Be Perfect with Regards to What is Here and Now
On the train back from London I was reading 'Marius the Epicurean' by Walter Pater. It is a difficult read at the best of times what with its particularly long sentences and philosophical expositions. When you have anxious thoughts of your own to contend with in a packed train carriage next to somebody who believes it acceptable to spray heinous chemicals masquerading as 'eau de toilette' during the journey; this makes it all the more tricky to engage with the text. This scenario resulted in me undertaking multiple re-readings of the same three or four pages. It became almost like the reading of a mantra. Perhaps due to this, the words' power, and one passage in particular, only struck me on the third or fourth attempt as I neared my station of disembarkation after nearly an hour's journeying.
As I walked up the path from the station I had these words, in some hazy form, in my mind. I was thinking of their apt application to the practice of photography. I walked past the pub I have walked past thousands of times and saw two men comparing their thumbs. They appeared to be competitng as to who had the thumb which could bend back the furthest. In my clear and present state I decided to chip in.
"Check this out", I stated boldly whilst bending back my flexi-thumb.
"Yes, that's it", one stated before going on to mumble something or other whilst the other chap, standing next to him, said, "What's your name?".
After his semi-drunken promptings to guess his name I ultimately discovered that this was my elder siblings neighbour when they grew up near fifty years back in a house other to the one I grew up in. He had recognised me. He asked how the others were and we had a little chat.