How to find yourself in the dark

On The No.11 Bus

Lockdown, hibernation, false dawns, abandoned plans and lost time. The dark despair of the endless nothing; and yet the glimmer of a tiny light far, far away in the dark distant future will always be visible regardless of how much the black void tries to swallow it. This is hope and where there is life, there will always be hope. This is not the same as faith, which relies on a different part of the consciousness and the soul. Hope is predicated on the will to live, as opposed to the belief in something intangible. Hope is the light, faith is the belief in the possibility that the light is merely a sign leading to somewhere else.

The light, of course, may not be light at all. The relationship between mind and material reality is a deeply personal consciousness, the metaphysical identity. The metaphor and the metaphysical conceit are our friends.

And so is Prokofiev.

I saw the light on the night when we went to the ballet recently and hope embraced me in its gorgeous arms, sweeping me up and swirling me higher, higher, higher into the vaulted dome of the majestic Royal Albert Hall, as Sergei Polunin and Alina Cojocaru danced their duet from Romeo and Juliet to Prokofiev’s oh-so-beautiful score. I watched the lissom bodies of the dancers entwine around each other in sensuous and erotic movements while Prokofiev’s achingly gorgeous melody wrapped itself around me and impregnated my ears. Aural sex. Or perhaps aural concupiscence. Either way, it was orgasmic, man. And so it should be. If music be the food of love, then starvation would be unknown, unless all you listen to is rap music, which has little to do with either music or love. But that’s a story for another day.

It was dark in the streets of London apres ballet and we were subsumed into the romance of the night. We hid in the shadows and danced in the light, we sang in gutter and kissed in the doorway of an old mansion with a thousand secrets hidden behind its shuttered windows. We walked to the river and watched lights of the city reflected in the shimmering ribbon of liquid silver upon which the city was born and built and developed into the greatest city on earth. This is the lifeblood of the metropolis, the ebb and flow of the river is the pulse of the city’s heart. Now we ran for the No.11 bus to carry us through the quiet streets, past Westminster, past Trafalgar Square, along the busy Strand and Aldwych to the Law Courts, we pass the Dragon where the old Temple Bar once stood, the gate to the medieval City of London. As we pass along Fleet Street, where newspapers were once printed, the glorious dome of Wren’s utterly magnificent baroque masterpiece St. Pauls cathedral rises before us at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point of the City of London. Is there a more beautiful church anywhere in the world? No, I think not. And so the journey takes us past the City’s financial heart, the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the Mansion House, here is wealth and power, here is the heart of Empire. We disembark at Liverpool Street to catch the train. It begins to rain. Night in the city with rain falling down and we found ourselves in the dark. Here is romance.


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