Category Archives: Falls Between the Cracks

The Throwaway Box

to-keepI’m showing solidarity with a couple close to me who are going through their life long ‘treasures’. ‘Downsizing doesn’t even begin to describe the process they are going through at the moment. In this article, A Beginner’s Guide To Swedish Death Cleaning, (It’s nowhere near as horrifying as it sounds) there is a compassionate and practical idea to help the process of letting go of ones ‘treasures’, by retaining some of them.  That is to create a Throwaway Box filled with a few carefully selected items that mean a lot to oneself, but nothing to anyone else. This is part of the article mentioned above.

This box could hold anything from “old love letters, programs, memories from travelling” to “a dried flower, a stone with a funny shape, or a little, beautiful shell”. The idea is that your friends or family may look through the box, but have permission (from you!) to get rid of anything inside. And of course, while you’re still around, you get to enjoy all your lovely little things.

I started my box this evening. It looks like I want to retain items that harbour fond memories of people, places and events, it might be my ‘gratitude’ box. The striped piece of fabric relates to my mother who kept it in her sewing box. The purse was given to me by a ‘Dharma Uncle’ when travelling in Japan in 2005. Symbolizing my dharma family, through Rev. Master Jiyu, to multiple ‘relatives’ in Japan. There is another item that will go into the box from relatives in Malasia and Taiwan.

It is proving quite easy to gather these items since they have been populating several draws I use for stationary. Already I can see I don’t need to have so many pens!

Let the Swedish death cleaning begin. You’ll have to read the article to understand what this is all about. No, I’m not about to die, as far as I know, just that I’d like to make the task a of dealing with my belongings a pleasant one when, I do.

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Cheap Tin Trays!

A bored child
In Sussex
By the sea.



Today guests arrive for an ‘intensive retreat’, with a difference. Here is the write up on our website introducing the retreat.
One of the themes of this retreat is around seeing the reading and writing of poetry as a potential ‘path of awareness’. In finding ways to express what seems unsayable, poetry can reveal and clarify our understanding of ourselves. During the retreat, there will be talks/discussions on this topic, which will be integrated with sitting periods.

Those coming to the retreat were encouraged to bring a poem. Below is my poem.

Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

John Masefield

Everything from the exotic, hard to pronounce words, to those cheap tin trays, pig lead and firewood captured my bored wandering attention. Sitting at my desk I could picture that dirty British coaster filled with earthy items, contrasting with emeralds, amethysts, peacocks and palm-green shores. How unlike Sussex by the sea! The poem fired my imagination and pointed to a distant world beyond the waves I knew. It probably set me yearning to see the world.

There is something to be said for poetry.

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Nature – Kangaroos – Video

Let the sights and sounds in this video fill our hearts and may we offer spiritual merit to all those involved in the forest fires currently raging in Austraila.

“Sunday Morning” takes us to the beach in Australia, among kangaroos fleeing forest fires that have been ravaging the country. Videographer: Harry Clapson.

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Slow Sunday – Video of Swans Squawking!

Here is another short video from Sunday Morning

Nature: Swans at Cayuga Lake

Do take a moment to just listen to these swans, gradually I became engaged with the sight and sounds. It took patience and acceptance at first. Perhaps because nothing much is happening, no story, no punch line. Just swans squawking. Talking?

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Nothing Fixed Anywhere

I’m still thinking about how we (our connective tissue) becomes more fluid the more we move and in so doing ‘makes more variations of movement and action possible’. Nothing fixed anywhere. (Well, that’s according to a ‘new model’ of how our physicality functions referred to below. Enjoy the whole video.

The Infinite Now – The Cinemagraphs of Ray Collins from Ray Collins on Vimeo.

Previously we thought body movement was accomplished by a series of ratchets, levers, and pulleys. Lately, this machine model has begun to break down.
Connective tissue is the ocean within us, and, in fact, contains the same basic proportions of elements, salts, and carbon compounds found in sea water…it becomes more fluid the more it is moved; the more sedentary, the more ‘dried out’ it becomes. We literally moisten ourselves and make more variations of movement and action possible.The water within us seems to have a sort of mind…The new model sees the body water itself shaping us. That is, we do not contain it like a bottle; it holds itself together like ‘standing waves’ and shapes our more solid structures around it.
-Neil Douglas-Klotz

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