Iâ€™ve had a number of readers kind enough to compliment the direction of these blogs. Well, thatâ€™s not quite exact. There have been more compliments as the blogs begin to entertain the mysterious and the uncanny. Read the last few and you will see what I mean. The place of strange events in our lives gives rise to all sorts of mental hocus pocus. Itâ€™s the same unconscious foundation in our brains that gives rise to religious faith, fatalism and alien abductions, Iâ€™d guess. In some far-off blog which the researchers among you might be able to weed out I commented on the brainâ€™s â€˜god spotâ€™. Put an electrode in there and even Richard Dawkins would be seeing angels. Another blog, at a different time, at some point in December 2012, recounts the adventures of yours truly as I extricate a friend from the belief that he has been sent to this earth to tip the devil back into the darkest pit for another one thousand years.
As I mentioned the other day, Iâ€™m not really given to beliefs in the paranormal. There have got to be explanations for these events even as they happen to me but it doesnâ€™t stop me being bemused and unsettled by them. The most recent has been discovering that I had written the future, in the early eighties (described in my last little essay here) and one that has since come to pass. On reflection in bed this morning, allowing the dawn chorus to permeate my spirit with its songs of the infinite cosmos, I realized that my life has been punctuated by mysterious events. Given the interest the last one or two have generated, Iâ€™m going to continue in that vein. First a bit of background.
I was born in India. At four I was perfectly bi-lingual; Urdu and English. On the sea-going trip to Britain which lasted a number of months, I lost all Urdu. It probably blighted by academic development. Itâ€™s a well known syndrome. However, my starved bilingualism led to an inordinate desire to write in the one language remaining. A school inspector visiting Shadforth C of E junior school commented that I was going to be a writer. He read out, â€œKing Alfredâ€™s ships floated in the bay like swans.â€ Something of that ilk. I was a very imaginative child. I had the whole school (thirty children) playing jousting knights with Brussels sprouts stalks for clubs, sticks for lances and dustbin lids for shields on the school field. Girls sat on a wall watching and we gave our favours (bits of ribbon) to the Guinivere we loved best, upon a victory. After such a tournament I wandered off down the steep meadow, to cross the stream to my house. As I approached a hedge I remembered Iâ€™d had a dream of a nest in just such a bush. It was the shape of a spinning top and had three eggs. I moved excitedly among the blackthorn and found the place. There it was, exactly as dreamt. I took one of the three ovals for my collection. But it was with a curious sense of power. If I could do this, maybe I could use this force at will.
I couldnâ€™t. But I could do it without will. Over the years whenever I wanted something that might progress my immediate train of action, it would drop into my lap. Second hand shops were perfect territory for disgorging valuable pieces of the jigsaw of current life. It proved a strong version of serendipity. When I got to be a student in a teacherâ€™s college in Sunderland I always ran out of grant at the end of the term and my father never subbed me what he was supposed to. I went off with my last ten shillings to the bookmakers and won what I needed to last until the end of term.
Itâ€™s very low level, this capacity to bend fate to my will. I havenâ€™t won the lottery, for example.
I know this is all a bit weak and lacking in force majeure but itâ€™s a start. (Believe it or not I wrote the French just now and had to check what it meant. Yet another example of writing from the unconscious tolling the years back to King Alfred or onwards to the eventual creation of The Azimuth Trilogy.)