A TALE OF
Have you ever watched an elderly Citroën
2CV, or one of its odd-looking close relatives, drive the length of a long,
straight, poplar tree-lined 'Route Districte'? Have you watched its nose
plunging down towards the asphalt and rising again as it lopes along, its
driver's elbow visible from the flapped-open window; its long, generous mud
flaps flickering in the breeze? Have you observed how the tall wheels patter
over every surface imperfection, while the body merely undulates, gently, yet
profoundly? And all the while, hidden from view, the marshmallow-soft
cushioning is absorbing the last possible trace of shock from the occupants'
buttocks, trampolining those delicate peaches in time-delayed empathy with the
Have you ever looked on, astonished, as a peculiar-shaped 1960s
Citroën Ami drives at indecent speed over cobbles, or across a rough,
grassy field; wheels seemingly flying in all directions, yet body remaining
level, straight and true?
Have you ever caught sight of a 2CV driver,
temporarily stranded by the rare inconvenience of a puncture, jacking his - or
her - car aloft; up and up, up and up, up and up, and still that flattened tyre
will not part company with the road. How high does it have to go? How much
longer before there is a trace of daylight beneath?
These are astonishing
cars indeed. Failing to conform to any accepted norm, they are bold and
innovative to their very core. But that suspension...that is something else
altogether. Almost inconceivable in both its ability and its behaviour, it is,
manifestly, a 'suspension of disbelief'. Though, you will see, it's not the
only one here.
A Tale of Two CVs?
Continuing the stories of A Tale of Two CVs, I
invite you to settle gently back into that soft, spongy seat, slightly loosen
your white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel of life, drop down a gear and
put your foot down. Revel in an unrestrained festival of some of the most
iconic vehicles rarely to grace the tortuous roads of this Sceptred Isle. May
it be, for all of us, a transport of delight; on a journey to the tiny,
exquisite village of St Sory-over-Load, via the A602 - the road less
Are there two 'CVs'? Two curriculum vitae - two courses to life?
In addition to the all-too-visible earthly course, is there a spiritual agenda?
Are our struggles in the material world the reflection of a cosmic wrestling
match in an ethereal realm?
Like an eager diver and an inquisitive dog, I
want to get to the bottom. The bottom, of that most vital of matters: the
meaning of life. Is it possible to know more? Would you like to come with
I began, in the first Tale of Two CVs, in search of the Driving Spirit,
and where has it got me? Where indeed? Still with huge questions about the
meaning of life, and still looking for answers.
Is there a supreme power
out there - a 'Driving Spirit', a 'God'? If there is, what significance might
that fact hold for me? Could it be that this earth-bound life is a mere blip on
an eternal radar-screen? And if there isn't a God, then what is the purpose of
my life? Is it all purely self-centred? Is there any deeper point? Am I merely
an accident, or am I here for a reason?
Can any particular religion take
me to this God? Might they all do so? Would it ever be possible for all
religions to agree - or at least agree to differ? Can any of us actually know
God? Is it imperative to be 'religious' to do so? What might a God think of
this terrible thing that we humans call 'religion'?
Does some eternal
being actually concern Himself with me; care what happens to me...does He love
me, even? But then, if He does, why is there suffering?
If there's truth to
be found lurking on the floor of this garage of life, then we're going to move
scooters, motorcycles, cars, tool-boxes and perhaps even heaven and earth, in
order to find it.
Is it possible to employ some logic, to keep our brains
switched on - to maintain a level head - in searching for this 'Driving
Spirit'? Or are such pursuits the exclusive domain of blind superstition?
There are a lot of big questions here. What is called for in this second part
of A Tale of Two CVs is a willing suspension of disbelief, a 'quid pro quo', as
the encyclopaedia says, 'where the audience agrees, provisionally, to suspend
their judgement in exchange for entertainment.' Only this entertainment is on a