In The Netherlands

Temple dog, Tom the handsome one.

Sorry, no postings while I am in The Netherlands.

Have a Heart

In the book A Change of Heart Claire Sylvia tells her story following her heart transplant surgery.

She reported noticing that various attitudes, habits and tastes changed following her surgery. She had inexplicable cravings for foods she had previously disliked. For example, though she was a health-conscious dancer and choreographer, upon leaving the hospital she had an uncontrollable urge to go to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet and order chicken nuggets, a food she never ate. Sylvia found herself drawn toward cool colours and no longer dressed in the bright reds and oranges she used to prefer. She began behaving in an aggressive and impetuous manner that was uncharacteristic of her but turned out to be similar to the personality of her donor. Interestingly, uneaten Kentucky Fried Chicken nuggets were found in the jacket of the young man (her donor) when he was killed. From Organ Transplants and Cellular Memories, Nexus Magazine.

It makes sense that the heart has a mind of it’s own. Makes sense to me anyway. There was a Chanel 4 documentary series called Mindshock, aired last year. One was about heart transplants and the possibility that the heart retains some of the memory of the (now dead) donor. Interesting.

One of my monastic mentors on occasion would say, ‘The body does have a mind of it’s own you know’! He was teaching us to listen, with body-mind. They are not two.

In Kopke Kofie

I wonder who it was that traveled from Exeter St. Davids to Redruth on November 17th 2003. It wouldn’t have been me, I was in America at the time. And anyway only today did I set eyes on The Story of English, which is where I found the rail ticket, used as a book mark.

Tickets and travel arrangements have been occupying me these past days as I prepare to travel to the Netherlands on Monday. Much kindness has been extended by my Dutch hosts with reassurances that people speak English. All the same I’ve written instructions and maps to ease my way once I’m in the country.

English. A common language, what a gift. What a history! Now my eyes have been opened wide I can hardly put the book down.
Perhaps I’ll take it with me on Monday.

The Frisian for cow, lamb, goose, boat, dung, and rain is ko, lam, goes, boat, dong and rein. And the Frisian for ‘a cup of coffee’ is in kopke kofie. The similarity between Frisian and English, both with strong Germanic roots, emphasizes how close English is to German, Dutch and Danish. The Germanic echoes in all these languages betray their oldest and deepest roots. And it is no accident that the Dutch, for instance, often seem to speak English with as much ease as the English themselves. The evidence of a place like Friesland (an area in The Netherlands BTW) suggests that if that linguistic cataclysm, the Norman Conquest of 1066, had not occurred, the English today might speak a language not unlike modern Dutch. From The Story of English, p. 55.

Monkey – A Circus Opera

For centuries, the epic tale of the Monkey King’s journey of enlightenment has been an omnipresent part of Chinese culture, delighting young and old with its heady mix of adventure, mystery and magic. Now, East meets West in ‘Monkey: Journey to the West’, a new production that reinvents the legend with a thrilling combination of music and action.

Manchester International Festival, 28th June – 15th July 2007. The world’s first international festival of original, new work. Good for Manchester.

Ah, remembrance of the Halle Orchestra one sweltering July evening at the Bridgewater Hall.

Yes. Well done Manchester O city of so very many memories.

Long Day, Short Night

On the eve of Midsummer’s Day, many bonfires used to be burnt all over the country. This was in praise of the sun, for the days were getting shorter and the sun appeared to be getting weaker, so people would light fires to try and strengthen the sun. Woodlands Junior School, Kent

It’s mid summers day, the longest day of the year. Certainly felt like a long one to me.

Walking back from meditation this evening there was a certain sadness in the air. Even the grazing rabbits appeared subdued and the young ones were not scampering in their customary way. Soon the nights will be drawing in and in no time it will be February again.

Happy Summer solstice all the same.