Friday, 13 February 2015

PAST IMPERFECT, BUT WELCOME NONETHELESS...



Here's a curious tale which I can't actually recall if I've recounted before or not, though I've meant to for a while now.  Back in August of 1999, myself and a young lady were spending the day in Glasgow and decided to drop in to the Gallery of Modern Art in Royal Exchange Square.  One of the exhibits we looked at was a 'kinetic sculpture' by EDUARD BERSUDSKY, entitled An Autumn Walk in the Belle Epoque of Perestroyka (Meta-Tinguely).  (Below.)

It was scheduled to begin at a certain time, but with a dozen or so people seated and expectant, the minutes crept past the annointed hour without the demonstration of the complex contraption commencing.  The girl I was with (who, for the purpose of this tale we'll call Sally) went off to enquire about what was happening, only to find out that it had been cancelled due to some kind of technical fault.  (A sign at the entrance informing us of the fact would have been appreciated.)

Anyway, disappointed, we filed out to look at other exhibits and soon forgot about what we'd missed.  Not long after, Sally returned to her own country for a while, although I saw her again on two more occasions when she was back in Scotland some time later.  However, she doesn't feature in the rest of this story, so exit Sally, stage left.  Well, in an odd kind of way, that's not quite true, but let's take each step as it comes.  (The best way to take steps, I believe.)


A year later to the very day, I was in Glasgow and decided to revisit the Gallery once more.  Much to my surprise, the exhibit that had been out of order twelve months before was still on display - and just about to begin.  I entered the room and, believe it or not, the exact same two seats at the far end of the row that Sally and I had occupied were empty, so I parked myself on the very one I had sat on previously.

For the next several minutes, the audience sat in rapt attention as the display went through its pre-ordained mechanical repertoire.  When it had completed its revolutions, I instinctively turned to Sally to ask her opinion of what we had just witnessed - only to be surprised for a split-second to find her chair empty.  Then reality kicked in and I realised that my mind had automatically jumped back a year, momentarily duped by the near pefect re-creation of the previous year's events.

Bizarre I know, but for a moment I had experienced something extremely akin to time-travel - even if it was only in my mind.  Has anyone else ever had a similar experience?  Feel free to share.

2 comments:

  1. When I was very young, my pals and I would be out in the street most evenings messing about, and the same people would walk past every night: the huge man smoking a pipe who walked past studiously ignoring us, the man in the overalls parking his van, the loony from the top close, and also a couple maybe in their 60s or 70s walking a white scottie dog, both white-haired and wearing glasses, the man always wore a red jacket, and they both strolled along smiling contentedly. I never knew their name or spoke to them other than a 'hello' as they passed. I suppose they must eventually have passed away, and I grew up, moved and forgot all about them.

    Recently though, I was in the area where I grew up and saw a man walking along in a red jacket with a white scottie dog- different man, different dog, but the sight threw me back in time for a moment and just for a second I felt I was back in a warm summer evening in the early 80s, watching as the old couple walked past with their dog, I could almost feel the man's warm smile and the way his wife and always looked so happy. I actually felt a bit bad that I'd forgotten about the old couple for all those years.

    As I say, I never knew their name or exactly where they lived- I assume they've both passed away now- but their evening strolls with their wee dog are as much a part of the scenery of my childhood as the street itself was. I hope the old couple (and their wee dog) were as happy and content as they always appeared to be.

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    Replies
    1. Great reminiscence, DD. Actually, that sort of thing happens to me quite a lot. It's surprising just what can trigger a memory of an earlier time that one had almost unwittingly forgotten until being reminded of it.

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