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“It’s time. It’s time to tell them how it is.”

“Yes sir, I’m doing it now,” I said to the elder as I set to work.

“Make sure you tell them everything. They have to know.”

“Yes sir, I agree. I’m on it.”

“Right then, I’ll leave it in your capable hands. Use your imagination Marcus.”

And with that, the elder calmly turned and silently ghosted out of the small back room that served as a makeshift office. I sat back in my recliner, put my hands together and rested them across my chest. I sat a short while thinking, where do I even begin?

My father used to tell me things that made me laugh. Things like ” Never trust a fart.” And he had a slight Irish accent and intonation which intrigued me. When he counted to three he would pronounce “One, two, tree....” His mispronunciation of the number three was amusing and embarrassing at one and the same time.

He also used to tell me very wise things too, a lot of which, due to my youth and innocence, was lost on me at the time. Like all kids, I thought he knew very little of the world, very little of my world. I now realise, in some respects a little too late in life, that my father knew things that even now I can only imagine.

My father had his youth stolen from him by the events of WWII. He spent four years in a prisoner of war camp in Poland. He saw the horrors of armed conflict and lost friends and family in the process. He was captured and held in a camp where grown men, some mortally injured, starved to death. Who knows what something like that does to a man? I have sometimes asked myself the question, how does a man survive an experience like that?

One day my father said something very interesting to me when I was trying to resolve a difficult problem. “Use your imagination son.” It took me a long time to figure out what he was trying to tell me. I do believe my father survived those atrocities by using his imagination, by imagining a life beyond those grim huts surrounded by ominous smoking chimneys, barbed wire fencing and armed guards.

Many years later I came across the Schrodinger’s cat theory, a theory that tried to explain how a cat can be both dead and alive at one and the same time. In fact, this is nothing more than a thought experiment and very far removed from the reality of the lives that we live, or is it?

My father’s words, “Never trust a fart.” come back to me; “Never trust a Schrodinger cat in a box with a piece of radioactive material.” And should the cat in the box emit a resounding fart we may have to ask ourselves, “Is it a fart or a poop, or indeed is it both at one and the same time?” I suppose if I was that cat and I knew about that radioactive material and what was about to happen, yes, I would be shitting myself AND farting resoundingly for all to hear outside of that bloody box.

Cat and sealed box apart, I could entertain you with a very simple demonstration of the quantum belief that it is possible for something, or somebody, to be in a duality of existence at one and the same time, with little more than a torchlight and a window.

When it gets dark in your living room, go to the window and turn on the torch. Point the torch at the window at a forty-five-degree angle. You will see that the light emitted by the torch passes through the glass and shines on the ground outside. At the same time, the light is also being reflected back into the living room. That is a kind of quantum physics in action demo. However, this is not my preferred scenario. Neither is my fathers’ mis-pronunciation of the word three adequate, though it is close.

In this ambiguous paternal rendering of language, the three becomes both a numeral and an organic artefact, a tree as we call it. However, inadequate as it may be for some folk, it does demonstrate that via linguistic ambiguity, it is possible for something to be two different things at one and the same time. A three and a tree, a fart and a poop. And still, my father’s eloquent and wise words echo through the ages and guide me on my journey through life.

“Use your imagination, son.”

My imagination is the portal to other worlds. These multifarious worlds are where I often find the answers to difficult problems. And through this process, I have discovered a duality of being. I can be in two, or more, than once place at a time.

The mobile phone pings to alert me that I have a message. It is my lovely wife asking how I am. She has to live with the thought, at least for the moment, that I could be dead or alive. I am Schrodinger’s cat in a box. But from my perspective, I am very much both dead and alive at one and the same time. I am alive to the world of trying to explain something to you about a very complex situation and preoccupied with that as I am, I am dead to the rest of the material world that I am surrounded by.

Yet another example, quite a hilarious one as it happens, that there is a potential duality of existence can be seen in the Monty Python comedy programme.

In the dead parrot sketch, John Cleese goes back to a pet shop where he earlier bought a parrot. Cleese contends that the parrot is dead. The pet shop owner equally contends that the parrot is in fact merely sleeping. This is a surrealistic, groundbreaking example of Schrodinger’s thought experiment about the cat in the box.

“Use your imagination, son.”

I enter worlds of semi-make believe, semi-fixed in this world that we call our reality of existence, the material world. I am somewhat blessed to be able to enter altered states pretty much at will. In this respect, I am either blessed or cursed. For the worlds that I enter can go either way, a nightmare or a dream.

The elder lightly tapped my door and ghosted back into my room. ” How is it going? Are you making any progress?” he sagely enquired.

“Yes sir, I have made a good start and now I am about to move on,” I replied.

“Excellent. May I be so bold as to ask you the title of the piece?”

“Yes indeed sir, you may. It’s called ‘Where There is a Light,’ I think it’s a good title, don’t you agree?”

“Indeed, it is. I’ll leave you to it then. Don’t tarry Marcus.”

Once again the elder ghosted back out of the store-room. And now I have to move on with my original plan, as per the polite request of the elder.

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