March 31, 2010
I went on a training course today, It was about monitoring the well-being and involvement levels of young children in their nursery settings.
One of the bullet points that for me, makes Mr Bojangles story of the boy on the bus even more heart breaking was
'Children develop 50% of their eventual ability of learning intelligence before the age of four and another 30% by the age of eight'
Not so shocking, when recent brain development research has shown that patterns of behaviour are mostly hard wired by the age of three. And the ability of the most mistreated children, to make connections in the part of their brain that would help them to think about the consequences of their actions, has also been pruned away by this time.
Children are not born evil but monsters can be made by others.
On a lighter note
Another bullet point that sent a murmur around the room was
'The urge to please others develops later in boys than girls'
The murmur was 'some may say never!'
The killing fields and a smile
I was sitting on the bus, watching a child trying to talk to his dad. He was full of observations and questions. His dad was trying to read his book, however, and only grunted replies.
In the end, his festering frustration at being disturbed got the better of him: 'Just give your mouth a rest, all right!?' he said with venom. The boy sat in silence, like a flower cut down, as the bus made its way through the rain.
I was angry at the man's treatment of the boy, until on reflection, I could see similar traits in myself. And now I was just sad - sad at the routine and common place murder of hope in the world.
As the bus trundled on, I battled with this idea, finding no peace, until on the brow of the hill, I accepted this sad truth. Instead of thinking restlessly about it, I received the painful truth inside me.
Once done, something within was able to relax, and for the first time, I experienced the possibility of good outcomes. Pain changes in colour and consistency on being received and accepted.
I smiled at the little boy as he left, and he smiled back, waving a little hand.
March 30, 2010
The good terrorist
From a cartoon in today's paper:
I hate intolerant people. I hate the BNP. And the Tories. And religious fanatics. I would like to blow them all up. Oops..
Tolstoy's take on the powerful.
I have been reading a rather wonderful book about Leo Tolstoy, It is one of the books available in the 'Conversations with' series by our very own Mr Parke.
Now following on from Marzena's blog about being inspired by a politician, I was interested and thought I would share, Tolstoy's take on those in power.
'The misery of nations is caused not by particular persons, but by the particular social order under which the people are so tied up together, that they find themselves all in the power of a few men; or more often, in the power of one single man: a man so perverted by his unnatural position as arbiter of the fate and lives of millions, that he is always in an unhealthy state, and always suffers more or less from a mania of self-aggrandizement, which only his exceptional position conceals from general notice.'
I'm not sure why but Tony Blair sprang to my mind.
Angela's excellent 'Drains - and many other things - for Haiti' requiem, took me back to 18th century Vienna. The musicians did charity events then as well, only Mozart wasn't allowed to join in. He would have been a considerable addition to the play list, but it wasn't possible.
Why not? His employer, the Archbishop of Salzburg, wouldn't permit it. To him, Mozart was a valet, a servant, who shouldn't get ideas above his station.
Of course, Mozart was writing his own requiem, unfinished, when he died. His death was unmarked, as was his pauper's grave.
And now we're back in 21st century Haiti.
March 29, 2010
Of euros and drains
I'm glad Tess has seen off the euros, and I'm sorry, Mr Bojangles, that I can't do drains.
But having said that, last night a whole crowd of us WERE fixing drains amongst other things - by singing. 80 singers of all ages were performing Harvey Brough's 'Requiem in Blue' accompanied by an ensemble of world class jazz musicians and early music specialists - a very inspiring experience. And we were doing this to raise money for Haiti, which has fallen from the front pages but remains devastated.
So euros and drains come together, joined in divine harmony.
in the absence of comments
Thanks Marzena I love the apple wood bug story. I think I'm around layer 22 but I'll keep on going - bet the air smells nice! Tx
March 28, 2010
I walk with seeds in my pocket, to scatter wherever I go,
I enjoy and rejoice in the sowing,
For each seed is a potential opportunity for growth.
I have faith in my seeds and pray for them to grow strong,
Sometimes I am even given the opportunity to care for some little seedlings,
And I hope my love provides them with a good start.
Other seeds are my wild cards, scattered in secret places,
Some may lie dormant for years before the time is right for growth,
Another time, another place, another person may be their destiny,
This is the way of the World and I just allow and enjoy its mysteries.
