I have written before about a very interesting old Viennese musician and astrologer I knew many years ago called Dr Oskar Adler. I remembered one of the things he would say after a curious incident which happened to me yesterday. He believed that it is pointless looking for things that we have mislaid, because they really go missing. You have to leave some time, and then they will re-appear.
had further proof of this rather esoteric belief again. Anybody of my venerable age will know that
the one object they treasure above all others is the old people’s free bus
pass, which allows us to hop on and off buses and in and out of tube trains at
will, and gives us the kind of freedom denied previous generations of the
elderly. I always check that I have my
pass before I leave home. This morning,
to my dismay, it was not where it usually is, tucked safely away in the front
compartment of my rucksack. I searched
for a long time for it, looking into all the pockets of all the clothing I
might have been wearing on my last trip outside, but could find it nowhere.
decided that I should immediately apply for a replacement at the local Post
Office, and so headed outside to do just that.
I was standing on the top step of the short flight of stairs leading to
the road outside, when I happened to look down.
There on the pavement, tucked closely against the front railings, was my
bus pass. The road sweeper had obviously
recently been, because the pavement was swept completely clean, the only object
in sight on the ground being this little plastic rectangle in its white
cover. If I had grasped the right-hand
rather than the left-hand railings to help me down the stairs I would have
missed seeing it completely.
still can’t think how it got there.
Rationally I could say that it might have slipped from the rucksack as I
got out my front-door keys the day before, but I prefer the more mysterious
explanation. My bus pass decided to do
one of those disappearing tricks the Dr Adler persuaded me to believe in, and
simply took it in its mind to re-appear on another day.
the past, when something similar has happened to me, which it has done several
times, the time between an object’s disappearance and re-appearance has often
been longer, sometimes a few weeks. And
once I found the keys to my house, which I had desperately hunted for for days,
hidden away a few weeks later under rubbish at the bottom of an outside
I like to think that there are indeed “…more
things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy” (Hamlet). This little incident lifted my spirits a little, just a little, from despairing and dreary contemplation of the weekend's political turmoil.