Chris de Burgh was one of my favourite musical artists, back in the day. That was the day when he was still a storyteller and before he started pumping out pop schmaltz hits like Lady In Red
and suchlike. As far as I'm concerned, my C de B stopped making albums after Eastern Wind
[Side note: Italian keyboards are *weird*. None of the punctuation symbols live where this Canadian thinks they should. The fact that I'm half in the bag after a long day and a very large glass of wine doesn't help...]
ANYway, possibly one of C de B's least known songs is Discovery
, from mrphl years ago. (Yes, I'm old.) Being a sciencey-type whose life is made worthwhile by learning and experiencing new things, I've always liked its last verse:"One day," says Galileo, "A man will reach the sky,
And see the world completely, from outside.
And gazing down from yonder, on a world of blue and green,
He’ll say with eyes of wonder, 'I have seen...
‘My eyes have seen.'"
Today, quelling an acute sense of anxiety and an almost complete ignorance of the Italian language, the mere smatterings of which I've gleaned from Hollywood movies and restaurant menus, I single-handedly tackled the spaghetti which is Italian train system and took myself on a trip from Venice to Bolzano (and back again) on my quest to see the Iceman
. The journey was not without its difficulties (two wrong trains taken, one hefty fine paid, acute embarassment narrowly averted by a lovely young woman from Bolzano who argued with the conductor on my behalf), but in the end, there he was: my Ötzi and all of his belongings that were miraculously preserved intact for over 5000 years within a glacier. (Maple leaves! Three fresh maple leaves, with chlorophyll! In a glacier. Imagine.)
I've been wanting to see Ötzi since I first read about him in the early 1990s. And there he was. For this science-phile, it was like a pilgrimmage. I actually teared up a little."My eyes have seen."