Listen.. can u hear breathing?.. r u alive?

It’s been a while since I uttered some nonsense – that could be good be a good sign… then again…

You won’t fly until you truly let go… you’ll not feel the song until you really hear it… you can’t stretch until you truly wake up…

Easier said than done!?
As Keats inferred, unheard melodies are [probably] sweeter…

A while back I commented: “Listen….. can u hear breathing?… ”
A (heard?) tweet recently mentioned: “Breath is the thread that ties creation together” Morihei Ueshiba

Over the period of lent (I’m not getting in to what that should or does mean), I have gone-without, indeed forsaken, the habitual podcasts etc on my commute to and from work. I enjoy taking in ‘cultcha’ as much as most, be it ‘new music’ or ‘old chestnuts’, intellectual debate or documentary etc.
I’ve occasionally felt the pangs to be ear-plugged (or car stereo) into info- and enter-tainment and inbibe some stimulating amusements (as Neil Postman highlighted) or I guess some digital numbing narcotic. But for the last few weeks I’ve gone without.

‘Entertain’ can mean to hold the attention of, to divert, consider, cherish, maintain…
A favourite bible verse of mine has always been “Where your treasure is there is your heart also” Matthew 6:21 – amongst other things, to me, this means; what you cherish is what essentially makes you, you are what you think and feel, and even; all things fade and therefore so will you…

The Sahara Desert Drive
Em & I being driven through the Sahara - he laughed when we asked for seat belts, then drove like a maniac!

Without the distracting opiate of one’s earphones, one of the encounters on my commute now is birdsong. From light field-song of small twittering birds to heavy crowing in the wooded areas. Even in the town, birds are prolific if one can just notice them. The rowan trees at the end of my commute are always a stage for nature of some sort.
When you cycle, you cannot fail to notice the ‘nature’ of traffic, people and yourself. We rush to get there, we must catch the one in front, we are already at our destination not noticing where we actually are, we disregard rules of the road and society. It’s hard to remain objective but it seems the nature of people in traffic amplifies attitudes that are inherent in all of us. It also amplifies perspectives and priorities….

It may be a stage of life, but recently I’ve found myself entertaining the natural world and creation more than previously. The Sun is such a powerful phenomena, we take it for granted but just think how it really effects your life. Drugs like Coffee, Chocolate, Cheese… that’s another thing. As you know, our household has pets; gerbils, a budgie and fish. I hanker for The Beeb’s Spring/Autumn/Winter Watch. Some of Country File and iplayer’s factual science and nature offerings are tonics to the daily routine. Loving Tim Spall’s “…at Sea” at the mo. Seeing wild birds fly, rabbits, grouse, frogs, cats prowling… weather… it’s life.

Listen….. can u hear breathing…?

Again Mr. Keats put it beautifully:
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty: that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”


Pilgrimage, going outside for some time…

Gotta make it positive! (says the little sprite on my right shoulder).  Awwh *!£#@!##%! !*#&*! (says the little !*#&* on t’other)…

It must have been 15 years or so ago that I wrote “We’re going outside, I may be sometime…”

Sun sets on St Ives
Sun sets on St Ives
‘We’re going outside and we may be some time’
Twenty-five years I grew, nurtured on Cornwall and the Cornish manner, the Cornishness that is now part of me. I still day-dream, of a ‘T’ shirt that announces “I’m Cornish and proud of it…” …is that all I have to cling to? (I haven’t even got this day-dream of mine).
I spent a childhood full of Cornwall’s riches: pebbles a sand, fIzzypop in cans, wind and rain, tunnels, holes, alleys & bunkers, vast sun-scorched gorse torched views, I could see both coasts from our bathroom window.
Spirits of the sea always whisper to me, the loudest whispers I’ve ever heard. I’ve heard in Leicestershire, Crewe and Nice, I saw a little red boat barely afloat.
I cried at the beauty surrounding me as the holidayers screamed and sizzled and I laughed. I sat alone at the end of the phone, I ran with the gang, at low tide, across St Ives Bay, on new years day. We drank and we sang and played in the band. Gran bought saffron buns at Sunday-school treat, and pasties and pasties and pasties. Slept in the snow on the rocks on Carn Brea, laughed at what nan a grandad would say (that’s not the grandad that died in the fishing boat accident). Ate winkles with pins and vinegar picked from Porthleven harbour, got filthy. Held on tight as the storm wind rips so hard it bites. Sat in a haystack in the sun and got covered in mites. I’ve lay for hours and been soaked up by the whole of Mounts Bay, on the clearest ever, hottest ever, hottest ever day. Walked home at midnight from to Camborne from Hayle, met a girl in Redruth and another in St Just, got drunk in Crantock, earnt a wage in St Ives ‘ saw a dream in St Austell, learnt some verbs in Fowey… grew towards man from boy in Cornwall…
…only, they’re all memories.
I return and see the most rugged of faces smile and share the day like children returning to play, waves so worn from years of scorn, skies so blue they seem brand new. A scarred town refuses to frown, yet sings and raises its glasses, everywhere I look I see me and I see pasty smiles, rugby miles, unique Cornwall style saying this is us but we do say we.
I’ve moved away now, don’t know why, but I know I can’t go back. Jane’s not there, Craig’s gone, David’s moved off, So has Jon. Matthew’s in Manchester, Lisa’s in Suffolk, Richard’s in Cardiff, Kay’s in Bath, Lee is in Luton and Mark is in Crewe, and I’m in Leicester for something to do. Cornwall, in essence, has everything, God and the Devil are surely within. but it hasn’t got what I’m looking for. . . . what am I looking for?
I’m going outside and I may be some time…

