Come walk with me

I am in search of a literary agent (actually, an 'agent for literature', I think) particularly but not exclusively for my novel in progress, The Book. Yesterday one of those I approached requested 'a very brief biography' plus, if I really felt it necessary, a sample of my writing. Ever tried telling the world about your life in, say, 50 words? Anyway this is what I wrote ...

"I have lived through seventy seven years, most of them in the service of marriage, mortgage and moderation. But twelve years ago I changed gear, writing and painting and selling the output more or less successfully: and will reveal all.

So, what of today? Well, I wake each morning with expectation and without regret except, at times, for the natural dwindling of the days. In my life I have traversed the sunlit pastures and have taken my rest in the garden of Eden, just as I have walked, well bloodied but unbowed, through the shadow of the valley of death. And, yes, each sunrise still does excite me with its potential for the leaving of some trace of my passing on the sands of time, whether literary or pictorial or simply genetic.

I see through my window the Scottish Highlands, heart-stoppingly beautiful, perhaps because so little changed at the hand of man - give or take an increasingly dangerous atmosphere and a sea that has been ravaged and pillaged out of sight, out of most folks’ minds.

I think sometimes of the past but not too often, for when the past gets to loom overlarge in the present there is little point in future. My philosophy, should that not be too presumptuous a word, is best summed up by the father of Thomas Thornton, central character of my first novel, More Deaths Than One

… he remembered his first father's poem, the one called 'The Fourth-light.' This poem he knew by heart. It told of the lights that burn within each one of us: the first-light which is that of God and the Universe and the second-light which is a person's world and their country and their race, and the third one which is their family and the love of their family. And as he rode on, he thought about the fourth-light, the one that, his first father claimed, is switched on within each man and each woman when they are born, the one that will lighten the way for that person and even, if it is strong enough, to a greater or a lesser extent for others. Thomas Thornton remembered that his first father had written that this fourth-light cannot be extinguished whilst its owner lives except by a person’s own foredoomed attempt to change or falsify that which they actually are, and that a life with this fourth-light extinguished is a life without meaning. But in the normal course, his father's poem had gone on to tell him, the fourth-light will not naturally fade until its person dies and after that the fading can last for a matter of hours or for a thousand or thousands of years; and sometimes, if only very rarely, this light will shine with such truth and such a strength that it shall enlighten all, and for so long as the foot of Man will walk upon the face of his mother Earth.

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