Archive for October 24th, 2009

TV JohnI was taking a shower yesterday when a scent filled my nose.  It was an odd yet familiar smell, a bit like gunpowder wafting from the barrel of a gun.  It wasn’t something that I had anticipated and I don’t know where it came from but I was suddenly reminded of TV John McKeever, a character from the BBC series Hamish MacBeth that ran several years back.  That’s him in the photo.  The show was the story of a quirky,small Scottish village and its constable, Hamish MacBeth (played by Robert Carlyle.)  It reminded me of a Highland version of Northern Exposure except that it had more drama and mystery, a whodunit with a bit of humor.

One of the main characters was TV John McKeever,  so named for having been the first in town with a TV, who was more or less MacBeth’s deputy.  He was a tall, mysterious character with a bit of clairvoyance.  He had experienced a premonition of his own death and knew that his death would be imminent when he would smell  a particular scent of pomade, which is a hair gel of sorts.  Think of the Dapper Dan cans in O Brother Where Art Thou? This was a recurring plot point in the series.

So there I was in the shower, thinking of TV John and the smell of pomade that would be to him the smell of death, and I began to wonder, “What if this scent I now smelled was my smell of pomade?”

What if today were to be my last day on this earth?  How would I live it?  If I were able to scan back through this last day, as though the day were a movie viewed through my eyes, what would I see?  Would today be a good day to carry with me as my last day, filled with images that meant something to me?

All this was within a flash of seconds and I found myself realizing that I was taking so much for granted around me.  I was not stopping, if only for a moment, to take in the way things really appear around me.  To take in the grandeur of the trees of the forest that I walked through every day.  To look up at the stars on a cold autumn night and see the way the stars and planets change position in the sky.  To see how a squirrel races through the limbs of the hickories around my house.

Simple things.  Things that I simply forget to take notice of on a regular basis.  But things that give texture and depth to my life, things of which I would want to take notice on that day when the smell of pomade wafted into my nostrils…

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