Sunday, July 16, 2006

Deep in the tunnels under Hampstead Heath there is a hidden tube station, never completed and never opened. You can catch a glimpse of it if you press your face to the right-hand windows of a north-bound train, shortly before you emerge from the tunnel into daylight at Golders Green.

I'm fascinated by hidden places, as much as I am by hidden ideas, wherever looking below the surface exposes a new way of seeing or thinking about the world. This probably explains something of my interest in quantum physics (the universe is just so wierd when you start to look deeper), the origins and nature of consciousness (who are we, really?), and in Jewish theology (can the idea of God help us to make sense of all of this?). I'm beginning to think it explains something about the particular passions I have in my work, about which, perhaps, more later.

It turns out that there is still an entrance to the hidden station. In 2002 some people ventured down there.

Recently, face pressed to the window, I've noticed that just before the unfinished station platforms, in a hollow in the tunnel wall and illuminated with pale light, is an enormous and gleaming silver machine with flashing indicators and buttons. I have no idea what it is for. It's probably something used for something very straighforward but it is mysterious and beautiful, and in moments of fantasy I dream that it is there, somehow, to protect us.


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