, encouraged in by my deliberate opening of the flood gates in my mind to try to let it all arrive. So I may leave this place alone for a while, but I will be back, I think. But the I of today will have no control over what those of my tomorrows may decide, I reckon; so, like all of us, I must let the waves in my mind take me where they will. I am not convinced that I have, or ever did have, any control over any of it at all. I certainly don't know.