For nearly a hundred years, we have known that the material world is an illusion. Everything that seems solid - a rock, a tree, your body - is actually 99.999% empty space.
The pics are going to be the start of several images I will be posting by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. UPL reminded me of his work; my brother introduced me to his art originally and I would like to decorate the blog with a few selections of his genius.
Listeners to Terry Wogan’s radio programme will be familiar with the phrase ‘Is it me?’ I wake daily at 7am to the sound of Radio 4’s Today programme and as I’ve mentioned before it is often guaranteed to wake me up with a start and raise my blood pressure. Today was such a day. As each new news item came on, a strong urge to leap out of bed and bang my head against the bedroom wall came upon me. Why?
A research scientist, a psychologist no less (!) has published a (Food Standards Agency) paper in The Lancet that seems to suggest that food additives make children hyperactive and may cause impulsiveness and behavioural problems. Parents are being advised to check labels on food! What about the manufacturers of such poisons? It is always down to the consumer to recycle/check labels/pick up the pieces etc etc. Nothing is mentioned about the secret and hidden addictive properties of certain additives, those artificial sweeteners for example, a crime if ever there was one. Look it up on the Internet.
M and I have always thought that the current madness we see in society these days is caused partly by the chemical-ridden diet that our children and young people (and adults) consume.
I am not the only mother/grandmother/parent on the planet who could have told the world that additives affect our children and in one f****** sentence. I am thinking of writing a Purplecooers’ booklet of such ‘Common Sense Sentences‘ - do send me your suggestions. That would save a load of taxpayer’s money. By the way who funds the Food Standards Agency? Is it yet another quango that doesn’t seem to be earning its money?
The next item also got me going.
The police think that if they give witnesses of gun crime anonymity in court then more people will come forward.
And just to finish the ranting I want to mention the visiting motorcyclists from ’Off’ who use our roads every weekend as if they were race-tracks. . Huge garish signs warning of bends have been erected along our ’B’ road and they so detract from the outstanding beauty of this area. But worse than that a new sign has appeared on our road, obviously addressed to we local car-drivers which states
I have checked up and apparently it is to warn we car drivers to think of bikers (!) and to motorcyclists to drive defensively to protect them from we car drivers (!).
I am not joking when I say that they drive their motorbikes as if they are on a race track. I am not scared easily but they scare me (and my daughter) with their aggressive mode of riding. They travel in hordes and the noise alone is scary, they overtake dangerously on the wrong side of the road, terrifying all of us, whichever way we are travelling. I always put the lights on when I am amongst them and shake my fist at ’em, but to no avail of course as they are gon by in a flash. We have had several fatalities on our little road alone and many, many in Powys and Wales as a whole. For several years we had an accident every weekend on a little bend just up the road from us. My much-loved and personally appreciated Air Ambulance service is used every weekend at the height of the season (and that wonderful service is totally funded by we locals by the way).
M and I always joke and I try and be cheerful about it and say ‘Peaceful innit?’ as these bikers roar by, shattering our rural peace.
I am not denigrating all bikers, (M is actually a keen lover of the machines and an ex-biker). I have to say too that some of the older bikers in the locality drive similarly older and quieter bikes and they drive very sedately and safely.
Better do some blessings methinks.
Pleasant Surprises. Quite by chance last night I found a comment on an old blog from Lloyd Jones, the author of Mr Cassini. I had missed it before and unfortunately I was unable to reply to it.
Trains. M and I are off on a train ride today. I will blog about it tomorrow.
Autumn and late summer sun.
Autumn asks that we prepare for the future, that we be wise in the ways of gathering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go - to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness.
B W Overstreet (1947).
In my previous blog I wrote about the melancholic effect of the changing Seasons. I hope I didn’t give the impression that I dislike Autumn; in fact it is my second favourite season. Spring is the first, you probably guessed that. I love the smell of Autumn, it almost has its own taste as well doesn’t it? The glory of Her colours of course and the promise She brings of Winter and all Her delights to come. Days like yesterday lift the spirits, warm and sunny with still-warm and clear, starry nights. I am beginning to write in cliches but it’s hard sometimes to avoid that. It is just the change in the seasons that always affects me, it’s a loss thing.
However I always cherish new plans and look forward to those indoor schemes and projects that can be started in September. Blank notebooks, new pens, inner stories bursting to come out, words unwritten, themes for stories and novels simmering inside waiting to be preserved for posterity. Dreams to be released. It’s a bit like a New Term for we oldies. I also put the garden to bed at the end of autumn and relish the fact that there is no more weeding to be done for a long while.
Finally Gratitude. What for? For being born when I was and being the age that I am. The more I see and hear of these modern times the more I despair. Incompetency all around, mismanagement on all fronts, poor education standards, Big Brother and not to mention the constant research findings being released with their Stating of the Obvious.
Is it really just me?
I'd better stop moaning, How about a poem?
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
Bye for now, I have a train to catch….
Fare thee well,