THE WITCH, THE ELEPHANT – AND HERE COMES THE SUN

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Long long ago – it was 1980 – an architect designed a house in which several of the external walls were mostly made from glass. I live in that house. I try not to throw stones. Throughout the day, sunlight penetrates the walls of different rooms as the sun moves across the heavens.

The rays of the morning sun enter the house through the glass wall of the laundry. Sometimes I will take a visitor into the laundry and I will show them the shadows that appear on the wall above the sink. This happens by about nine in the morning, depending on the time of year. Yes, it’s a little breakfast treat – a visit to the laundry.

Look, I say, will you look at that!

And they look at the shadow on the wall and they look at me, and they go – wha?

But it’s a witch, I say – look at the witch on wall.

They can’t see the witch, and I can’t see why they can’t see. Here comes the sun, there goes the witch!

As the sunlight strikes the top of the fire extinguisher, the shadow of a witch on a broomstick is projected onto the wall above the sink.

Throughout the day the sun shines down on a pergola that’s covered in vines, and the shadows of the vines fall on the path beneath.

Then later in the afternoon the sunlight hits the surfaces of a mirror ball by my desk, a mirror ball that sits on the back of the statue of a scarlet elephant. The whole room becomes a cavern of slowly shifting dots and diamonds and splashes of light.

It’s nice to nudge the elephant, or to make him turn round – then the lights will obey you, and they’ll dance. If you want, you can take matters into your own hands in the form of the mirror ball, and you can lead the dance of the lights as they whirl or jump. It’s a dream.

In 1969 on Abbey Roadthe Beatles released ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Like many Beatles songs it’s dramatic and adorable at the same time. It is one of those songs that inhabit your brain.

I didn’t specially associate the daily adventure in light and shade with the Beatles song until one time in 2017.

A friend lent me a cello and I took some lessons and I joined a local community orchestra. One of the first pieces we played that year was ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Bliss! Ah – actually getting inside the words and the music with a whole lot of other people and instruments – harps, ukuleles, clarinets, saxophones – guitars, naturally – you name them, we have them in our orchestra.

That Christmas we gave a concert in the Town Hall, which is a grand old goldfields construction made from seriously historic stone. No glass walls there. And on the playlist, naturally, we had my favourite – we played ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Oh the thrill of being part of the recreation of the song – and the glorious optimism of both the words and the melody. These days, when I see the witch and the elephant I sometimes hear the music too – well, here comes the sun! Again.

9 thoughts on “THE WITCH, THE ELEPHANT – AND HERE COMES THE SUN

  1. Pingback: a statue of an elephant | Colours in Black and White

  2. Lovely Carmel. Love your showing people your laundry! I like to keep my laundry door close as much as possible – given you see it the minute you walk into our family area – but then I don’t live in a glass house. And I certainly don’t have an elephant to guard mirror balls or ward off witches if necessary.

    I have a “Here comes the sun” story – from karaoke in Japan. Long story, but briefly my husband and i found ourselves in one of those tiny Japanese bars that has about 8-10 barstools, in a back alley in Kyoto. We were desperate for a drink and some food, and were welcomed into this place (having walked by peering uncertainly in a couple of times). It turned out to be a karaoke bar, and the inevitable happened. They wanted us to choose a karaoke song. Now, I’m not a good singer, but we’d just done ‘Here comes the sun’ with our sun (in the tiny town in which he was living, in the karaoke backroom of “The master’s” bar) so, “Do you have ‘Here comes the sun’?” we said. Of course, they did. So, with Mr Gums, a decent singer, taking the lead, we managed – and the Japanese bar guests joined in pretty soon with gusto. They loved the Beatles. I’ve always liked that song, but now I love it.

    (Oh, and the bar was run and owned by an 80-something mother and her 50-something daughter. One of those special travel experiences.)

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    • You are amazing. Not only do you read all the books and go to all the events and write it all up, but you read blogs and write long comments. (In your comment there is a beautiful typo – when you mention your son you call him your ‘sun’ – he is your sunshine I suppose.)

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      • Haha, Carmel. Trust you to pic that up! I felt I’d have mixed them up somewhere but clearly didn’t proofread properly. And yes, he is my sunshine really. His ability to lift me and make me laugh is precious.

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  3. Thank you for your kind remarks. I am quite tired of the fierce sun that beats down on the central Victorian goldfields. Fortunately, God invented air-conditioning. But the sun is very hard on the poor plants.

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