At Harvest time I celebrate when I am blessed and my cup overflows,
calling friends and strangers to come and help themselves from my store.
When I am feeling particularly mischievous,
I pop some seeds into the pockets of passers by,
Even the miserable old buggers,
Because if there happens to be a hole in their pocket,
Well then, I may be pleasantly surprised.
Too true to be good
If you had told me that I was susceptible to be enthralled by a politician, I would've laughed, and laughed, and then laughed some more..
But listening today on UTube to a recent Obama speech on uphill struggle to pass the health reform bill, I couldn't help wondering yet again whether he's too good to be true, as the peculiar saying goes.
Quite aside from the question of being 'good', - while I happen to believe his health reform is a good thing, there are clearly quite a lot of others who don't,- what he says here is not a bad commandment for a life in general, in politics or not:
"We are not bound to win, but we are bound to be true; we are not bound to succeed, but we are bound to let, whatever light we have, shine."
March 27, 2010
The Beautiful (and winged) Life
I wonder if Winnie the Pooh and Henry David Thoreau knew each other. After all they both lived happily in the woods (different countries and centuries, but that's a detail!) and as a result of that experience left words full of insight that resonate to this day.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" is probably a sentence that Thoreau is most well known by, and oft quoted. In 1845 he builds a simple hut in the forest in New England and lives there, by the shore of Walden Pond, for two years. He reads, he writes, he observes Nature, he reflects. The result is "Walden, or life in the woods", a strange and wondrous book.
A second-hand copy of Walden landed on my floor some days ago, courtesy of a very aptly named bookseller Forest Reads, and I'm in the middle of it. Here is a paragraph, chosen carefully, not least because it's almost Easter. Also, because it might make Tess smile..
"Everyone has heard the story which has gone rounds of New England, of a strong and beautiful bug which came out of the dry leaf of an old table of apple-tree wood, which had stood in a farmer's kitchen for sixty years, first in Connecticut, and afterward in Massechusetts, - from an egg deposited in the living tree many years earlier still, as appeared by counting the annual layers beyond it; which was heard gnawing out for several weeks, hatched perchance by the heat of an urn.
Who does not feel his faith in a resurrection and immortality strengthened by hearing of this?
Who knows what beautiful and winged life, whose egg has been buried for ages under many concentric layers of woodenness in the dead dry life of society, deposited at first in the green and living tree, which has been gradually converted into the semblance of its well-seasoned tomb,- heard perchance gnawing out now for years, - may unexpectedly come forth to enjoy its perfect summer life at last!"
Said not quite in the succinct and to-the-point style of Pooh, but you can't have everything.
God Bless the Angry
God bless the angry.
Hold the hurt child,
Who can not lower their defences
And refuses to allow anyone close.
Hold the pain that is so big inside,
That it causes spiteful actions against others.
Hold the fear that is too difficult to face,
The all consuming anger,
That keeps others at arms length,
Even those who could help.
It must be so hard to live life like this.
God bless the angry.
Angela is a superstar!
Hooray! No euros!
In praise of Clarity
Not being on Twitter, I'm going to stretch myself out to a full langorous post.
I had a week of it - not only did I see Patti Smith, the week before I went to the Van Gogh exhibition like a million others. Even before I'd graced the steps of the Royal Academy, I was overcome with the queue spilling into the street at 9.30 on a weekday morning for a painter who'd never sold a painting in his lifetime. Once in, and behind the many heads, it was so powerful to trace his journey. I was cheeky enough to decide I didn't like his brush strokes (bit like saying Michelangelo could get better with his light and dark but anyway....) He could have stayed a consummate landscape artist and no doubt sold some stuff. But more than that, despite no money he remained convinced of his vocation and pursued it against all odds. Just like Patti Smith.
They are both calling me at the moment as I work out how to follow my star. I certainly did not have that conviction at 20 like they did. But I firmly believe it's never too late! Patti Smith talked about the amazing first page of her book where her earliest memory was going to the park with her mother. On the water she saw a huge white bird with a long neck and beak, its wings rising out of the water. She was entranced and her mother, seeing her daughter's delight, said "Swan" to teach her the word. Young Patti was hugely disappointed by this. How could a silly one syllable word like that describe the reality of what she saw in front of her? She describes this as her first creative impulse.
