THE HOUSE OF INTELLECT (R16)


I’ve read another book. Judging from the very neat pencil underlinings it looks as though I’ve read it before sometime. Since I often wonder why it has been my habit for sixty-odd years, I was interested to find that the underlinings were very helpful generally but especially during the course of more or less skim-reading […]

The Figure of Eight (R6)


The dynamic concept of the Figure of Eight was introduced in my Blog ‘Somatic Markers’ dated 16th November. The bottom half of the Figure of Eight represents the ground of our being—core self—that which we can become more aware of in meditative exercises of one kind or another: the rush of blood in the ears, […]

HAIKU – another fifty-one


walking now where those who passed the café window walked ten minutes ago * from the train window glimpses of village streets I shall never tread * brief conversation at breakfast during which a whole life is aired * longing for the fountains that play in other people’s gardens (Fernando Pessoa) * today a colony […]

Three Poems (R6)


the soul can either build of itself a work of art or sit and watch the Barbarian inversion of old certitudes— mask of Evil that entices into the wilderness of the future; or it rides out of the Wasteland tramples the vineyards demolishes the shrines giving over soil to sand and the mind to this […]

once upon a time


an angel visited the Earth: for many years he thought everybody on Earth was mad because he could not understand what it was they were enjoying; then he caught the Earth disease and began to enjoy Negative Emotions just as they had always done and he could no longer see the madness; when the heavenly […]

READING IN A TIME OF PLAGUE (R18)


It is suggested that one result of Lockdown is that people are reading books. Wow! They haven’t been doing that? In the last three months I’ve had my habitual average read for the last 60 years – 15 quite demanding books. I have been described as a ‘chain reader’. Having completed my third or fourth […]

DAVID COBB – WORLD-MAN (R17)


David died on the 6th November 2020 aged 94 Shiki said that in order to write a haiku a good mental discipline to follow was to look down at the violet at your feet and then look up at the distant mountain. David’s version of this might have been to take infinite care of a […]

NOTHING (R17)


In the same dark corner where I found Living by Zen I discovered another book by DTSuzuki – Outlines of Mahayana Buddhism. Alan Watts did the introduction and wrote about the cultivation of intellectual silence when desirable ‘to be aware of whatever happens to be, without thinking about it, without forming words & symbols in […]

LIVING BY ZEN (R16)


  “What’s that you’re reading now?” said Euphemia.“It’s called Living by Zen by DT Suzuki.”“It’s a bit late for that, isn’t it?” she said.I missed her point till it caught up with me a bit later. She meant that in my 84th year there wasn’t much time left to put whatever advice it might contain […]

THE BRIDGE BETWEEN (R14)


For the whole of 2020, I was reading the works of JBPriestley. I found that a familiar pattern in his novel writing went like this:- • First you imagine what’s going on ‘elsewhere’ • Then you endow it with something more wonderful than could ever be the case • Then you realise it couldn’t be […]

PLAGUETIME 19 PERSONAL SURVIVAL IN PLAGUETIME


‘We’re all in this together’ is a meaningless slogan invented by the Boss Class to make us think that we’re all suffering the hardship they impose on us to the same extent as they do – whether as a result of Austerity (a political ruse), getting out of the EU (an absurdity forced on half […]

Plaguetime 18: NOBODY EVER SAID ON THEIR DEATH BED, “I WISH I’D SPENT MORE TIME AT THE OFFICE…”


It seems that the benefits that are supposed to be had from ‘retirement’ – ‘the never-ending weekend’… ‘freedom and rest…after decades of hard work’ – are not to be thought of as inevitable. Poor health and ‘decline in cognitive functioning…’ seem to be associated with retirement, though not, of course, for everybody, according to Ross […]

PLAGUETIME 17 Slap-happy Painting


I’ve just finished reading JBPriestley’s book of small essays published in 1951 called Delight. It is truly full of delight. In her biography of JBP, Dulcie Gray wrote: ‘…Priestley was lucky to be writing at a time when essays were popular – he was one of the last great essayists…’ I was lucky enough to […]