30 August 2014

The Subversion of 717 (3)

In the centre of town Edrig arrived at the installation of street sculpture that he had noticed before but had never properly considered. It comprised a steel circle that was supported by two humans leaning against it at waist height, but one of them was leaning back against the circle of steel in a lazy and relaxed manner, with a calm smile upon his face, while the other one was pushing outwards against the circle with a strained face and a blindfold across his eyes.
Edrig examined this closely and pondered what it might be all about. These two humans, he thought, are both achieving the same thing, that is, they are both holding up the circle, but one is doing it easily and lazily and is enjoying it, while using the circle to support him. The other human is pushing against the circle, fighting it, struggling, unable to see what he is doing and clearly finding it tough. And yet they are both achieving the same end, in supporting the circle above the ground. Ah… two ways to approach life perhaps? Two ways to keep sustained the circle that is, eh… perhaps your life? One way by taking it easy and allowing life to support you… the other by fighting against events and making life very hard work indeed?

Interesting, he thought… Very interesting… And then he noticed the words of a poem inscribed around the circle, written by a William Soutar, but words in a language that seemed a bit like English but clearly was not. Words in Scottish, perhaps? He read the words slowly, carefully trying to pronounce quietly:

Nae day sae dark, nae wud sae bare, nae grund sae stour wi' stane, but licht comes through, a sang is there, a glint o' grass is green. Wha hasna thol'd his thorter'd hours and kent, whan they were by, the tenderness o' life that fleurs rock-fast in misery?

Hmm… I'll need to think about that, Edrig thought. And then he heard a bright and manly voice behind him, saying, 'Hi!'

Edrig turned to survey Adm, who was now dressed in jeans and t-shirt and a brown leather jacket, all looking very clean and new.

'Hello Adm. What have you been up to? You look very well, and prosperous even.'

'Ah. Ha ha. Yes indeed. I am well. Walk with me my friend. I am on my way to work.'

'Work?'

'Yes. Work. If you can call it work. Come with me and you will see. I will keep it as a surprise for you. But you... What have you been up to? Where is Adrig?'

And so Edrig had to inform Adm that Adrig was dead, and as they walked away from the centre of town and towards the river he relayed the whole chaotic story of the pod, and the octopuses, and the death, or was it the murder? Whatever... the death of Adrig and the two Ladies, and the octopuses too, of course.

'Sad,' said Adm. 'Sad and bad.'

And they walked in silence for a while, before Edrig realised that they were heading for one of the bridges across the wide river to the side that he had never explored.

'I am stuck here Adm, with no work and no money, but I do at least have a place to stay. It's not too bad really. I could contemplate a future here. I may have to, after all.'

4 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Still sad. Though my mind is wondering whether Edrig does have a choice. And if he decides to leave, what options are open to him.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

You may be surprised...

So may I.

susan said...

Well I had to go and find a picture of the sculpture after reading Edrig's description. Nae Day Sae Dark is just as he says. I wonder what path he will choose - or will be chosen for him.

Claude said...

Breathless in Toronto....