other places, other worlds, other times
June 21, 2012. No comments.
Driving home through Somerset on Tuesday evening I had a notion to stop at Glastonbury Tor. I had been sitting in my Auntie’s garden in the sun hearing stories about the Rocky Mountains and her encounters with grizzly bears. We tried to imagine what it must have been like for all those families who travelled west in wagons to make new lives: before railways and mobile phones and electricity…
It was still light at nearly 10.30pm and I was in a good mood. As I leant on the gate taking in the view, and reminding myself that the Tor always looks much nearer than it actually is, I noticed a man running around on the top of the hill in some kind of heart-wrenching emotional torment. He was howling and wailing loudly and it sounded both painful and liberating. Then I heard the happy voices of a couple walking up the lane behind me. “Evening” said a bearded man in a long white robe.”Evening” I replied, and then I added “It’s lovely isn’t it?”and slightly cringed at myself for making such a weak observation when the strangely charged atmosphere invited something a little more profound. I could hear a group of people singing in the nearby cottage. A pretty girl went by pushing an old red bicycle and smiling to herself. I felt like I had stepped into another world, a few other worlds in fact. A place where sadness and joy coexist freely and reality is a tenuous and thinly-veiled concept. For some minutes I had the overwhelming sense that everything could change in an instant. And I mean everything.
As it was, I got back in the car and started the engine as apologetically as I could and drove away. The sky became streaky pink in my rear view mirror and somewhere along the A36 my wheels began making funny noises. I arrived home to find all the electricity had gone off so I had no lights, no sockets, no hot water and no internet, and that the kitchen floor was mysteriously wet.
But I had three new yellow candles from Canada. So I lit them and found I was still in a good mood. Just thought you’d like to know.