Thursday, September 18, 2008

Direction of view 

Well, well, well. Have I come out of the tunnel yet? Is there hope once more? The sun seems brighter, certainly, the air clearer, the colours bolder. No reason why, but then, there was no reason why not. No reason for the onset of hopelessness, it just happened. The colour ran out of the world. No reason then why it should not just un-happen.

Talking of happenings, I’m woefully remiss in recording them here. My excuse has been that no-one would be interested, but such reasoning doesn’t stand up against the interest I find in others’ happenings. So, an update is long overdue. Part one today, parts 2 and 3 to follow.

My son – and his new wife – have finally made it to Zambia and his new teaching job, having had their departure delayed by four weeks. The first set of work permit application support paperwork failed to complete its journey and is no doubt languishing in the bottom of a mailsack in some forgotten corner somewhere; the second set made it, but the application was rejected and had to go to appeal (a practice no doubt intended to discourage employment by the school of foreign teachers), the hearing of which was further delayed by the unfortunate death of the country’s President and the resultant grinding to a halt of government administrative processes, which I suspect are not exactly fleet-of-foot even at the best of times. Thankfully it eventually all came good – but not before both we and they had begun seriously to doubt whether they’d ever depart these shores – an eventuality which would have left them newly wed, without jobs, without a home, without money. That prospect hung over all of us for a while, a cloud growing bigger and blacker with every passing day of no news. History shows though that he has a knack of metaphorically falling on his feet - a practice, incidentally, in stark contrast to his childhood ability physically to land on the opposite end of his frame, resulting in at least three visits to hospital casualty departments and a still-visible scar amongst his hair, if you know where to look.

But back to that tunnel for a moment. We call into being the world we imagine. I foolishly allowed myself to imagine a personal world of hopelessness and lo, it came to be. Why do I find that so easy; why do I find it so hard to imagine my world full of hope, of possibility? It wasn’t always thus, but something has changed in the last few years, coincidentally within the lifespan of this blog.

I was looking today at a friend’s photos of Egypt. Two very different scenes, yet both were taken from the same spot, the only difference being the direction of view. One of a barren desert, one of a green and fertile plain.

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