5 November 2015
5 November 2015 (II)
A firework burst in the darkening sky. Oh... Guy Fawkes Night. History... Plotting... Torture and execution and... as I was driving homeward, I just then glanced to the east and noticed the ancient island castle that bears the old stone window ledge I had recently leaned on, which is a rather significant old stone window ledge as it was the one that the imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots looked out over each day to offer up her prayers not long before her neck was severed by the executioner. And I had been standing on the same spot and looking through the same gap in stone, but thinking rather different thoughts I’m sure. Which immediately made me think of "the beheading stone" on a small hill a few miles to the west that I had visited recently, and had gazed down at the several harsh straight marks across it made by a heavy axe slicing through a life. Which then made me recall the museum not far to the north where I had stood just last month, looking at the many similar cuts across the dark hard wooden executioner’s block that, if I recall the description correctly, was used for the last ever judicial beheading in Scotland. Oh… last ever? Well so far… Then catching a glimpse of the old castle’s walls again I recalled the pale plaster death mask of Mary Queen of Scots that I could view within minutes if I just turned off the main road. I did not turn off, but I recalled that she had been fixed up to look remarkably peaceful for a woman who’d just had her head lopped off. And these little flashes of thoughts about memories of history made me suddenly recall how I had followed a slightly inebriated young lady at a wedding in a different castle, not far away, and had heard her dismissively chanting out, “old stuff, old stuff, old stuff,” as she pointed at each old artifact she passed while staggering onwards to her next new drink. And then I snapped my attention back to the white lines on the surface of the M90, rushing toward me and slipping away, toward and away, toward and away... as the wheels beneath me turned and I moved on toward the new, away from the old, toward the new and away from the old, unceasingly.
Posted by Andrew MacLaren-Scott