I caught a podcast recently where Ernie Rea and his guests discussed “Pilgrimage”.
Beyond Belief’ BBC Radio 4 : “Every year more than 100 million people around the world go ‘on pilgrimage’, the biggest mass migration of people on the planet. Two and a half million Muslims visited Mecca for last year’s Hajj and over 600,000 visited Graceland to worship at the shrine of Elvis Presley. Is there something in the human psyche which seeks fulfillment from… [pilgrimage]?”

I understand pilgrimage to be: a journey outside the norm or an escape to something significant – typically aiming for a place of importance central to or ‘at the heart of’ a person’s world view. A seeking to discover, understand or be healed? The ‘quest’ is sometimes linked with oracles and finding a source of counsel or understanding. It would seem this is a common human experience that has been specifically studied and written on widely.

To venture outside of the norm…
I read books to discover? escape? understand?
I watch films to discover? escape? understand?
I listen to music to discover? escape? understand?
I sing and play music to discover? escape? understand?
I cycle to discover? escape? understand?
I surf the web to discover? escape? understand?
I imbibe festival and celebrations to discover? escape? understand?
I wander the countryside to discover? escape? understand?
I feed the birds and talk to my pets to discover? escape? understand?
I live to discover? escape? understand?

Most weekends we have a holiday “Holy Day” where we make an effort to do something to discover, escape, understand or experience something out of the ordinary.
Are we ourselves on an ongoing macro-(micro?)-pilgrimage to the outside?

I wonder as I wander… outside for sometime…


Time to snap?

Had to stop and snap the sunrise.

Thankfully the sun rises (or the UK turns in view of the sun) each morning. It also sets equally regular.

Here in the UK, energy is given and time to rest is given. The weather and clouds might confuse matters at time but it’s still there.

It was once written:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to   be born   and a time to   die
   a time to   plant   and a time to   uproot
a time to   kill   and a time to   heal
   a time to   tear down   and a time to   build
a time to   weep   and a time to   laugh
   a time to   mourn   and a time to   dance
a time to   scatter stones   and a time to   gather   them, 
   a time to   embrace   and a time to   refrain   from embracing, 
a time to   search   and a time to   give up
   a time to   keep   and a time to   throw away
a time to   tear   and a time to   mend
   a time to   be silent   and a time to   speak
a time to   love   and a time to   hate
   a time for   war   and a time for   peace..


Sunrise Sunday, ultimately faulty?

Woken this morning by a poorly daughter – (barking like a seal on silk-cut). Bless her, she’s suffering this weekend. Calpol and ‘stuff’ are hopefully doing their thing.
So a bedtime cuppa for the wife and ‘Milkshake (5)’ for t’other little lady, and off out on the pedals for an hour. The outing was briefly awesome!

After a twittering with Martyn Joseph last night (sorry Wales – gutted for u!) I’ve booked some tickets for Nov. It’s been 5+ years since I saw MJ after probably 20+ years of seeing him at least once a year!
So I stuck an album on the pod which for the last few years sat collecting dust. The old MJ stuff has just not been resonating in the last few years, even a bit of a turn off… I’ve been on a different track recently.
This morning some of his offerings did again almost ring with recent recovering thoughts and feelings.
Can’t sum up the experience save to say the ride was bracing. 3°C, 8.30am, rabbits, pheasants, birds of all kinds but notably buzzards. We have what must be a family (4 or 5) that live nearby and this morning one joined me on my ride for a minute. It soared over the hedge and followed me along the road for 20-30 seconds before circling a field and perching in a roadside tree – oh I wish I had the Lumix, alas the HTC wasn’t up to the job.
At the moment I’m tentatively reading ‘The Shack‘, a library angel put it in my hand! (Another story). I’ll report back if i survive it.
I’d like to list the other cultural material that’s popping and fizzing at the mo. but can’t think. Let’s just say stuff’s simmering and I occasionally get a whiff of something stimulating… we’ll see… hope it doesn’t boil dry.
Highs on the ride this morning were utterly ecstatic; I find myself laughing out loud as I reach a summit or simply a hint of epiphanic ‘life’; we then roll back down to norms and onward…
My only concern at the mo is that ‘glory’ goes to my perception of seemingly ‘natural’ phenomena while I avoid the death and natural ‘fall’ also abundant around us. I rejoice over ‘life’, and it seems it’s the ‘human’ interference and conceptions that fail and mar the outlook.  Nature is a harsh if beautiful thing, I wonder if humanity can be beautiful as well as harsh and ultimately faulty.

Natural – Human?