I don't know how some people have the courage and bloody mindedness to listen to those impulses while the rest of us struggle to believe they are important enough to give them the space they so deserve but I'm grateful to Van Gogh, Patti Smith and all the artists who felt do or die and lived it. From the outside their clarity is deafening but maybe it did not feel like that from the inside. Clarity is a much under-rated virtue but as a foggy minded creature, I'm enjoying a bit of it at last!
Now to see, whether all will be obscured by euros and trademarks.
March 26, 2010
What I did today
In the spirit od Winnie the Pooh and the Twitter, just a very brief post.
Today I did Nothing Much, but I did it very well indeed.
And was just wondering how I managed to Fit It All In..
Hmm, it's Time for Little Something now.
All is not well.
All is not well in my work place, one member of staff has decided to take out a complaint against another member.
Now remaining unbiased I can not say for certain whether there is any truth in these complaints. What I can say is there is nothing in them, that I have not witnessed the accuser doing to other members of staff, normally those who are less senior, on more than one occasion.
I for one am fed up with listening to her crazy rampant attacking projections also known as CRAP!
The expertise of Angela
Does Angela also fix drains?
'The ghost of short sentances'
Keeping up with the Parkstar, I have joined Twitter!
This means I am learning a new way of writing, having only 140 spaces to use, everything I say has to be short and concise.
The way I learn is that my pooh bear small brain goes into overdrive, in this case 'Twitter mode'. The result being that my work mates now believe I have been taken over by 'the ghost of short sentances'.
One example, when taking the babies outside to play, was this 'The sun is shining,the door is open, little people go forth and explore'
If you would like read what I'm saying and even join in yourself, find me on Twitter by looking for shellie wright in the 'find people' directory.
Go on 'Make my day'
March 25, 2010
Thanks Angela. I wondered if it was about that. I wait with bated breath to see if my next post looks like a page from the Financial Times. Tess x
March 23, 2010
Just to help Tess (and others) out with the euro signs etc, the way to avoid these is to type your entry directly into the website itself, not to copy and paste from another document. If you do copy and paste, you then need to go through your piece re-typing all the apostrophes, inverted commas and hyphens etc. This may solve the problem!
Your one wild and precious life
Lest I appear greedy, its me again - unlearning all the grammar I ever learnt so that my apostrophes and inverted commas dont appear as euros and trademarks. Many apologies for all my posts that share this problem. I am trying to get the blog techno on the matter.
But, as Im back I share one of my favourite poems that has been very present to me this last week and I think unites my tributary post with the flow of the main river below.
The Summers Day - Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean- the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down
- who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention,
how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesnt everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
One Less Layer
Today is a new day.
Yesterday I discovered something in myself,
Not something I can box neatly,
Not something that has ready answers.
But by being present to my body reactions,
The unconscious became conscious.
As of yet, I am not sure what this will mean,
But a layer was peeled away,
And ultimately I trust,
This will be good.
"Jesus died for someone's sins but not for mine"
O dear! I wrote the following post without catching up on the wonderful flow of posts over the last few days. I fear I might be out of step except with Albert Einstein.
Well, just as out of character as last year (see one of my posts from around the same time) I became an interloper once more at Oxford's Literary Festival. I felt just as out of place - it is for people way beyond my class or people like Marzena who genuinely and passionately love books (which I love that she shares on the blog) but I'm not a great reader, although being a writer, I appreciate good words. This year however, I went to worship at the feet of the High Priestess of Rock - Patti Smith which meant most of us in the audience didn't fit in the festival either. Patti herself was overcome with being in the grounds of a "school" she'd like to have been to and walking on the same grass as Lewis Carroll but her university was the Chelsea Hotel in 1969 which doesn't compare in my book!! It is the second time I've seen her and I think she is the most complete person I've ever encountered - warm, funny, wise, bright as anything, beautiful, inside and out, powerful, but most of all strong. How did she know when she left her country home age 20 and arrived in New York with no money, no bed, no food that she was an artist. The interviewer asked her and she said "I had nothing except my vocation but that was absolutely certain." I find her clarity so moving - to have known her star so young and followed it. She talked about that ground-breaking first line of Horses and said, what I have always heard when she sings it - it wasn't about religion. It was about nobody else taking responsibility for her petty mistakes. It was a young person's statement of existence. I'm tempted to say Patti for everybody's mother, lover, president, sister but actually priestess is what she is - a true artist who focuses her path so singularly that she inspires the rest of us to discover ours and do the same.
