Thursday, September 18, 2008

On seeing the light

The dark road

In the last couple of weeks I have made my way back into the enthralling world of lab-based academia. Aside from the more obvious benefits of things that go funny colours when you put them together, getting to wear a lab coat, and comments such as ‘oh yes, that’s just the wee of death’, it has also led to my placement firmly back in the bosom of my favour building in Manchester – the Stopford building.

There are many reasons that I love this place. Not least because there are so many nooks and crannies that I have metaphorically peed on, that is to say that I’ve made my own. There’s the corridor which I jittered down before my interview for University ( flying low throughout I might add), there is the chipboard walling on which I frantically searched for my first year exam results, the wall at the bottom of a shallow flight of stairs that I casually walked passed (oh yes, I am damn cool) and then returned to one particular evening. There are so many places that most of them I don’t remember, I have just gained a vague familiarity which it’s corridors. Oh it is ugly, ugly as hell, brown and grey and lacking windows in most walls.

But one of my favourite things about the Stopford building is something I found out in my first year of Medicine. It happens that if you stay late enough, as I often did, and you walk the corridors, as I also often did, then the lights behind you begin to turn on. It’s probably a feature of many buildings, but there was something about being here late at night, just a bit of magic I suppose.

So tonight, after more than one frustrating day at this new place in this old building I decided to go for a walk. There were other things to do, but I’d put them off long enough that it had become a habit. I walked along the corridors and looked forward at first. Everything was dark and unclear, blurry not least because I need glasses and I wasn’t wearing any. I was feeling pretty low, like there didn’t seem to be any light at the end of all this. So I walked backwards for a while, must have looked pretty stupid had anyone seen me. I realised that the light is behind you, the clear things, the things you understand have passed and can now be appreciated. The corridors which you have already walked are the ones illuminated. Sure it does mean that you will bump in to things and feel like rubbish on the way, but it’s necessary to gain anything at all.

Perhaps that’s what the end of things is like, perhaps once things are coming to a close you can look at things in the light you have created.

The lit path.

1 comment:

Digital Flower Pictures said...

As Marcel Proust said:
"The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."

JP, I liked your pictures of Africa, especially the group shot. I would really love to hear your impressions of NYC.