We live in a narrative of someone else’s construction

The bus arrived at my stop last evening, and I ended reading ‘The Adjacent’ by Christopher Priest at “He learned to dance, to recite, to work marionettes…”. This morning, flicking through The Guardian, I read in the obituaries “My friend Frank Mumford … had a career as a marionette master spanning eight decades”. Then unprompted my son walked into the room and quoted a line from ‘Being John Malkovich’.

I suppose I should say hello back to the Universe.

Speaking of The Guardian, I was pleased to read of a resurgence of interest in the works of RA Lafferty in his centenary year, a writer of strange things with bizarre characters introduced with little or no rational explanation. Most importantly, he did not publish a story until he was 45 nor a novel until he was 54 (though he then published four in just two years), irrationally giving some of us undeserved hope. Lafferty gave me many what the…? moments, and often in my life, that was all I was looking for.

Strictly speaking, I think nostalgia would be the wrong word. I have become interested in things of my youth, but not things I was very interested in during my youth. Perhaps it is just a broadening of tastes or interests that happens to coincide with, but is not necessarily restricted to, that time. Oh, listen to him crap on! Thus:

‘Tell my wife I love her very much.’
‘She knows.’

Bowie, you poet. Is ground control reassuring Major Tom, or is his request getting in the way of business, resulting in a brusque dismissal?

‘And I think my spaceship knows which way to go.’ Major Tom, are you expressing a hope, or a lack of interest?

‘And there’s nothing I can do.’
Major Tom has achieved an acceptance that may always be beyond ground “control”. But of course, from their position, they are unable to experience the blueness of planet earth, despite the apparent power under their “control”.

‘Can you hear me, Major Tom?’
More than that, Major Tom listens to you. You’re just not saying anything. Ground control, do you listen, or do you spend your time while you are not speaking, preparing what you will say next? Hmm?

‘Space Oddity’ and ‘Suffragette City’ (She’s a total blam blam) on high rotation here.






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