I am back from my involuntary break caused by the call of science. Paper is submitted and now begins the nerve wracking wait as it is distributed for peer review. It will be criticized and scrutinized in details, most likely rejected by the third reviewer, asking for more proof and additional experiments.
Thus it is best to forget about it and once again divert some of my creativity into a more relaxed writing.
Having no posts prepared, here are some random reflections that have been occupying my mind and my thoughts, briefly or more intensely in the last few days.
I have noticed that from time to time, there is a public manifestation of joint bad driving days. The air pressure or air quality, the weather pattern or some other unseen phenomenon affect our collective consciousness, giving rise to a certain chaos in traffic.
This past Monday was one of those days. I was on several occasions stuck behind such bad drivers, that they had no business being on the road. People were braking and speeding randomly as if they were alone in traffic, using their turn signals on a whim (while turning in the opposite direction) and appeared under the influence of something. It was a strange morning drive to work indeed, causing my irritation level to rise periodically.
Leaving bad drivers behind, I have recently started to seriously contemplate old age. I notice the elderly more and most of all differently than I used to. When I was young, old age was largely removed from my thinking. It appeared as an extremely distant future that felt very remote and alien. I recall being fifteen years old, talking to my grandmother, on one of her last visits with us before she passed away. I asked her then how it felt to be close to eighty, when my own lifespan of only one and a half decade appeared already as an eternity. To additionally live more than five times my age came across as absolutely endless. She only chuckled and then replied amusingly; "One day you will know".
And sure enough, that day has come, even though sooner than I expected. Now I am half that age and my perception of time has changed considerably, as it moves with incomprehensible speed forward, increasing exponentially by each passing year.
I watched two elderly ladies at a buss stop the other day, wondering where they were going and if they were happy. Were they in good health? Did they feel like there was still something to look forward to? Did they feel lonely? Did they have families or not? At the grocery store last week an old lady was at the cashier in front of me. Her hands shook uncontrollably and paying for her purchase was a major struggle for her, causing the line behind us grow longer and more impatient. As I helped her with her groceries, I felt a wave of strong empathy wash over me, as I wondered if I will one day, in not so distant future, find myself in the same situation. This sensation left me with a sting of melancholy...
Moving on to more amusing issues, my shower tap broke the other day. The dispenser started giving me trouble a few months ago, when it began to drip. Within the last weeks the dripping escalated and developed into a weak stream of water. As I do not like to waste water and additionally I do pay for water, I was forced to finally call a repair man to come and fix it.
These are one of the times when I miss the presence of man in the house. If my Irishman was here, he could take a look at the dispenser and decide what should be done. Instead I rely on the smiling face of a stranger telling me in no uncertain way that a repair is futile and that the whole thermostatic mixer needs to be replaced. I feel so very ignorant standing there, trying to mobilize all my brain power, using all of my female intuition in order to ascertain whether he is telling me the truth or just seeing an opportunity to make some money off a clueless female. I try to ask the right questions, but eventually I always give in, trusting the professional standing in my house, realizing that I can simply not control everything. Thus I spend a fortune this week, but my shower is no longer dripping.
Before I bore everyone silly with a long post, let me leave you with a few pictures taken close to and right after midnight on Tuesday. The neighbourhood was fast asleep and as opened the windows, I felt an urge to step outside. Giving into the sensation, as I entered the yard, I experienced a magical moment. My solar lamps were casting a warm glow into a still night. All I could hear were frogs in a nearby pond. The air was unusually warm, humid and scented with shrubs in bloom, among others lilac.
And the night was light.
While in the west the remains of a stunning sunset still coloured the skies red, as I gazed in almost the opposite direction over the nearby roofs, the imminence of sunrise was already apparent in the north east. These beautiful views signal the impending White Nights culmination.
For the first this year I felt that winter has finally ended. In nature and in my perception as well.