It's 2:43 am as I write this. I had been lying in bed earlier.
Tonight (last night, to be precise), I got home at midnight. Upon returning, I notice a lorry parked outside the street lamp near my house, with a group of people crowding its root. It turns out that the whole area was down with power, at least for that time being. And so I had spent the last couple of hours, lying in bed, looking at the ceiling, through it, into the skies beyond it.
Which is my way of saying that it's not the ceiling that I'm looking at.
So what was I looking at?
Nothing and everything both at the same time. Nothing, because it is somethings that I could not quite gesticulate in words. Nothing, because I wasn't thinking how to express that. I was merely feeling.
And nothing because I don't feel like sharing it here.
Not now, anyway.
So what am I doing at the computer, online, at 2:51 am? The easy answer to that is...I don't really know. The simple way out, the back door exit, the lifeline tossed to me by an invisible man (or woman).
The harder answer would be...kaleidescope.
I was looking at the ceiling, at nothing in particular, given its relative darkness, when the power came back on. Instantly, my eyes squinted at the sudden brightness (for my lights, apparently, had not been turned off before the power was cut). And as I slowly adjusted my vision, it focused on the source of the light.
The light bulb, and its surrounding dome, if I may use that word. Last week, at almost the same time, I had observed to a close friend of mine that the intricate pattern caused by the light on the dome reminds me of that within the dome of a mosque. She laid beside me, and we looked up at it. For once, my memory fails me now, and I can't remember what she said.
Now, however, as I look at the light, I do not think of domes or of mosques. I think...kaleidescope.
In Elton John's 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight?', there is a line with the word kaleidescope. The first time I heard it, I didn't know what it meant. I know of the invention, but did not know then what it meant.
Back in the now, my thoughts shifted to that song. It is one of my favourites of all time. And as I thought of the movie from whence it came, one scene jumped to mind and is not leaving me now as I sit here at my computer at 2:59 am.
In this scene, Simba was following Mufasa back from the Elephants' Graveyard. Mufasa barked an order to Zazu to lead Nala back home. This he did faithfully, but before he left, Zazu placed a wing on Simba, and sighed. "Simba..." he said, before flying off into the darkness.
Mufasa continued walking the plains, while Simba followed behind, with his ears folded downwards, crestfallen. Suddenly, his paw fell into a small pothole in the ground, and he paid closer attention to it.
But it's not a pothole.
It's Mufasa's foot print. He had stalked with such force that his paw left an imprint on the ground, and it's this that Simba's own paw fell into. We look from a close bird's eye view, and read all the symbolism that we want to read into that: of Simba wanting to follow in his father's footsteps, of Simba realising that he is not the lion his father is yet, and that he has a long way to go.
I had seen that scene at the first showing of the movie in the mid 90s. About a year ago, I saw it again as it aired on the Disney Channel. I saw it with my mother at the time. The moment the scene came on, it hit me. It really hit me. A feeling that I do not feel often when watching movies, any movies. But it hit me then.
I wanted to cry.
My eyes had started to well up, and I had to fight to hold back the tears. I didn't dare blink, for I fear of the tears falling down my cheek.
That feeling hit me just now, as the power came back on and as the word 'kaleidescope' hit me. The above that I explained, happened in milliseconds, striking me quicker before I could actually put up my shields.
The scene continued with Mufasa admonishing Simba: "You deliberately disobeyed. You could have gotten yourself killed. And worse, you put Nala in danger!"
"I'm sorry," Simba sobbed. "I just wanted to be brave like you. You are never afraid."
Mufasa looked down on Simba. "I was afraid just now."
Mufasa then forgave Simba, and they playfully chased each other, until Simba caught his father. Hans Zimmer's score for the scene stirred to life, rising to a crescendo as Simba and Mufasa rested, laughing with each other.
One year ago, I couldn't hold back. I took the easy way out, and cried my eyes out.
Now, one year later, at 3:16 am, I'm taking the easy way out once again.