From along the wonderfully ironic political flippery of a pair of beautifully balanced James Purdey & Sons tungsten barrels I sight with nonchalant plaid ease and tweed comfort a world gone stark staring mad. This morning at sunrise I hoisted the Union Jack high above the compound. Although genetically more suited by the Saltire I find that particular form of brazen bravado somehow leeched from my Oxford educated bones and replaced by the cold efficiency of a nation capable of establishing and profiteering from the worst imaginable manifestations of empiric power. My unmitigated and unregretted isolation is plainly visible from a supremely appropriate distance, the mere sight of my masthead proudly proclaiming ownership, righteousness, imperial might, quite possibly the slightest tinge of superiority and disdain, all admirable qualities your colonies so vigorously rejected but a mere two and a half centuries ago.
The drawbridge to my bailey remains firmly in a horizontal position beckoning, nay daring strangers of a brave mindset to approach and offer their salutary considerations. What point ‘Laird of the Glen’ when he is invisible?
If it is not permissible for me to now meander the borders of my fiefdom personally in my accustomed freedom who can be expected, let alone ordered, to do so. The natives and their government do seem to have retreated piecemeal from all responsibility, preferring instead to cower inconsequentially in their abodes quietly and allow demons and devils to roam free gratis willy nilly hither and thither.
I am ever inclined to employ good physical form, to breathe inward through the nostrils, the air mix thus filtered quite cannily by those miniscule hairs nature had so cleverly supplied, those at least that managed to survive my youthful indulgence in questionable powders, then out through the bouche with violent red cheeked gusto. Predictably and quite scary for those who do not appreciate my advanced years my breath tends to be somewhat affected if I have been strenuous in my attack of any slope. Thankfully, I like many another was instructed in my infancy that carefully orchestrated periods of shortness of breath are an excellent form of self-medication, preserving and improving heath and general wellbeing. Admittedly that truth doth become decidedly less self-obvious over the duration of seven decades, yet I persevere like the well whipped dog I am proud to remain.
It is of huge regret to have proven in ones dotage that the air of permanence we have so carefully woven around our society’s policies is supremely fragile and permeable, crumbling like some badly measured binder aggregate mix, foolishly employed as mortar to hold the bricks of civilizations palace together.
My relationships with ghosts and specters changed dramatically upon my arrival in the United States some twenty years ago. Till recently I had considered this difference to be purely geographic, assuming as do many others that the spirits are attached more to places relative to their own lifetime’s happenstance than to specific people. This presumption was emboldened and indeed largely proven by my experiences as a young ghost hunter.
Long before the arrival of television or glossy magazines exploring the world of the supernatural I would, with various friends and acquaintances, admittedly largely as a pretext for anything but non worldly pleasures, spend my seemingly limitless spare time traveling the United Kingdom and Western Europe searching out and attempting to explain any available spiritual manifestation. Amongst the many events I was lucky enough to encounter most were predominantly glazed with a decidedly personal connection. These happy and surprisingly amusing times ceased immediately upon my arrival in this new country with which I had no previous personally or familial connection.
Recent times have bought about a sea change of circumstance and once more I am inclined to notice, from the corner of the eye or perhaps just away from direct focus, mysterious forms appear, perhaps momentarily even gyrating, only to as suddenly dissipate into the ether.
I am now inclined to wonder if specters, spirits, and ghosts are possessed to go a searching should too much time elapse without their metaphysical essence encountering a suitable correspondent. Perhaps spirits are just wandering lost souls ever looking for a home, for comfort, unaware of time or distance, simply searching out some small familiarity in an ever-evolving world.
My spirits have not the feel of strangers, they present but as intrusions of one reality upon the next, one-dimension bleeding not frighteningly, but happily into another. My inclination is that my times are gathering about me, the past, present and future interlacing across time and space to present a combined face to the universe and blow the most enormously resonant raspberry.