March 22, 2010
River runs through it
In the name of going with the flow of the last few blogs, and touching on the river wisdom of Winnie the Pooh and Siddhartha, I just wanted to post a quote from that poster-boy for Science, Albert Einstein.
Although clearly not in the same league as Pooh's observation that "Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day", the following is not entirely stupid either, despite some rather long words very likely to Bother our Bear with Very Little Brain:
"A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of cosciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
Quite reassuringly, Einstein is also said to have written this:
"I have firmly resolved to bite the dust, when my time comes, with a minimum of medical assistance, and up to then I will sin to my wicked heart's content."
Not a saint then, thank God!
The bear truth
Oh, the sycnchronicity of it all! Who said there there isn't a God - or at least a Significant Other?
The thing is, I was going to put up some wisdom today, which Siddharta - from the novel of the same name by Herman Hesse - learned from the river. And then I discover that Winnie the Pooh has got there before me and the enlightened Siddharta - and more succinctly. What a bastard.
Still, hey ho, I'm here now, and in honour of both the two previous blogs, because it draws from each, we discover Siddharta, now an old man, reflecting on his life, which has erred and strayed in many directions.
His conclusion, however, is that he needed to sin; that he needed lust, vanity, the desire for possessions and terrible despair.
And why? 'in order to give up resistance,' he says, 'and in order to learn how to love the world; in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished for or imagined; some kind of perfection I had made up - and instead, simply to leave it as it is and to love it and enjoy being part of it.'
This certainly bears reflection.
March 21, 2010
Winnie the Pooh Day, being the Day of Grand Thoughts about Nothing.
The spring has sprung, the grass is ris'. I wonder where them birdies is?
I spent the first two days of this year's official summer in the country, visiting friends. Both grass and birds were in evidence, as was little Rosie - my friends spirited baby daughter. She is amazing, highly vocal and, as her father says, "made of stardust". Her own 'path' or 'journey' on this planet has just began..
As that brilliant philosopher-bear with Very Little Brain said:
"Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known."
March 20, 2010
The path I've walked has taken me through many landscapes,
Sometimes I've walked confidently along aware of a bigger Heartbeat,
Sometimes happiness has bubbled up inside and I've broken into dance,
At other times I've ran with my eyes closed too scared to look,
I've rested by the River of Tears and visited the Garden of Sadness,
I've fallen, I've dragged myself along, I've picked myself up,
I've left behind many things that at one time seemed important,
Looking back I embrace my whole journey,
For without it, I would not be who I am today,
And today I sit peacefully infront of The Truth Mirror.
Tomorrow who knows? - the journey continues.....
March 19, 2010
The path to this point
I've been aware recently of people looking back on the path that has led them to this point, and being overwhelmed.
They see so much stupidity, so many shameful actions, so many erors! They feel again the disgust, the disappointments and the troubles; and all for what? Did it have to go like this?
If it has been a journey, it feels only like one big detour away from the sweet fields of what is strong and hopeful, and towards the wasteland of foolishness and despair.
Yet maybe it has to be so, for us to become children again, and to start afresh. Maybe we have to unlearn our learning. Maybe we have to sleep badly in order to sleep well? Maybe the path must be allowed.
And whatever else has died, and much has, it isn't the sparrow of hope singing inside you.
March 18, 2010
"The solitude of prime numbers"
The blurb on the book by the celebrated young Italian author Paolo Giordano"The solitude of prime numbers" says:
"A prime number is a solitary thing: It can be divided only by itself or by one; it never truly fits with another."
Today I feel that I must be a prime number..
If so, is there really an infinitude of us?
March 17, 2010
It's a fair cop
There's more talk in the papers today about a new mind-altering substance on the market, and popular in clubs and schools.
Lots of people shocked, demanding action, bans, that sort of thing.
But I'm having fish and chips tonight, and that always alters my state of my mind.
So does that make it a mind-altering substance?
