Namaste to all. I have been in more pain than usual for a few days, and it doesn’t feel like it will ease off quickly. I will not write much today, because my fingers are affected.
Beechwoods are my personal favourites. The pictures above were taken in 2007, during my final visit to this magical area. The woods, which are protected by the National Trust, grace the hilltop where I grew up, and hold decades worth of wonderful memories for me. Please enjoy.
Peace and best wishes.
Come Forth Into The Light Of Things, Let Nature Be Your Teacher.
Michael reflects on years spent behind the lens – and I, like Michael, feel that my best photos were taken when I was younger. Back then I had plenty mobility, plus time, and a heartfelt desire to take great pics. All around the world, in our private collections, we keep our personal favourites: those old photographs that flood our hearts with fondest feelings, and gentle blessings conveyed in memories reopened of good times gone by.
But never mind. After reading The Zen of Photography, I felt it was time for me to post my humble handful, starting with the above pic – a personal favourite. It was taken back in September 1981, from the balcony of my hotel room during a spectacular thunderstorm one night in Torquay, England. If memory serves, I used a 60 second exposure, with Kodachrome 25/ASA, while covering the lens intermittently to avoid over exposure.
When I was a schoolboy, and from then all the way up to the digital age, I used SLR cameras to take transparencies, (or slides if you prefer.) Very sadly, I haven’t been able to digitalise more than a small handful from the thousands of slides that survive. And even sadder, the quality doesn’t hold up a torch to the colour, and depth of the originals. Nevertheless, I will be posting the best of the remaining handful of digitalised slides every now and then.
It was during the deceptive calm before that fast approaching storm that the next pic was taken. What the picture doesn’t show you, is the storm damage that was to be visited that night upon all the boats in the harbour seen here. Unfortunately, none of my pics of the aftermath have been digitalised.
With that, and my sincerest thanks to Michael at Retireediary, https://retireediary.wordpress.com, I will wind this post up, and wish for you and everyone, happiness, and peace at all times. Amras out.
It has no fabric, only understanding.
It has no membership, save those who know they belong.
It has no rivals, because it is non-competitive.
It has no ambition for it seeks only to serve.
It knows no boundaries for nationalism’s are unloving.
It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.
It acknowledges all great Teachers of all the ages who have shown the truth of Love.
Those who participate, practise the Truth of Love in all their beings.
There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier. Those who are, know.
It seeks not to teach but to be, and by being, enrich.
It recognises that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.
It recognises the whole planet as a Being of which we are a part.
It recognises that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act of conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.
It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.
It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path but have paid the price.
It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.
Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbour and environment and the planet, whilst carrying out their task however exalted or humble.
Its members shall know each other by their deeds, and being, and by their eyes, and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.
It recognises the supremacy of the great idea which may only be accomplished if the human race practises the supremacy of Love.
It has no reward to offer either here or in the hereafter save that of the ineffable joy of being and loving.
Each shall seek to advance the cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching only by example.
They shall heal their neighbour, their community and our Planet.
They shall know no fear and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.
It has no secret, no arcanum, no initiation save that of true understanding of the power of Love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change – but only if we change ourselves first.
All those who belong, belong. They belong to the church of Love.
[THE CATHAR PROPHECY OF 1244 AD concerning the RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INNER CHURCH OF LOVE].
Greetings, I hope you are enjoying the new year so far. It certainly promises to be an interesting ride. I took the above pics while sitting in the car during a ten minute drive around. Sadly, I can’t spend much more time than this away from home without experiencing extreme exhaustion. Having said that, I am grateful for all that I can do, and this was a good day.
Every remaining day, of one particular summer holiday when I was a boy, and Just back home from the family fortnight, I would meet with my friends, and we would play together in abandoned neighbouring farmland. Before long, we put our heads together, and decided to build a two level treehouse in the branches our favourite oak tree. It was ancient, and tall, with many long branches for us to utilise. We loved this tree like a member of our gang. We utilised available planks and rope, and whatever else we could find lying scattered where the farmhouse had stood. The treehouse took less than a week to complete. Here we drunk lemonade, and swapped comics. When hungry, we helped ourselves to apples, gooseberries, strawberries, and suchlike. They grew freely and in abundance amongst the wildflowers and tall bushes growing all around. All in all, it was turning out to be a very good summer holiday.
One day, when September was approaching, a gang of ruffians bore down on us. They came, orc-like, thrashing through the tall grass. They threatened to hurt us if we didn’t surrender our treehouse. My friends decided it would be wise to run away, and so they did. Not this fool. I refused to surrender, and defended the structure from barrage after barrage of flying stones taken from a crumbling boundary wall. Next thing, the thin planks making up one side of our den were demolished. I grabbed the corrugated iron roofing and made a shield around my exposed flank. The raining stones were deafening against my ear, and worse yet were the threats and taunts. Before long, the floor collapsed, and I fell, wearing short sleeves and trousers, into the moat of tall nettles that was lying directly below.
We lost our hideaway that day. The gang took over the remains of our treehouse. Days passed, and that would have been it, except for the surprising fact that I had earned their respect, or so it seems. One of them approached me with an invitation to join them for an afternoon in the tree, and I accepted. The first thing I noticed was that the wild flowers that graced the field were all gone. The treehouse had received some very rudimentary repairs, and I sat, with some trepidation, in a corner, to observe the ways of these boys. They read naughty mags, and smoked cigarettes. I flatly refused both things. They spoke rudely, and plotted ill doings, including thefts, and truancy. When they grew hungry, there was no fruit growing for free to be found, and so they opted to scrump apples from a dwelling close to the road. From here they were chased off promptly, and with strongly worded threats to call the police ringing in their ears. I didn’t waste a single minute more of my time with these fellows, but I do thank them sincerely for the truly great lesson about life, and mother earth they gave me on that one cloudy afternoon.
Now they remind me of our brothers and sisters who have stolen by force, the earth herself, leaving wastelands behind them. *Thorn bushes grow where the enemy has camped. Many decades have passed since our happy treehouse, and the way the earth once fed us freely. The landscape of childhood has changed out of recognition. It is built over, and no longer allowed to feed any hungry children at play. I miss mother earth. So much of the bounty that heaven provides freely according to our need, has had a price put on it by naughty children who throw stones. I am very happy though, to contemplate the fact that too much Yang will become Yin. Therefore the pendulum is, perforce, swinging back again towards universal righteousness, and nothing but nothing can stop it. The good are becoming better, while the better are becoming best. Can you not feel this, like a call coming from inside of yourself?
I hope you enjoyed that memory of mine from a time long gone. The moral is timeless. Until next time, peace and good cheer from me.
“Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Let Your will come true – in the universe
just as on earth
Give us wisdom for our daily need,
detach the fetters of faults that bind us,
like we let go the guilt of others
Let us not be lost in superficial things
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Greetings, and best ever Christmas wishes to you.These pics were taken recently at a nearby Public Aquarium.
I feel that from the point of view of these marvellous and beautiful creatures, their world is a sort of prison. We have built a prison for them, even as we build prisons for ourselves. Encouragingly enough though, these particular captives don’t seem to suffer from any shortage of stimulation in this well-kept artificial habitat of theirs. How lovely it is too, to see the faces of visiting children light up in wonder at their first ever glimpse of these living marvels.
I wish that all captive creatures* were treated so well; and I hope that one day soon, we will agree to honour them all, and nature, in deep and wiser ways.
With that, may I wish you strength, and peace, to carry you into what promises to be a very stimulating New Year.
Be undivided in your affectionate kindness for all life. Keep your mind flexible.