While walking through reflections in puddles, and through ink filled streets late this evening to escort my middle daughter home from work, the machinery of the universe turned it's gaze on me.
The ticking heart of the universe.
I hit play on my mobile phone without really paying much attention to it - hoping that something nice might fill my ears to accompany me along the way.
Have you ever listened to the opening bars of "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge? It starts with a rhythmic ticking. The ticking of a clock. And it burrowed straight through me in seconds.
It helps of course that I love the movie. There's something about the hours after midnight though. I'm not sure if it's to do with walls falling down when tired, or senses opening when confronting the void.
Everything is a little brighter. A little louder. More colourful.
Suddenly we see meaning in everything. The broad strokes. The tiny details.
I'm home now. Sitting in front of the computer in the darkest corner of the house, and the universe is at it again. I asked the little speaker on the corner of my desk to play something quiet.
It chose the Glasgow Love Theme from Love Actually. You know the one - the quiet piano melody that cuts straight through people's defences. I just had to sit and listen in the dark until it finished - recalling all manner of memories. How does music DO that?
How does the universe DO that?
How does it know when we're not doing so well, and start tipping it's focus in our direction? Do we always notice? Should we notice?
Wouldn't it be interesting if the game was given away? I often joke about "non player characters" mis-timing their attempts to cross my path at junctions, or on street corners. While walking home this evening an otherwise deserted night was really rather quite busy - but only surrounding me. In the middle distance there was nothing.
Perhaps I'm on to something.