Our faces are ugly and unpleasant, not because we are wearing a mask, but because we have lost the mask of youth. People look better without masks I thought, as I walked down Dean Street past Dog Leap Stairs to the Quayside one sunny Sunday morning. The Tyne was shining as I walked, each step in time, towards the present past. Walking carries within it a subversive content through its associations with poverty, necessity, wandering, awareness and discovery. The people who welcomed me were strangers now. They set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires. . .and I, like they, sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. Like the ghost of my grandfather Joseph Bowman, glass-blower, born Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1895, one of seventeen children. Fell out of an army truck and damaged his leg, and so escaped the Great War. Or my father’s father, Walter Baker, born 1898, soldier in the Great War, died of tuberculosis aged 30, leaving a widow and three small children. I’m older than my father, I’m older than my grandfather. I can put my mask aside now. Chance is the great determinant in anyone’s life. Where were you born? In what historical period? To which parents? All of these things are the result of chance, aren’t they? Chance is an essential principle of the I Ching. Through waiting, everything is possible. Time is the vehicle. Waiting is thus regarded as the secret to human happiness, for through “nonaction” all things can be accomplished.