Category Archives: Curiosities

Between Quiet and Solitude

Pegasus Books, Berkeley.
Pegasus Books, Berkeley.

This photograph has been deliberately fuzzed. That’s how my mind was and generally is when in a bookshop of any size. I’m an admirer of book covers, the design and fonts used, the colours and lately the plastic covers. Shining paper is giving way to mat flexible plastic. Feels good in the hand. But, I rarely look inside. I’m not there to buy I’m there because the door’s generally open and I’m irresistibly drawn into the cavern of yet to be explored delights. But, I don’t get past the covers, often.

I know a genuine writer who writes real books, which have been published. The most recent one Every Blade of Grass as a Kindle edition. At Pegasus I made a half-hearted attempt to find him on a shelf, his books, but not having my glasses cut the project short. He says that writers are readers and more importantly, for me, that readers are writers. Aspiring to be a genuine writer I guess I’ll have to get past the covers sooner rather than later. In the mean time books covers are lovely.

But that wasn’t what I had intended to write about tonight. I was sent a link to the most incredible story which I’ve been READING, on and off, for most of the day. The title of the news article is The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit. It is an amazing story of a twenty year old chap who camped out in the woods in Central Maine…for 27 years. He survived by stealing food and supplies as well as books and magazines. It is a gripping tale. I was anticipating a sad ending but no. He went to jail, got a seven months sentence and let out on the understanding he wouldn’t return to the woods. He went back home to live with his mother.

When asked what insight he had into life truths while he was alone in the woods he eventually said, Get enough sleep! Then…

He set his jaw in a way that conveyed he wouldn’t be saying more. This is what he’d learned. I accepted it as truth.

“What I miss most,” he eventually continued, “is somewhere between quiet and solitude. What I miss most is stillness.”

Thanks to Julius for the link.

The Household Cavalry Goes for a Swim!

I’m so pleased to hear that the horses we see working so hard at being still and disciplined during, for example the Trooping The Colour, get to let their hair down just a little bit during the three weeks they are stabled in Norfolk. We all need to take the opportunity to go for a swim, enjoy the sunshine and generally relax. I’m managing some of that in deepest Northumberland as I gather myself to fly to Vancouver Canada on the 19th July.

The Household Cavalry, the oldest regiment, come to Norfolk each summer for three weeks for their “holiday” and to do particular manoeuvres otherwise unavailable to them; part of that is coming to Holkham beach and swimming in the sea.  We’ve always wanted to go but never found out when they’re there.  Success this year!

It was wonderful to see them! The horses have a great time, particularly those who dismount their riders and gallop about freely on the sands or dump their riders in the sea!(as you will see on one of the photographs.)

Many thanks to my colleague in Norfolk for the photographs and message above.

This post is for a friend who broke her leg and as a consequence is facing a disappointment. My thoughts. Enjoy the sight of these beautiful horses as they enjoy themselves in the sea.

Contemplating Pop Culture and Spiritual Content

Spiritual Pop Culture Analyzing Spiritual Themes in Pop Culture Well I am still amazed Jademountains is listed in the Blogroll of this website. OMG just seen that the tag line to the blogroll entry reads ‘Beautifully written’! Blimey, and many thanks. There’s a lot of interesting content in this site for those who have had anything to do with pop culture – ever.

Here’s an older post from February 2013 Oscar Spirituality: Rebels, History Revisionists, Relationship Neurosis and Spiritual Battles but doesn’t suffer for that. I’ve seen a number of the films and wouldn’t mind watching them all over again.

Seeing With New Eyes

Earlier in the week I spent time with my American second cousin who was visiting England for the first time. What a pleasure it was to see and appreciate England through her wide open and receptive eyes and heart. It didn’t take long before I was as excited as she was about sheep and cows, stone walls and old buildings built of stone! Really, England is amazing at any time of the year and thank goodness the weather held. We ‘tooled’ around (as she put it) narrow lanes of Lancashire, she was especially enthralled by the vegetation being so lush and so close to the roadside.

We did the statutory garden tour but with a difference. Levens Hall has a historic  Topiary and quite unlike anything I’ve ever encountered anywhere. This area of the gardens had us both disoriented and longing for some order and symmetry. It really was the strange experience to be walking amongst this disjointed collection of ‘bush art’.

I’m left with a sense of gratitude for our time together filled with family stories spanning several generations. In skilled hands it could make a best seller! The pain and sufferings (and joy and fun too) were real enough however in the telling something has dissolved. Perhaps that’s due to a deeper appreciation and acceptance of what they are. Just stories which have no substance, much like air.

The photograph of the Lancaster street seen anew is for Jessica and her daughter. Thank you for opening my eyes to what is commonplace and still magnificent in England. And for welcoming me into your life and history.

Greater Integration of Intention and Action – Book Review

The Hidden Brain is an altogether spectacular read, the kind that gives the best possible hope for changing our minds in the most necessary direction there is – toward more fairness, greater self-awareness, and a vital integration of our intentions and our actions.

The Hidden Brain: How Ocean Currents Explain Our Unconscious Social Biases from Brain Pickings.

The review of The Hidden Brain on Brain Pickings makes for disturbing reading especially since at first glance, a superficial glance at the cartoon style drawings, you might dismiss the whole review. I advise reading on. Fascinating and informative to say the least.