Monday, February 07, 2011

smoker, change, enormous


Posted by PicasaThe alley backing on to Mount Pleasant, has no name. Presumably the addresses of the rear entrances here are the same as on the street itself, where there are shops and restaurants surmounted sometimes by offices. For the few  who work in the shops and still like or need a cigarette, it is a place for a quiet puff. Although the environment is not the most attractive in the neighbourhood.

There was a time when I valued inflexibility as a virtue, the sign of a strong  person.  Now, while mindless vacillation, is no more attractive, I can see that the ability to think again and to see the implications of revision and reconstruction, is the mark of maturity and good sense. Marcus Aurelius has it right:  "To change your mind," he writes, "and defer to correction is not to sacrifice your independence; for such an act is your own, in pursuance of your own impulse, your own judgement, and your own thinking."

No one can walk out of the Grove into Sutherland Road without catching sight of the life-size teddy bear pressed up against the first floor window of the house on the corner. Parents point it out to their children, if the children have not spotted it already. I wrote about the bear here two or three years ago; and this afternoon, I make no apology for doing so again. "An enormous bear," says a mother to to her little boy, walking by her side. She lingers on the word "enormous" with relish; and I think to myself, as I hear the boy repeat "an enormous bear" with an almost sensuous affection for the sound, that the word "enormous" will probably be joined for ever in  his mind, with the sight of the bear looking down on him from the window.

2 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

An excellent idea for a post. What is the most significant volte-face I have ever made? You too, perhaps. In keeping with the confessional aspects of blogging. I must away now to buy loudspeakers for Mrs BB's computer (she's enmeshed in Google's Art Project) but I'll have company in the traffic jams.

Plutarch said...

I'm trying to think of volte-faces. There have been many but none seem worth talking about at them moment. I am sure that you are right however and I will set about reviewing them. Perhaps you will confess to a few in Works Well.