One little girl who smiled at me
was enough to cheer me up
until her mother saw, and snapped
although in a whisper, but one I heard:
“Don’t smile like that at strangers”
and looked at me as if I was so bad
to have smiled so freely back
Well fair enough, in this dreadful place
to warn and keep your small child safe
but sad, still sad
And when the same child looked back at me
and half-smiled again, in a somewhat conspiratorial way
I turned my head to pretend not to see
I am so sad to say
We are already five days into the real new year, after spinning through the solstice, and what have you done, and where are you going, who with and why, as we are all on a track, but with options of junctions, to move, to live, to try?
The days at the bottom of the year, that's what these days are, up here. The cold, the dark, the fear, in older days, that the sun would disappear; prompting dread, and horrors of sacrifice and outrage, to appease those gods that are not here. It happens again. It happens every year. The feasts of Saturnalia and other nonsenses draw near. The lights, the sights, the stuffing in of oft' unwanted damn good cheer. Happy nonsense everybody. Happy nothing. Happy miserable merriment, often fake and forced and hated, bloody merry muddled mixed up mess of maudlin madness, maybe, maybe manageable, just, without more damn tears from you again, my dears.
If you click this link you will have the questionable delight of finding me - the real me not the MacLaren-Scott me - smiling out at you on page 4 and with a wee Q&A interview across pages 4 and 5, and I am honoured to be featured in the University of Cambridge Chemistry magazine.
Whenever I am tempted to do something stupid I generally proceed to do it. I have just done so again, today. Not really something very, very stupid, or even very stupid, but still something stupid nonetheless. Then having done something stupid, despite having thought about it being stupid prior to doing it, and despite having told myself that it would be stupid to do it while there was still time to decide not to do it, I tell myself that it was stupid to have gone ahead and done it, and I ponder why I did it. The answer to that conundrum may possibly be that I am stupid. This sequence of events will doubtless happen again, in some stupid form or another. The simplest way to deal with it may be to conclude that it clearly demonstrates that the notion of free will is an illusion, for were I truly free I would clearly not choose to do something stupid in the full and prior knowledge that it would be a stupid thing to do... unless I am stupid. I hope to be more sensible tomorrow, trusting that past events are not necessarily a reliable indication of likely future events in similar situations, even though they generally have been through all the many years of serial stupidity leading up to now.
Each one of these has many thousands of millions of stars, yet occupies not even a pinprick in the wide sweep of our big sky, among endless other not-even-pinpricks, and yet we think we may be important? Well, either we are astonishingly important, that is, we are alone, or we are not even a speck of dirt in the universe's eye, which leaves me not knowing (whether to laugh or cry).
Not my photograph, I admit - a passing phantom just dropped it
These are some of the chemistry researchers at the University of Cambridge Chemical Laboratory in 1978, and right in the middle there is old young me, second row from the back, fourth row from the front, and noticed now because this fuzzy close-up was cropped from a larger image I found high on a stairway wall during the process of returning to the Chemical Laboratory to be interviewed for a profile story about my life's adventure that will appear in the Cambridge Chemistry magazine very soon now - Winter 2016 issue - and with a much clearer photo, I am sure. Forgive this self indulgence, but the memories are making me feel rather odd, and the life has come and gone, mostly, although I have been told that the best may yet be to come. I am not sure if that faith was being expressed for my work as my real self, or as this alter-self that rambles here, or for all and everything in general, but I will keep trying, until I can try no more.
Just fifteen minutes, waiting, but savouring the beauty, that can be can be found in dull normality, in time that could have been called wasted, outside the school, waiting for the lady, seeing things with fresh eyes, and thinking of the plans, the paths through future ways, that can make the mundane interesting, turning fifteen minutes waiting, into a time of exploration and reflection, while waiting for the lady, as she ends another busy day, and taking another view, in fifteen minutes of time, to review, renew, refocus, restart, then gently pull away.