Do bear with my verbosity this evening, chums, as the Laws of Metaphysics force me to be a little more delicious than usual, though my current eccentric giddiness is actually down to spirituality rather than champagne... though, admittedly, the effect is much the same. Sometimes, the light can shine down on us in the most unexpected places. For me, today it was the M&S store at the local retail park. But first, some background: A while ago I told of my own version of "The Twilight Zone", a not-so-fabulous place that I occasionally go to. All things have their equal and opposite, of course, so it feels good to name a place that I like to call THE AURORA ZONE. I name it after two figures of fiction and mythology:  Princess Aurora -- aka Tchaikovsky's 'Sleeping Beauty'.  Aurora -- the Roman Goddess of the Dawn. As such, the Aurora Zone is the name of a place in the mind, a place where I sometimes find myself, in an almost meditative state of being... somewhere between sleepiness and illumination. * So anyway, this afternoon, my busy-work done, I felt a little tense [fall out from the anxiety-laced weekend, perhaps?] and felt the need to go shopping at the retail park -- or, as some locals term it, "big shops". And as I staggered into M&S [as I do], remembering what a chum had told me about the cheap booze [the pizza & Prosecco deal for £1O looking particularly fun], I suddenly and inexplicably felt myself in a different psychological place... A familiar place. A good place. A calm place. I'd been there before, and I wish I could describe it at least adequately... but I can't. I simply found myself wandering up and down the aisles, in a state of blissful, almost medicated, serenity. The other shoppers might have thought me mad, or high, or drunk. I wouldn't have cared. Even now, back at Chez Buffy several hours later, I don't care. The point is, this afternoon I was indeed in The Aurora Zone. Bliss. That's the only word to describe it. Now, this entry into the Aurora Zone did not come thru stimulants, intoxicants, or conscious effort [indeed, this weekend I'd prayed the be in such a place!] so I simply do not know how I got to be in this Zone, under the warm and bright spotlight -- and it certainly didn't happen on most days I've been to M&S. But I wasn't complaining. Often, like when pondering the Meaning of Life, we're just content to enjoy the mystery of it for the mystery that it is -- with the knowledge that trying to work it out most often leaves us knackered and a little bit mad. The effects of the Zone have lasted for hours, I'm happy to report. I do wish you could all join me. Maybe it's just me, over-sensitive as I am, simply appreciating feeling calm in an over-heightened manner? But essentially, of course, it doesn't matter. * This fusion of relaxed sleepiness and wide-awake enlightenment, though it sounds an inherent contradiction, is indeed one of the finest experiences around. It produces a slow-burning joy... one arguably finer and better than any 'high' produced in the brain. Once found, this place, this state of being... cannot be unfound... we might not remember where it is, but it will always be possible [if not always easy] to get back there. At some point. Which can only be a Good Thing. The possibility of it is a strong positive force in my life. My view is that the Aurora Zone is essentially open to all, regardless of age, gender, looks, money, geography, political persuasion, or life-circumstance: all you essentially need is a very open mind, an open heart, and a little bit of luck. There are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in our often narrow philosophies, indeed... Anyway, thank you for reading these metaphysical ramblings... and while it's probably unlikely that I'll be seeing you at t'big shops, I'll look forward to seeing you in the Aurora Zone, sometime soon. Take it easy.