Monday, 21 January 2019

+.+.+ where is your attention?

"all of humanity's problems stem from man's
to sit quietly in a room alone"
wrote the French philosopher 
Blaise Pascal
waaaay back in the 1600's

before smartphones and internet
and all those distracting things

screens we look at when we wake
manipulated algorithms
edited social online lives

technology is an easy scapegoat
we can kid ourselves
whatever it is or isn't
have we been manipulated?
we have been robbed of our attention

I heard an interesting interview with 
Max Cooper
an electronic artist and biological scientist
mixing science with music 
he went completely offline and into isolation
for a month to record his latest album
freeing himself from interruptions

it's good to have times of disconnection
self imposed restrictions
reconnecting with the things
we enjoyed before
the dopamine surge addiction
when your phone 'pings'

regain control of your attention

Saturday, 19 January 2019

// // // // the power of outside

The Way of Filatiers
voie verte

this "Greenway" was built on the right-of-way 
of the old Lavelanet - Bram railway line 
between Lavelanet and Mirepoix 
I walk along it most mornings
above the village
past gardens
no cars
yes cyclists
mostly juste moi
along the lower path
past the chickens, guinea pigs
howling hunters dogs 
cows with their bells jangling
a timid little black cat
a curious black and white dog
first snowdrops
fields and forest to my left
the best part is my return walk
after living in the very flat county of Essex
most of my life
I've a new love
magnificent mountains 
snow topped 
village rooftops
hazy clouds
never boring

"The object of walking is to relax the mind. 
You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk; 
but divert your attention by the objects surrounding you."

Jefferson wrote in
this letter to Peter Carr in 1785

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

+- retour/depart

 when you're stuck in life's inbetweens
treading water until the next page
small rituals keep you afloat

wake when it is still dark
make a cup of tea
glance at posts online
unroll your yoga mat
eat breakfast

go for a walk ....
at some point the tide will change
and I'll be swept off in a new direction

Monday, 31 December 2018

* oft him anhaga are gebideĆ°

last night I bumped into someone
I have only met once before

a brief conversation ....

"come up for New Years, how many of you are there?"
"just me"
"you'll have to look after yourself"
"oh I do"
"you look different? happy"
"I am!" 

thinking on it
just me
juste moi

it is no bad thing

when you spend enough time being quiet
when you don't speak out loud for a few days
your mind calms
your brain rests
you don't have to edit yourself
or react to the people around you
you choose to be alone for a enough time
to feel at peace

seeking out solitude crosses many cultures
and historical periods
Christian ascetic hermits
Sibyls of ancient Greece
Rishis of Vedic India
all valued the power of 'aloneness'
as a means of initiating transformative experiences

"happiness is inside us, not outside
happiness is conditioned not on what we have
but on who we are"
- Pablo Neruda 

and so here I am travelling into 2019

I got here/I'm still here

huge credit to my backing singers
I'll take the lead

juste moi

you have no idea!

** title translation from The Wanderer
"often the solitary one 
finds grace for himself"

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

what a catalyst you turned out to be

time zips along
it's been two years since I moved here
and in that two years
much has bubbled along
under the surface of the water
while sifting through boxes piled high in a room
boxes of my life before
boxes unopened for many years
a realisation that they are no longer relevant 
to this life

the French have a phrase
'avoir le cafard'
to have the cockroach
the Ariege blues
it could be easy to let that feeling overshadow
but then someone shakes you
takes you out of the room
from the boxes
gets you drunk
and tells you to F off
take a look
think about it

the boxes have been emptied
some remain
much much less
just real precious things
leaving space for more living
less owning
more belonging ....
this morning
a moment
a reminder of why I live and love it here
crisp ice on the windscreen 
see your breath morning
pink sky behind snow topped mountains
music on {loud}
white frosted fields
soul filled
eyes watery
officially here 
to stay
take that Brexiteers

Thursday, 23 August 2018

lavenders blue dilly dilly

while treasure hunting with my friend
we spotted some stems wrapped in ribbon
the lady explained 
it's for your linen
and is made from fresh lavender
yesterday morning we cut the stems
before the heat of the sun
in the shade of the terrace
I stripped the lower leaves 
and flowers
picking 13 stems
and tying them with ribbon 
underneath the flowers
turn the flowers upside down
and bend the stems over
the flowers
then weave the ribbon around
lifting every other stem
tie off then wind around the stems
or not
make a loop
or not
and trim the stems
hang them to dry 
in your wardrobes and armoires

Thursday, 9 August 2018

>>>------> soleil et la fille

it was a good day
to share something creative
with a sweet girl
of 15 years old
an old process
175 years old
this little bird
flew away smiling