Mini Golf Shanklin, I.O.W

I have a flickr account where you can see what I’ve seen.

Walking and Talking

To-day I was walking on the narrow light green strip marked South Downs. Wonderful!

On Stane Street crossing the South Downs going south.

Stane Street, sometimes called Stone Street (Stane is simply an old spelling of “stone” which was commonly used to differentiate paved Roman roads from muddy native trackways), is the modern name given to an important Roman road in England that linked London to the Roman town of Noviomagus Reginorum or Regnentium renamed Chichester by the conquering Saxons.

Detail of knapped flint and Flemish Bond brick work in Chichester.

There has been much walking and talking these past couple of days which has been both inspiring and instructive. For example my appreciation of brick walls and their construction has expanded well past anything I’d have imagined possible. Walls were walls, bricks were bricks now I see the art, the creative use of materials involved in the building of structures. Barns, walls, churches and dwellings are a sight to behold in this area of England. And now appreciated bricks all the more for knowing what I’m looking at….

Steve MacLean, Canada’s chief astronaut, who defended Icefields by Thomas Wharton on Canada Reads last week said something rather interesting about perception. What you see is (very often) a function of what you know.

Listen to Steve MacLean talking about Thomas Wharton’s Icefields and Tom talking about what glaciers taught him about time and change.

Here we are again back on the subject of time and knowing.

Here and Now

Here are my hosts of the last two days moving towards Chichester Cathedral.

We walked around the old walls of Chichester this morning. There’s Greyfriers where William Blake was tried for….? Following the thread of interest (and curiosity) Wikipedia gave us the answer.

He (William Blake) rejected all forms of imposed authority; indeed, he was charged with assault and uttering seditious and treasonable expressions against the King in 1803, though he later was cleared in the Chichester assizes of the charges. The charges were brought by a soldier called John Schofield after Blake had bodily removed him from his garden, allegedly exclaiming, “Damn the king. The soldiers are all slaves.”[17] According to a report in the Sussex county paper, “The invented character of [the evidence] was … so obvious that an acquittal resulted.”[18] Schofield was later depicted wearing “mind forged manacles” in an illustration to Jerusalem.[19]
Wikipedia entry for William Blake.

Blake lived in Sussex as do my hosts. At the renewal of their marriage vows they had the following piece of Blake read out. After some research we found the quote is from J.B.Priestly’s *Time and the Conways and not Auguries of Innocence.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born;
Every morn and every night;
Some are born to sweet delight;
Some are born to sweet delight;
Some are born to endless night.
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
It is right it should be so:
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Safely through the world we go.

The play (Time and the Conways)emerged out of Priestley’s reading of J. W. Dunne’s book An Experiment with Time in which Dunne posits that all Time is happening simultaneously ie that past, present, future are one and that linear Time is only the way in which human consciousness is able to perceive this.

Nothing like following a thread of thought and interest leading back to here and now. I think this post is about creativity.

Balance Matters

Photographer unknown, great picture.

Whoops! It is time for me to leave Reading Buddhist Priory and be on my way further south. There is not much more south to England and after that there is an island just off the south coast. That’s where I’ll be, the Isle of Wight, for most of March with the intention of resting before flying to North America in late April or early May.

My thought today is about balance, balance in all matters. Balance matters.

Thanks to the blog reader who just walked into the priory with a card and a dana offering. I’ve been talking about your blog this week-end during the retreat! he said.


In this moment there is nothing
which comes to be.
In this moment there is nothing
which ceases to be.
Thus, in this moment there is no birth
and death to be brought to an end.
Thus, there is absolute peace in this
present moment,
Although it is just this moment,
there is not limit to this moment.
And herein is eternal delight.
Hui Neng

Sitting and working in the priors office at Reading Buddhist Priory near London. It is getting late, I’m attempting to catch up on a weeks worth of unanswered emails. This quote popped out at me from her notice board earlier in the day. Now it can be on yours.

The photograph? Taken in the Chilterns north of Reading on Friday.

What is it? Not at all sure.