And on the hillside
where we stood
the something that passed
as though it were a
tidal current was already
as old and as new as the
Ancient of Days – in the
retrospect and in the
there and then and now
and in the prospect of
That light, that current –
illumination and anticipation
launched a something that
is the everything
Yes, something to be
like a song among the stars,
laughing and crying
held safe and aloft and
on that hillside
held and holding
you and I encountered a
Divine Love and knew it to be
in us, primarily
in those graced moments
but also in whomsoever –
and all are ultimately
capable of simply
letting go, and smiling and
then the final thankful sighing –
oh, little one, yes, you
Elevated, celebrated: I love you
Simon Marsh – for JMT, 1960-2018, on the eve of her birthday
The swirl of a Mr Whippy 99 and the inviting sweep of the cliffs contrasted roundly with the dry square pointedness of my primary school classroom.
Padding along cliff paths, humming the tunes a handsome chap from the beach mission played on a glorious accordion, I was aware, even at five, that I learned more readily, lived more fully, when my own imagination was afforded space and acres of time in which to fly free, to be on pilgrimage, to wonder – or as students of Zen have long noted, simply, NOW, to BE.
The roar of cascading waves was for me so much less jarring than the stern calls to attend to multiplication tables, or incomprehensible, ill-experienced ‘comprehension’. The throwing of sticks for deliriously happy dogs – spaniel ears flying in the wind – was altogether more fulfilling than the jolt of the schoolmaster’s cane cracking the old mahogany desk – bouncing inkwells – or the chalky calves of his dark pin-striped three-piece suit.
Rock pools and small fishing boats taught me most about oxygen and marine life, hard work and skill, navigation and perseverance. The ancient church (in my case) at Pistyll, with its straw-strewn floor, spoke to me silently of the music of incomprehension, of all that may not be wholly apprehended, and of the bardic pilgrims who had come and gone before.
Colourful kites were my professors of aerodynamics. The aforementioned accordion my teacher of poetry, soundwaves, wind and joy.
for MW – during and after corporate meditation
I used to love to walk to school on sunny Spring mornings. The quieter hours still possessed of the mossy, dewy scents of the night – mildest of breezes softly stirring the trees of the park, and dappled light – already suggesting the new dawns that would awaken the synapses of my ever dawdling, day-dreaming brain.
Yes. I have long thought myself familiar with the colours of the spectrum; that I could name them, that I could assign to each a musical note, that I owned favourite orchestral symphonies of light.
But every new day brings surprises – and the sometimes primal response that mists our sight with tears of yearning, or recognition, or unknowing, or delight, or prayer, or a sense of the most exquisite new openness to the charism, the gift of the Universe offering her provision – the ultimate and eternal grace of Love.
And I was surprised indeed by the glory and the colours I encountered in Barcelona’s great Temple of Light. In La Sagrada Família I mistily knew myself a member of the one great and ‘Holy Family’ – the Universe herself. No single one of us ever fully cognisant of the glories of creation’s rainbow – while each of us is graced with ever-changing experience of hues and colours as yet unnamed.
Mungrisdale Writers welcomed four new friends this morning so we had a full house – and shared some truly inspired and inspirational writing. After our short meditation session member Charles Woodhouse penned this piece – and it touched a chord with everyone present.
In every game, in every match, cricket or golf, and in every meeting, at my old law firm or now at Mungrisdale Writers, I have often felt I am not good enough.
Like an incomer, off comer or newcomer, I know the feeling of inadequacy.
Am I fit to be in this group, in this firm, in this side or on this tee?
Everyone else is better than me.
I do not want to be found out, exposed and embarrassed.
This is nonsense.
We are all newcomers and always will be.
Nerves, inhibitions and self doubts are normal. Without them, we would be unplayable and intolerable.
The best writing comes from the edge with some tension. The more unsure, the better the focus.
At least I hope that is so and I am not seeking a crutch.