And if so, should I be taking myself down to the police station shortly after finishing?
March 16, 2010
When life flows through me
Unhindered by my many moods
I hear freedom callling
"Put down your baggage and follow me"
The long wait is over
Well, my friends - or 'my fiends' as I fist typed it - the long wait is over.
No, not spring - though the daffodils in my window box are giving me an unseemly amount of pleasure.
But I did say that this would be the first place where the new title for the paper back version of 'The Beatiful Life' would appear: and having heard this afternoon, here it is...
..wait for it....
...'The Journey Home - Ten New Commandments for discovering your true self.'
They have followed your lead in this decision; the idea of homecoming was popular in the replies I recieved. The editor at Bloomsbury feels it best sums up the book, and I agree.
So thank you for all your responses. They've sent me the new cover as well, which we'll try to get up on site soon.
The book itself, however, doesn't appear until January 2011.
Now with that done, its back to more important things, more real things, more present things.
Ahhh, that's better!...too much halllucinating is dangerous...
March 15, 2010
closing door on the subject
Lest you think I display morbid tendencies (okay, I can see that it might be to late to stop you..), and on a final note on the subject - the scull on my shelf, though very life-like in appearance (life-like, a scull?!) is actually made of stone and weights over 3kg. Useless for holding in one hand and staring at in a "Alas, poor Yorick" fashion; great as a doorstop on the other hand.
Marzena's marvellous skull-shopping reminded me that in a monastery in Middle Egypt, they keep the skulls of all former monks, piled high in an outhouse where the tools are kept.
Clearly, this keeps rampant monastic vanity at bay, but can cause shock for any visitor who goes in, and is feeling around in the half-light for a spanner or a rake.
I dont have a skull on my table, but as I've mentioned before, I have an empty bowl, inviting me into the endlessly dismantling and creative death of nothingness now.
It doesn't preclude either following or being followed; just makes the whole business rather more sprightly, joyful and ridiculous.
Allow what is
Accept what is
Feed yourself with nourishing thoughts
Allow yourself to be held
March 14, 2010
Do you follow me?
Those of you who have been following my utterings here will know that I've been shopping for an hourglass lately. Now, before I update you on that, a short digression on the subject of 'following' and being 'followed'.
Those who use Twitter will know exactly how many followers they have. Take for example the king of twittering Stephen Fry who has over one million 'followers' and is himself following no less than 34.000 (yes, 34 thousand and no doubt growing- why would you stop at that number?..) fellow twitters. Now, I respect that.. I respect that a lot!
Here, God only knows how many follow my occasional words of what broadly speaking passes for wit and wisdom, and I would rather keep it this way. But I wonder, how many digital grains of sand pass for some each day on the business of following and being followed.
Back to my quest for the perfect hourglass, dear Reader - I have found one only today! The stallholder insisted on calling it an egg timer, which sounded far too utalitarian to my ear; I prefer the more poetic 'hourglass'.
It's made of wood (and glass), it's aged, imperfect, beautiful - very Wabi-sabi in fact (and if you're my true follower, you'd know the meaning of that!).
It is to sit next to a scull, a flower, and a candle, in Vanitas style still-life. It has no intrinsic value (except as an egg timer) but its symbolic value is what matters. Like all status symbols (fancy cars, watches, designer clothes, mansions) its value is in what it represents.
I have got myself the ultimate status symbol then, for our real status on this earth is one for all - Mortality.
Are you following?!
The Sad Game
Sometimes when I am feeling low and unhappy, it is easier to look outside myself for the cause.
When it is difficult to sit with myself, when I ache for someone to make it better.
Hitting out and blaming others often gives short term release,
But it is only ever short term
It is not truth and therfore leaves me feeling worse than ever.
My friend Hafiz wrote these words:
Keeps the sad game going.
keeps stealing all your wealth
Giving it to an imbecile with
No finacial skills.
Now there is a wise man!
March 12, 2010
Nice preemptive strike, Simon, but we all know it's because of Vanity that you've joined the twittering 'community'. It's all right - we are not judgemental!
Myself, I have been shoping lately.
I know it's not so unusual in the 21st century Britain, even in a recession, as to merit a mention here. But my shopping is different. For I've been driven and inspired by Vanity, you see, or strictly speaking - Vanitas.
