Loosen the shackles

So much of our sense of self is a result of cultural conditioning. This little self, being unreal, needs constant tending and defending. This is knackering and the source of most of our suffering.

Rather than freaking out about LGBT people questioning rigid, inherited identities, we’d all be more relaxed and kinder with each other if we followed their lead.


On my walk, today, I saw a bird rising vertically off the surface of the field next to me, and as soon as it started its wonderful song, I realised it was a Skylark.

I’ve written before about having killed a Skylark with an air gun when I was a young teenager. Every time I see one, I say sorry. The guilty feeling hasn’t gone away even after five decades.

Later in the walk, I heard shotgun fire from a nearby wood and found myself musing, yet again, about what makes someone set out from their home, on a beautiful, still, sunny, day thinking “I feel like blowing some beautiful animals out of the sky – for fun”

I mean really, what goes through their minds, both in anticipation and in the act?

The field of dreams

The other day Mollie and I walked out of our house, up the farm lane opposite, and were greeted with a breathtaking view of woods and fields bathed in a wonderful wintry light. Yet again we were reminded that these fields sit there patiently waiting for us to come and look.

But do they…?

The fields don’t exits independently of me being there to see them. “The fields” is a concept that my brain makes up in response to patterns of light and sounds hitting my sense organs and being compared to my filed away concept of “fields”. On close examination those fields have no boundary, the view has no boundary. They both blur into infinity in every direction. Their existence in this moment depends on my consciousness. They exist nowhere except in my consciousness.

Sure, there are particles and energy there (themselves both concepts made up by brains but hey I’ll let that go). Anti- solipsists needn’t worry that I am claiming that I am making up the whole world or saying that without me it doesn’t exit.

But is that your real world, or my real world, and where does one end and the other begin…?

Losing myself

Losing myself

Being absorbed by winter mountain wind and rain
making a mockery of my thick skin.

Feeling the hot sun on my skin as the sound of waves breaking on a beach
fills the empty space between my ears.

Looking into the eyes of someone brave enough to fully look into mine
exploding the space where I assume my head is.

Resting my forehead against our cat, Albert’s, tiny head
filled with a gentle vastness that I will never know
in the hope that somehow it seeps through…