Photos by the author
The angel who lost her wing and vanished.
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
“We are going to the moon that is not very far.
Man has so much farther to go within himself.”
A Snail’s Pace
Like God, he/she moves in mysterious ways
hidden within a pearly spiral, an apex, a beauty
or a monster depending on your point of view.
Undulating, pedalling in a wave of his/her creation,
a little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul, leaving signs
in the morning light seen only by poets and posties.
She/he is everywhere but invisible; weaving magic
in the green silken night, clinging to the mossy slabs
of country churchyards or clustered by the rowans.
Like God, the Gastropod is a loner needing no mates.
His/her locomotion conquers all, crossing every path.
You must mind each crushing step and wait.
Footnote1:- Lyrics quoted from Locomotion by Little Eva.
Footnote2:- y=speed of land snail, x = length of snail’s foot
And here’s Little Eva performing her 60s classic pop song…
We are living through dark and difficult times. It’s hard to stay upbeat and positive under the constant barrage of bad news:- fires in Siberia, more mass shootings in the U.S., flooding and the horror of Brexit in the UK, riots in Hong Kong, a possible war in Iran….its an endless list. There are days when I avoid listening to the news. Instead I immerse myself in quotidian activities such as housework, cooking or gardening to try and regain a balanced perspective on life. I find being outdoors amongst nature and animals the best therapy for a gloomy mood. Also I love creative art – to paint or draw or take photographs and truly observe the world in all its wonderful detail. It’s important to take time out doing something you enjoy. It’s important to focus on the little things that make life worth living, to stop and look at the beauty around us.
Here is my favourite mindfulness exercise. I hope you find it helpful.
1. Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you. Maybe it is a bird, maybe it is pencil, maybe it is a spot on the ceiling, however big or small, state 5 things you see.
2. Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you. Maybe this is your hair, hands, ground, grass, pillow, etc, whatever it may be, list out the 4 things you can feel.
3. Acknowledge THREE things you hear. This needs to be external, do not focus on your thoughts; maybe you can hear a clock, a car, a dog park. or maybe you hear your tummy rumbling, internal noises that make external sounds can count, what is audible in the moment is what you list.
4. Acknowledge TWO things you can smell: This one might be hard if you are not in a stimulating environment, if you cannot automatically sniff something out, walk nearby to find a scent. Maybe you walk to your bathroom to smell soap or outside to smell anything in nature, or even could be as simple as leaning over and smelling a pillow on the couch, or a pencil. Whatever it may be, take in the smells around you.
5. Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste. What does the inside of your mouth taste like, gum, coffee, or the sandwich from lunch? Focus on your mouth as the last step and take in what you can taste.
New painting from my Delirious series based on dreams.
“It is best as one grows older to strip oneself of possessions, to shed oneself downward like a tree, to be almost wholly earth before one dies.”
“There is no light without shadow, and no psychic wholeness without imperfection.”