I remember some old chap at the bar saying, as an acquaintance recounted a tale of drama and chaos, “I’d have liked to be a fly on the wall for that one” and we’d all snorted into our glasses because, let’s face it, nothing takes our minds away from our own troubles faster than hearing about someone else’s.
The reason that memory is important is that I woke up the following morning, with my head on the pillow, and everything else of me for that matter, because somehow overnight I had become a fly. You’d think I’d panic and start buzzing round the room in hysterical circles in between bashing into the window pane and various lightshades but no, that did not happen. There was an ant passing by on the wall behind my head and he turned to me and said, “It’s only for the day. Tomorrow you will wake up as your normal self and I will return to being the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but hopefully with a new perspective on life”
I’m used to strangeness, being something of a loner, so I wasn’t as alarmed as your average Mr” I must catch the train by eight” might be. I flew off, avoiding the spiders web skilfully constructed right outside my window and whizzed along a street or two just “shooting the breeze” in the literal sense of the phrase. Finally I alighted at the window of some women painting scenery with a luminous brilliance I thought, and there was a sense of intense concentration and gentleness about her which was transfixing. She was entirely lost within herself and her subject, and nothing could be heard inside the room, but the sound of her brush being washed as she refreshed her colours.
Regardless of the freedom I was granted, I found myself, quite literally, settled on her wall, and it was clear she was one of those beings who treasures life in all its forms and gentleness was her subtle protection.
Wilderness comes in many forms and I, living in metropolitan obscurity, have walked the untrodden path in between the conventional and obscure. I make a living doing odd jobs and am not moved by a sense of monetary wealth or social standing so much as by experiences and insights. In this lady, lost in conversation with her canvas, I saw something similar in another being. I did not know her name or her circumstance but I prayed, as far as a fly can pray, that on the morrow I would remember her, and find some way of bumping into her life.
The next morning I awoke and once more I was human in shape and thought, but all I had in mind was that women and how to say hello to someone I thought so special, whose image was granted me by wondrous chance. Even knowing she existed softened the harsh outlines of my life. Perhaps that was the limits of her offering.