Vanitas paintings were mostly 17th century, mostly Dutch, still lives depicting arrangements of flowers, coins, perfume bottles, books, jewelry and other worldly objects, next to symbols of transience and brevity of life: a scull, a candle, an hourglass. You can see some nice examples of Vanitas paintings online.
I must have seen them many times before, but wasn't aware it was such a narrow genre. Now I really want one of my own.
So, rather that acquiring an original Vanitas painting (too expensive) or a mass reproduction poster (too cheap), I decided to make my own composition and display it on a side table as an eye-catching memento mori. So far I have found a very handsome scull on Portobello market and am keeping my eyes open for an hourglass.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!
What becomes of a twit?
You can always tell a twit - they start to twitter.
I'm pleading 'diminished responsibility', because it sounds better than 'vanity'.
March 10, 2010
The debate doesn't go on
It's been a long day, but how grateful I was for Marzena's deep boredom with the science versus religion debate.
And of course we best extend this profound sense of tedium to all debate, in which two positions fight for ascendancy. (Sorry - I'm yawning already at the very thought.)
Because of course there is only one position. The world is not a duality, which we can cut up like a cake. Rather, it is a whole, in which only continuums live, gradations of health - but no either/or.
When something is whole, nothing can be separated from anything; or set apart from anything. When something is whole, there can be no labels, for labels splice what cannot be spliced - and thus plunge us into ignorance.
There is no black or white; there is just black and white and every shade of grey in between, all there on the canvass; all part of the whole; all part of the one thing.
Jew or gentile? There are just people.
Me or the tree? There is just life.
Jesus or Buddha? There is just the truth.
Labour or Conservative? There's just the noise.
So the debate doesn't go on. Not until it grows up....
March 09, 2010
Global Atheist Convention
I've just listened to another radio debate between atheists and believers, and as usually, it was profoundly and predictably dull. The perennial Science vs Religion contradiction seems to be as entrenched on both sides of the debate as ever. Very boring.
Albert Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist who ever lived, said that science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind. Yet both sides of the argument used to and still do claim him as one of their own.
Einstein's views were more interesting than that and transcended the silly religious/scientific divide.
He called himself religious, agnostic, pantheist, even atheist at different times, but his position was consistent. It was an attitude of cosmic awe and wonder and a humility before the ineffable, higher intelligence behind the laws of universe, rather than belief in a personal God who takes interest in the lives of individuals.
In his own words:
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle."
The 2010 Global Atheist Convention is taking place in Australia this weekend. Apparently, the tickets were sold out months in advance. One of the speakers is Richard Dawkins (of the God Delusion fame)and that might explain the pull.
Einstein's words from 1940 could easily apply to 2010 Melbourne convention's participants, the self-styled 'Brights':
"Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source... They are creatures who can't hear the music of the spheres."
Not just a genius then, but a wise man to boot!
March 08, 2010
To decipher inner truth
from made up bullshit,
I need to clear the channel,
That connects me to the centre of my being.
When I was new to this world,
This channel was large and open within me,
I experienced myself as one.
With all around me,
Fluid, Giving, Malleable.
But life's inconsistancies,
Brought fear and suffering,
And as I protected myself I hardened,
Reactive, Sharp, Jagged.
But this does not sit easy with me,
It is not the true I,
I have been taken over by an imposter,
Who bless them,
Is convinced that,
What they do is for the best.
The true I is within,
Working to reclaim the channel,
So that the energy of inner truth,
Can always be available to me,
And once again,
I can touch Home,
Reclaim what I lost,
And return to being One with the World.
A truly great and wonderful man
Just picking up on the death of Michael Foot, and in particular, the fond and indeed effusive reaction, even in papers like the Daily Mail.
It reminds me of a sketch in the satirical show 'Not the Nine 0'Clock news', all those moons ago.
There was an interviewer and two politicians ripping into each other in a studio debate. Soon, issues were left far behind as the discussion descended into diatribe and savage personal invective, between two people who clearly loathed each other.
They were hard at it, when suddenly, one of the politicians slumped forward onto the floor, having died of a heart attack. Without pausing for breath, the other politician moved seemlessly into a eulogy for this great and dear titan of democracy..blah, blah...a credit to his party and his country, who will be much mourned and greatly missed...blah, but blah...proud to call him my friend etc. etc.
