A Good Day

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.

Sealed in trust, faith and truth.”

Jesus.

The Lord’s Prayer, in its original Aramaic form.

Photography ©Francis Moloney.

 *Lau Tzu.

Artificial Habitat

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.

*Including mermaids.

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

Brushwork in The Concrete Jungle

Top of the time of day to you. These are the final pics in our London collection, I really hope you enjoy them. Todays assortment pay tribute to a Grange Hotel manager clearly blessed with a good eye for art. I featured the print of Kandinsky’s “Small Pleasures” because a copy graced the study in our favourite Glastonbury holiday retreat.

I’m sure that the views from the hotel window are pleasing to lovers of cityscapes. If I found myself there though, I suspect that the remoteness of forests, meadows, hills, streams, and birdsong would overwhelm me as surely as the old Christian church appears to be overwhelmed by the bloated cathedrals of commerce which dominate every inch of surrounding space.

Having written that, it must be said the hotel is impressive, and I dare say a welcome retreat from those cacophonous streets.

With thanks to our readers, as always. Namaste from Amras.

We who strive to think, speak, and behave according to our best understandings of dignity, truth, and honesty, can serve our confused brethren very well, I think, if we all pray most earnestly now for the establishment on earth of the following sentence:

No More Lies! 

 

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.

Uppercase Urban Ambles

A long time ago, before we arrived, the stage was all set for matter alive. Each one a rung on the spiralling stair, we all belong in each other’s care.

Namaste, and sincere greetings to all readers. Last weekend, Amanda was back in the capital, on business. With a blog post in mind, she rose with the dawn to take these pics while the streets were free from the morning throngs. And what a beautiful day it was, which seems quite providential when you think about it, because since the weekend we find ourselves scudding through April monsoons once again.

Here in this ancient city, we walk on roads old and new. Here things that came into existence a long time ago endure alongside things now becoming. If this place should stand come two millennia hence, I wonder how much, if any of what we see today will remain.

We belong to our time, as the builders of the wooden ships that sailed from here belonged to theirs. They too walked on roads old and new. If we were they, would we do things differently?

Fortunately, it doesn’t matter, because metaphysical speculation doesn’t increase knowledge. And none of us here are qualified to judge the soul of any other, even though we may taste perforce the rotten fruits of their ignoble labours. However, the divine gift, freely given at birth, which is the knowledge of right and wrong, unites us more intimately with the hearts of our noble ancestors than do all the handmade things they left for us to own, no matter how greatly valued, or even useful they are.

We know only too well the wrongs that were committed by certain ancestors, for we are charged with fixing them. While we observe the blind leading the blind to perdition, divine honour gently reminds us to work hard at keeping our personal lives clean, and above all, blameless. And to know that no matter how painful and difficult our individual lives may be, we are charged with the duty to say no when we are called upon to hurt, steal, cheat, lie and kill. It is as easy as that, where is the confusion?

I love the lonely palm tree, flourishing in exile, and reminding the riverbank of long ago, in a very different time, when lions and crocodiles were familiar feeders around here.

We want to express our gratitude to all who enjoy dropping by, there will be more photos taken during that morning in the big city coming soon. Until then, take care of your thoughts, strive to keep a light heart, and keep in mind at all times the fact that you are a child of the divine creation, no matter what anyone ignorant of this self-evident fact might believe.

Peace from Amras.

Willing to experience aloneness, I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear, I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss, I am given unimaginable gifts;
Surrendering into emptiness, I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me. Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so, Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is pure delight, To honor it is true devotion.

~ Psychotherapist Jennifer Welwood.

Photography ©Amanda Moloney.