Saturday October 20th 2012
Me, I've had what I suppose is called 'a thing'
for Winter and Summer Solstice since I'd be awake in the dormitory, at
that first year of school in England, wondering why everyone was asleep
when outside it was still broad daylight. Shafts of light through
the windows, which were good enough to read by, and reading after what
was called 'lights out' lead to punishments which were equally peculiar
at that school because they involved inflicting intense irritation on
the unfortunate boy, rather than the cut and dry of physical harm that
awaited me in later years. Then, when the winter terms arrived, there it
was, pitch black by the middle of the afternoon and more often than not
it was also raining. That horrible rain, which is part mist yet drips
from gutters, and has a wind and cold to it that I was always convinced
produced both sullenness and dandruff in comrades of my own age.
Inevitably the mind wanders around, gives things
a kick or a shake to see what falls out, but after so long a period of time,
odds are what does fall out is rearranged to suit some current whim.
However, I do recall, being seriously confused by the insistence from those
in whose charge we were, that we carry on as though daylight and nighttime
made no difference. It did not matter what the sun or the sky was
doing, we took our instructions from some thing else. And at a tender
age, one is inclined to possess a willfulness which now that I am
considerably older, I completely agree is truly obnoxious. It's
something that should be reduced by discipline and fear. Certainly not
encouraged as belonging to a necessary developmental stage by those who are
solely concerned with future employment opportunities for psychoanalysts.
Either way, some of us just stay that way, and for a good few years Solstice
has been 'a thing' for me that has importance, or it would have drifted off.
And I was so looking forward to translating just a couple of words from
Walking Stewart into Assyrian cuneiform. What's called 'temptation,' I