We do find it hard to value people while they're alive. Van Gogh was not the first to observe that you really need to be dead to be appreciated.
March 07, 2010
A question of perspective.
Since recent earthquake in Chile, time has speeded up.
Literally. According to NASA scientists, the power of the quake may have shifted the Earth's axis, causing faster rotation resulting in shorter days. The time and space has been altered, or should it be 'may have been altered'?
But since the amount of time lost is calculated to be 1.26 microseconds (1,26 millionths of a second!) per day, this isn't really anything to write home about. Nobody will notice and our lives will not be affected by it. So It is big news and quite an insignificant one at the same time.
It's all a question of perspective. I was reminded of the 'pale blue dot' - the famous photograph of the Earth from Voyager's mission taken from the edges or our solar system in1990. Famous astronomer Carl Sagan was moved to say some wonderful things upon seeing it:
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands od confident religions, ideologies,and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, every hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar', every 'supreme leader', every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
You can see the picture and read the whole text online - it's worth the time it takes.
Looking at that picture of a cosmic vastness does freak me out - we're so small, so insignificant, so much like.. nothing..
And then I think: YEAH, EXCEPT TO EACH OTHER.. As I said, it's all a question of perspective.
March 04, 2010
Deserts of the heart
Yesterday, on the 3rd of March, the great Michael Foot died at the grand old age of 96.
He once said: "Men of power have no time to read; yet the men who do not read are unfit for power."
Quite a conundrum, that - as presumably those who do read, mostly have no time for power!
Today, incidentally, was World Book Day 2010. As it is a movable feast, there is no point remembering the date ( note to myself). But as reading appears to be my favourite way of wasting time, this blog entry wouldn't be complete without a literary offering.
And here it is, from W.H. Auden, written in memory of another great poet W.B.Yeats:
"In the deserts of the heart,
Let the healing fountain start.
In the prison of his days,
Teach the free man how to praise."
More about the subject of wasting time is in the pipeline.
As the sun sets on the day, I have been reminded by Marina of those beautiful words of Meister Eckhart, when asked about prayer:
'If the only prayer you say in your life is 'Thank you', that would suffice.
March 03, 2010
The holy grail
And thank you, my friends, for all the responses to the ''New title for 'The Beautiful Life' quest'' (See Feb 23rd blog.)
Its like the search for the holy grail in so many ways.
Quite a few of my suggestions got a vote, but there was a consensus around the themes of 'coming home' and 'being present' and 'essence'. Probably 'Coming Home' was Numero Uno.
There was a vote for 'Escaping the nonsense forest' from Hannah as she gazed out of her office window at Mount Kilimanjaro. Wonderful!
And fellow blogger Marzena suggested 'Touching presence' which I like very much and passed on to Bloomsbury.
No one voted for No.3 in my list, which perhaps says something about the demographic of this web site. Or perhaps just good taste...
There's still time for anyone who wishes to have their say in the matter. And the truth is, it could be you who determines what is to be. Never underestimate the power of your choices.
Anyway, I'll get back to you as soon as I know more. This blog will be the first place to reveal the final choice of title.
Ooh er! It's amazing the things you can get free in life.
March 02, 2010
Concerning toothache - the positives
Looking on the bright side, with a view to improved ratings, the good thing about toothache is that its really very good when it stops.
Toothache does affect mood.
With toothache, for instance, you can find yourself only marginally pleased when you win £40 million on the lottery:
'How will that go with today's prices?' you wonder.
And with toothache, on receiving your heart's desire in toto, with extras, you can muster only slight feelings of irritation at the delay.
'Fat lot of good it is now!'
But when the pain is finally dealt with, and the throb in your mouth relieved, why? -
You skip through the rain!
You laugh at your faulty plumbing!
You celebrate your dodgy knee!
You dance with the traffic warden!
You smile through the abuse!
You barely notice the latest rejection!
Your money worries melt like gorgeous hot butter!
You smile when woken in the middle of the night by the neighbours awful music! Bless them! Bless them all!
And anything anybody asks you is just fine!
...and all because your mouth is at peace, peace at last! Which is the great thing about toothache.
Its so good when it ends.
Just like this blog...