Sunday, 20 September 2015

Life & Death

I've just been in the garden cutting the grass and tidying up. It's still looking green and quite lush even though the flowers have now all but gone. Adjacent our garden is a communal plot and some time ago a tree was removed. Putting the clippings in the compost bin I see that the roots seem to be food for this crop of mushrooms! You can see the tree stump (flat to the grass) just left of centre in the picture.

Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus. Fungus forms an important part of the decay process, helping to breakdown wood and recycle the material. This picture shows part of the death of the tree root and the life of the fungus. But whenever I see fungus I can't help but focus on the decay side more than life side of this process. For me, fungus is a process of death. I think this is something to do with the fact that we are so connected with sunlight. Growth for us is connected with light. Plants are green to assist with photosynthesis. Fungus uses the work of the plant it is consuming to get its energy.

Friday, 18 September 2015


A few weeks ago DC and I visited his dad and stepmother. DC's dad has dementia and is thus somewhat confused and appears to confabulate. Yet I wonder just what the relationship between his experience and 'reality' might be. It's quite a question if one stops to consider it. As he has no real purpose there is a sense of waiting about him. Waiting for the next thing to happen, be it say a meal or time for bed. The comings and goings of people seem to exercise him greatly. Most of these people appear to be in his imagination. Again our passing through space and time both in the physical world and in our imagination is perhaps more of a question than we might realise. All this seems to point to our construction of self and its dispersion in dementia. Yet what is it that remains? Our Buddha nature, life energy, ongoing relationship with others? I would say a resounding yes! In a way I can see DC's dad slipping away and yet in another only the form has changed, there is no 'slipping away'. The visit made clear to me just how 'married' DC and I are and how his dad and I are without doubt bonded through that. As we left, DC's dad kissed me goodbye (he's not done that before) and I was moved to tears. I think (before 'enlightenment') we are all waiting in one way or another. And what we are waiting for is the acceptance found in unconditional love. Visible to me in our departure was the connection between the four of us, a connection which at root is this love. Like views up the mountain this love can be seen with degrees of clarity (and sameness). I once directly experienced it as God's love (though it is perhaps better not to try to speak of such things). And I'm quite convinced that our everyday experience of the bonds of a family are of the same love if a different view. I've experienced my own self being somewhat shattered by stress and ill health and yet the glass is not wet by the water, the mirror reflecting experience is not shattered though it does reveal the shattering. Will I wonder, 'I' ever experience that love and the mirror together as my True Self? Not one glimpsed in the other but the unbounded. Paper does not refuse ink, it accepts all, like the mirror, like unconditional love. My experience still contains this duality of loved and lover yet it feels cut through with one. Yet not (yet) One.