Shrouded Mountains

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‘Shrouded Mountains’

 

“I enter the world called real as one enters a mist” – Julien Green

You would think, wouldn’t you, that getting to reality, or even a sense of the real, would be easy or obvious.

We can tell an object is real because we can see or touch it.

Not so matters of life and the soul.

There is often the pain of the upwards mountainous trudge and the sheer f**king foggy uncertainty of it all.

Not immediately knowing what is true, and not getting to any semblance of the truth any time soon.

It is only step by faltering step, day by grinding day, that we find our shrouded reality.

Now To Spread Yer Wings

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‘Now To Spread Yer Wings’                                                                    April 2020

 

If, right now, you more time than usual to contemplate your lockdown self, consider this:

You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling. So don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly”.

– Rumi

(and try not to shit on others from great heights when you get there)

   .

 

Angst

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‘Angst’

” If you ask me what the most grotesque thing about alcoholism was I’d have said, indeed I did so over and over to anyone who asked – and plenty who didn’t – it wasn’t the physical stuff, it wasn’t the humiliating death stuff… it was the sadness. I called it my angst. A suitable august, Germanic word for a basement depression that was fathomless and occasionally erupted in gasping panic. And even when locked away it would seep out and sour every other emotion, like bitters in milk. Alcoholic despair is a thing apart, created by the drink that is a depressant, but also the architect of all the  pratfall calamities that fuel it. Alcohol is the only medication the drunk knows and trusts, a perfectly hopeless circle of angst, and it is powered by a self-loathing that is obsessively stoked and fed. And it’s that – the personally awarded, vainly accepted disgust – that  makes it so hard to sympathise with drunks. Nothing you can say or do comes close to the wreaths of guilt we lay at our own cenotaph.”

–  A.A .Gill, from “Pour Me: A Life.” (highlights mine, as were the lowlights…)

Doors Closed, Eyes Open

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“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”

– Alexander Graham Bell

The first part of this quote is almost a cliché.

It is, fortunately for us, very often true.

The second part is a wisdom to bear in mind though.

I can personally attest to lingering at closed doors ,thus missing out on openings, but I have learnt over time to quickly look elsewhere when something just isn’t to be .

The photo is of some of the most impressive doors in my bag of pictures, just to remind myself that a beautiful closed door is still just a closed door…

 

Never The Twain…

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 “If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way.”

    – Mark Twain

Pictured recently, yours truly, seated with a bronze statue of the great man (real name: Samuel Clemens). As close as I will get to meeting him!

I have long admired Twain’s wry humour and sage veracity.

Like the quote above – you laugh first and then the wisdom drags you in and sits you right down, as you reflect on hard life lessons.

I sometimes feel his writing gets me, rather than the other way around.

When I was a young man I took a Greyhound bus from Chicago to New Orleans ( helluva long ride!), and the road more or less followed the Mississippi River south after St. Louis. My best companion on the journey was Twain’s ‘Life On the Mississippi’, published in 1883 . A great read  – fantastic tales of diverse folk, working and up to all sorts otherwise, on the river back in the day (it’s well worth searching out).

It just made my trip feel damn boring by comparison though…

Through The Twilight

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“You cannot, in human experience, rush into the light. You have to go through the twilight into the broadening day before the noon comes and the full sun is upon the landscape.” – Woodrow Wilson

 

Those words sum up my own experience; my picture recreates its memory and serves as a reminder.

When you know a darkness, it is tempting, when you are leaving it, to want to parade in the fullness of light.

However, in the ‘tween time – the twilight – you get to really know show the shapes and forms of the important things, dimly lit as they are.You feel them deeply, even as you peer though the mystical interplay of shadows and light.

There will be plenty of time for full light to illumine all the details…

 

Avoid The Void ?

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“Sometimes we do not want to avoid the Void. When someone gives us flowers, it’s nice to have an empty vase. Finding an empty train carriage is a stroke of luck; an empty motorway is almost a miracle. Making the first pen strokes in an empty notebook or the first steps in an empty new house are sources of pure delight.”

  -Louise van Swaaij & Jean Klare,‘The Atlas Of Experience’

For a void is not nothing! Even if  a void is a scary prospect, it is also the realm of the infinite possible.

 

New Adventures

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So, off on the big bird to Great Britain and Spain today.

The thrill of the new ,and of an adventure half a world away beckons.

I really like this quote from Bill Bryson which neatly encapsulates why travel is so beneficial for you:

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted”

I expect to see plenty of things familiar to others, but novel to me, to feed this blog and hope to share them with you.

First things first, though….where the hell are my sleeping pills and earplugs for the 29 hour flight from New Zealand?

A Whole Handful

 

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Five fingers, a whole handful, of toetoe plumes in the still Auckland evening.

All you can hold in the moment, and the moment is all you have.

“From one seed a whole handful: that was what it meant to say the bounty of the earth” – J.M.Coetzee

Little moments, even quiet ones, are full in themselves but are also seeds of abundance.