Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Me and my big mouth … in and out of my dreams

I visited an old friend whilst I was in Spain this week.  She’s newly widowed after her husband’s very long illness.  She has two small children.  She writes TV scripts and novels for a living, successfully.  Since his death, she's already completed a new novel and she's gleefully inventing a new soap opera.

She explained in so many words how witnessing death and coping with the subsequent legal and procedural and emotional complications had strengthened her and had given her a newly balanced set of principles and criteria for dealing with life’s common dilemmas and contingencies.  To use two well-worn platitudes, she has emerged from the shadows greatly and impressively empowered.  I mean it.  Believe me !

She said, if I remember rightly, that she felt “ready to grasp the world”.

Next day, I sent a fatuous observation that I’m beginning to regret.  I suggested that only megalomaniacs could “grasp the world”: and the rest of us might best hope to swim alongside, and to enjoy our short time with it. 

Clearly, even as I wrote those words, there may have been some tiny splinter of uncertainty about this barely tenable point of view in the back of my mind.  I say this with the benefit of hindsight.

I am a person who dreams vividly, and, amidst the lurid chaos, there are often memorably bright threads of narrative, and clear echoes of events and situations, both ancient and modern, which I feel compelled to reflect on. 

During last night’s dream, I sat with a group of friends in the luxurious atrium of a vast hotel, gleefully rejoicing that because and although the world had just stopped spinning, we were lucky to find ourselves on its sunny side, if a little late in the afternoon. 

Effing hubris is never far away from effing nemesis !  Even in my dreams.

In an instant, the grim thought occurred that although the world might stand still, the mighty oceans would maintain their angular momentum ... and then, all in the one brief moment, looking out of a picture window towards the blazing sunset, we saw a mountainous tsunami approaching.

“Uh oh !”, I said, “Here comes the Pacific Ocean !”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

one blissful moment in spain

a crystal sky

only distant sounds ... one barking dog, one crowing cockerel, some sweet singing from a few little birds, the distant roar of the river in a ravine

and a little green path that leads to silence

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

can you spot the imitation welsh grandad ? yup, that's him alright ... happiest man in the world !

fear not the mysteries of cognitive dissonance, I will sing unto you of the joy of cognitive innocence

then aged about three or four, I remember my first trip on the top of a double decker bus through the Wiltshire countryside … it seemed whilst each succeeding perspective flowed by that each of the little summer fields with their enormous ancient hedges was spinning around

not long after that , i stood on the back seat of a car for the first time and was still unable to grasp the idea of the world’s fixity and so my mind saw the road and the white line that divides it as a huge ribbon gushing out from beneath the back of the car

this morning a large white building on the horizon changed shape several times as I drove towards it until I belatedly recognized the steaming towers of a concrete factory

Thursday, February 9, 2012

3BT on a bright snowy morning

Glimpsed in the front seats of an approaching car, two people are wagging the forefingers of their left hands and are shaking their heads from side to side in perfect synchrony, as if in some kind of dance.  Each is laughing.  Each has bright eyes and perfect teeth.

I disturb a rabbit who has been concealed beneath a bramble patch when I approach the gate of a field still carpeted with snow.  He dashes away, white tail flashing and back feet sending up cloudy spurts of snow that glitter in the morning sunshine.

On the very top of a solitary sunlit tree, high above the snow filled valley of the River Uck, between Hadlow Down and Buxted, a single magpie and a huge old buzzard ( who is three times as large ) are sitting only four feet apart, silent in unruffled repose.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

i haven't seen my brother greg since his last birthday, about a year ago ...

but oh !, these cards of richard bawden's lino prints are far too pretty to part with ...

... so he'll have to make do with michael sowa's leaping pig ... when i can re-discover his current address

... i guess i must have bought a dozen of these over the years, so he'll be joining a sub-group of distinguished recipients, all of whom are held in deepest affection

the lads seem to be having trouble with a simple analogy for wegener's theory

stop press: insomniac gets over-excited by snow, but not so excited he'd want to go out in it ...