Sunday 28 October 2012

Mist on the sea

 Walking on the beach today the combination of sea (with a bit of a swell on it) and the mist gave rise to that sense of the sublime. La Mer... The photos don't quite catch it.

And this tree, still there from back here.

Thursday 25 October 2012


Yesterday, driving through the countryside into town a pheasant strolled out of the vegetation by the roadside and straight in front of the car. I can't remember the exact thoughts and actions but do recall expecting it to take some evasive action. It did not; bumph. Finding a safe place to pull over I got out to inspect the damage, and here is the confession, to the car. The pheasant had gone through the plastic radiator grill and was stuck between the grill and the radiator, its head still moving, tongue out, poking out through the bars. I guessed it was dead and the movements just the nervous system in action. But no, as I took hold of it to pull it out it pulled back. Umm. How to get it out? No easy way and not the best place to stop. I decided to leave it and continue. Getting to my destination I look at the front of the car again. The pheasant had moved and now still trapped its legs dangled down from the front of the car.  I took hold of them and pulled the poor thing out. Aware that I did not know what state it was in and if it would start flapping about I flung it across to the side of the road. All the time aware that this was a living creature and I was not putting it first in my thoughts. I looked to see how it was. Just about alive but clearly not going to live. Just what is the right action? Wring its neck? I don't think I know how. It might also make it for all I know... umm? Ok, leave it there, by the roadside on an industrial estate. I was not into claiming it as road kill for the pot.  I offered a little blessing / mark of respect to it. Let's hope it lacked the capacity to suffer too much.

At this point I stopped writing this post to return to the industrial estate. Back to my room again now. I looked for the pheasant whilst out; flattened. Run over probably by a van. Something about the body squashed sort of adds insult to injury. Not a good day for the poor creature.

What I notice in my response to all this is that to be honest I am not too distressed about the pheasant. I am just left with some minor car damage and that feeling I get when things go unexpectedly slightly pear shaped. Life as they say is dukkha. Should I feel more (compassion) for the pheasant? Is the observation of one's response enough?

Sunday 21 October 2012

An Autumn Day

A pleasant walk along the banks of the river Divie today with two companions. There was a touch of 'Last of the Summer Wine' about our little group and I felt little like Compo at times. That it should have come to this!   LOL. The autumn colours were splendid in places. Photos from my smart phone (first 3 the same scene):

Rob's Boy Scout instinct...
Following the river we came to a steel wire with pulley wires strung across the water. We mused for a while about its use and location of any chair. Rob assessed its tightness and various methods of using such a convenience were aired. Later at a large Beech tree, Rob produced a rope and we proceeded to measure the girth. Once home we looked up the formula and ascertained the age of the tree to be about 230 years...

Like the trio in 'Last of...' we rounded off the trip with a visit to a tea shop.

There is much  in this unfolding of the day; the rubbing along of partly disparate partly similar folk, connecting with nature, the refreshment found in tea and company, the passing of the afternoon and seasons, ageing, the boyish interest in ropes and measuring, looking things up and working things out... And it crossed my mind a few times during the walk 'how open are our eyes to this day?'; this seeing is not just with the eyes either, but with the whole body-mind. Thoughts, emotions, judgements, sights, sounds and other sensations; all pass by. DC and others too were in my thoughts. My attention as ever changing 'size' and focus. I slipped at one point and getting up and  dusting myself down I caught myself just starting to criticize myself for not paying attention. But that had passed by the time we sat with refreshments and met others we knew. The autumn sun gave a memory of summer and a gentle benevolence to the day. Shared contemplation of the fishing paths by the river, of the past workings of large country estates, of the detailing of stonework and the profitability or otherwise of the bookshop across from the cafe / tea shop... This unfathomable mystery of connection and separation, warmth and meaning, isolation /individuation . 

Thursday 11 October 2012

Divine Balance

I've been aware of not posting much of late. Typical Blog waning I suppose. But tonight I've just watched the end of 'Man on Wire".  I am going to watch this again right through. When pictures of Philippe Petit walking out on the wire are shown the divine comes into view. I am bit too tried to write well about this but perhaps the best is just to point to this aspect and the movie. Picking Labels for this post makes the effect more clear. The beauty and tears of those reliving the story make the point. Death and life. Crazy and true.