THE BOOK: Things do change

‘You are a rare asset to our area, Jamie, even if you do have such ideas.’  The old fellow took one hand off his oar, put a strong arm around the boy’s now strong young shoulders. ‘I do worry for you, Jamie Mortlock. And others, they are listening to you and so we worry for them as well.’
Hundred metres left to go. Jamie said, ‘Mister MacLean, you’ve seen the starlings, haven’t you? On Springwatch or something? We don’t have TV here but I’ve seen them. Thousands and thousands all flying packed close together, wheeling about in the sky making kinds of abstract patterns? They turn like they were all part of one single flying creature but they are not, they are all individuals so there must always be the one who has to make decisions, decide to turn first. All the others follow of their own free will, almost instantaneous. If they didn’t do it together they would collide with each other. But you can see there’s always one that breaks away and he or she takes others with him - or her - to make their own patterns.’
‘Starlings?’ The old man shook his head, puzzled. ‘The laddie talks in riddles, Ben.’
Ben grinned. ‘Sometimes I think the riddles make more sense than anything. As he says, somebody has to make the first turn. Things do change, Donny. Here or anywhere.’

Yes, the boy Jamie is right. Things must change. Root and crop. Everyone knows that. The questions are: how? how painful? must there be pain? from here to where, exactly? You can follow the erratic course towards some answers on my novel in progress published chapter by chapter on line to subscribers (free) last day of each month.

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