The Full Stop Story
I begin my story with a full stop. Most people will associate this with a grammatical symbol that finishes a sentence. For my purpose of telling the story, I am using its size and comparison with the vast space of a page. You might say a page in the history of a life. A full stop is generally round in shape, when printed and filled with ink, so that a mark is defined clearly on the whiteness of its expanse, at the end of a string of words that might loosely describe an event.
The full stop mark on a horizon line, marks a defining moment of realization. When reached it ceases to be this end statement, for it was, and has been the goal of two very brave children. They are a boy and a girl, in terms of character, and still in their infancy, as the story begins. I describe them as two children abandoned in a desert. You may wish to ask which rogue in this world would choose to abandon two children in the middle of a desert. Keep asking this question as you read and you may begin to understand, that you too are part of their journey. Their journey has already begun, and survival of course is the goal. Now a desert is not a hospitable place to many creatures and certainly most people would only spend a very small portion of any life examining the concept or landscape of this word and place. called desert, geographers and nomads excepted.
The desert I speak of is a fairly dry, sandy, flat space, where the sun dominates the day and the aridity renders the soil, or what would be soil, into a dry consistency generally. A fine soft and at the same time gritty, beige granular substance. We use sand in an hour-glass to measure time. My first experience of this was seeing coloured sand in an egg timer, as a child. The sand drops through a small glass vessel with an even tinier aperture at the bottom into another similar vessel, until three minutes of time is marked. And of course you can turn an egg timer over and start again should you wish for your egg to be well cooked. Sand can vary in texture and colour, and frequently fascinates people when put under glass, in a decorative ornament, the type they sell at beach resorts. I believe also that Elizabethans discovered that sand when burned at a high enough temperature formed the beginnings of the discovery of glass. Would you say humans are naturally inventive? How useful is this substance glass. Glass through which we can see, but that cuts out the harsher weather of winter, the wind and rain in particular, but that still lets in light, by which we can see to get around in an indoors situation. Glass when shattered, is a more spiteful experience of sharp shards, that can cut and splinter, but that’s another story. Glass through which we see, and perceive things. A microscope uses glass and enables us to see smaller less visible to the eye objects and substances. It has the ability to magnify and enables us to see what is secret. Our imagination is further encouraged by these discoveries and knowledge of the finer elements of the universe around. The opposite of this experience though similar in nature, is being able to see miles into the distance, through a telescope. So vast to the human scale is even say the distance of ten miles, that to perceive what lies in the distance in advance of getting there is seen as an advantage. To scientists of space, of course magnification has meant even more discovery, and perception of what surrounds our world, in the form of galaxies.
Back to our children, who have clung together in a brave move of defiance against all the odds. They start their journey in just the clothes they stand in. Like most creatures, hunger and the need for shelter, the need for company, and a home, defines the plan for their day. I shall call them Thomas and Mary. Are they the ‘Jack and Jill’ of the modern world? ‘Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill …’ If you remember this very famous children’s story, they climb a hill, and while they play, and, or ‘fetch a pale of water’, an accident occurs. Jack falls down and is wounded, but not defeated. ‘Up Jack got and away did trot as fast as he could caper, went to bed to mend his head with vinegar and brown paper.’ I examined the details of this tale. Even to an average person this seems the poor man’s solution to a sore head. Rest and you will grow strong. Vinegar must have been a kind of antiseptic, something to clean the wound with. Brown paper, poor Jack. The famous two clearly struggled and were not from a wealthy family, but indeed were resourceful.
I cannot say there is a likeness exactly. Thomas and Mary enjoy an enduring relationship, and they are not burdened by life. On the day they start their journey, they see this as play. They see in the distance something which breaks the flatness of the land around them. Something that could be more exciting, and which gives them the spirit of adventure. Their sorry circumstance forgotten in an instance, as the goal becomes the climbing of what appears to be a pile of rocks. From the distance they saw it as a refuge. On closer inspection it becomes their playground. There was no incentive to go anywhere else, and as all children do they play and explore, and through some clever but deliberate climbing, they start to rebuild their own confidence. Indeed a ‘miracle’ occurs. The mild to real fear of abandonment is replaced by play, and each other’s company. The climb and activity of reaching a higher place, gives them more sight and, what appears to be a desert place with very little growing that is green, verdant, and or living, turns into a paradisiacal landscape, as they climb, creatures begin to appear, colourful birds, and four legged mammals, and all manner of flora and fauna surround them. The sun’s intensity, becomes like the joy of summer. There is rain, and sunshine, and a better world. All things become new. It is at the end, like the hope of spring after a harsh winter. A little hope in what may have been a dismal situation. A rainbow, an invisible ark. Oh to see just a glimpse of paradise, would be the most beautiful, rejuvenating experience for every soul. I often wonder why so much is hidden. I believe a little courage to go forward in life is needed sometimes, and it is true that when parents die, we may feel a little orphaned, and, awareness of our own existence and power, seems to be more evident. There is such a thing as a clear day. Somehow you can look on the world with the new eyes in the same sense of your youth, when all prospects seem ahead.