Discomfort Zone

Filmed in 1955 Snowdrift at Bleath Gill follows the actions of railway workers who are sent to rescue a snowbound train in the north Pennines.

For those of you who are not caught up in the drama of the unseasonal snow and frigid temperatures we are enjoying in Britain, the news is…we are snowbound! Much of the UK is white, again. Schools are closed, two in the town where I am staying. This morning I swept off the car I am borrowing intending to go shopping, then watching the snow blizzarding across the road I went indoors. And stayed there.

This film seems like a good one to watch given the current weather. Perhaps a reminder to remember those who are out there tonight helping to keep the roads and rails clear for travel. Even so two major crossings of the Pennines are closed this evening. One, the A66, crosses close to where the film was shot.

Meanwhile in Antarctica….a band of climbers are gathering to make the summit of Mt. Vinson. This climb, this being the first of seven climbs, is to raise Alzheimer’s awareness and $1M for research.

And for the intrepid armchair traveler, this.

Extreme conditions, and I am not just talking about the weather, has the effect of helping us to rally round. To rise above and do, and think and achieve great things. Like Alan Arnette and his fund-raising efforts for Alzheimer awareness and research. Like people simply getting out and shoveling snow, when they could be indoors by the fire. Like…well at one time or another most encounter extreme life conditions. And it seems to me it is not the details so much, the drama if you will, it is the heart/mind of those caught up. Our deep ability, built in, as human animals to face adversity, and win through.

However facing adversity isn’t necessary in order to know this. Simply going indoors is an option.

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6 thoughts on “Discomfort Zone”

  1. Thank you, Rev. Mugo, for the posting and film. They did much to remind me of gratitude. These ordinary heroic deeds are so uplifting, regular people doing what needs to be done in the direst of conditions. And please do take care of yourself.

  2. Yes, and of course as you know heroic deeds can be so simple and unheroic seeming. For example I see in the news villagers simply looking after each other, doing shopping for the housebound and/or the elderly. And I am taking care of myself, good and proper by the way.

  3. Thanks so much for “Snowdrift at Bleath Gill.” I watched it during a Shasta snow, of course, but recalled Sartre’s recounting of the Sisyphus myth…indeed how we all push our rocks up the hill, only to watch more fall, frequently. For me, I feel often as if I make many trips around the Wheel, dealing with the same issues, noting some changes/growth as my engine moves forward and then gets stalled again. Sometimes, going “indoors” is just what’s needed. I like the image Pema Chodron used in an article about Renunciation published in Tricycle magazine in 1991, referring to the opening of the heart and its softening as like a raven’s dance, “playing in the wind.” Somehow that lightens the shovel load, makes the ice easier to break up into meltable chunks. Enjoy your winter abode!!

  4. Looks like you got a goodly amount of teaching out of this post. That’s the best of doing this blog, learning about what those of you who read here make of what’s said. So we all learn, together. Great.

  5. Dear Rev Mugo
    Perhaps its because I’ve just been to Throssel for a few days but I particularly liked the narrators turn of phase towards the end “…when things like this happen we get stuck into it and then dig ourselves out…”. So simple. That would be an apt way of summing up my time there on this occasion!
    And thanks for another train movie; one could almost smell the steam, smoke and “spew”. Luke and I have watched it twice now!
    In gassho, Tim

  6. Tim. How good to see you here – a true survivor as well as helper of others to survive in far off lands and countries. And glad you managed to get to Throssel and more importantly for you and for your family, get OUT again. By all accounts the snow is deep, crisp and drifting there.

    I can just see you and Luke drinking in train stuff. Let’s hope you are bringing him up to be a proper train buff. For that you need to have stood on a crossing while a steam train runs under it. Uh! the wonder of it all. That was my one time pleasure as a teen. I consider myself deprived because I didn’t travel on an actual train until I was eleven.

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