I enjoy sketching ruins. They are wonderful retainers of memory. This is a sketch I did of a cottage in Ireland.
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It’s strange how our eyes always tend to seek out the horizon. Some of the most iconic pictures we have are of people shielding their eyes and looking out towards the horizon. Perhaps it’s because deep down we know there’s always more to what we actually see and experience. Perhaps it’s because we are awakened to the truth, that behind all things, there are hidden depths of other realities waiting to be explored. There’s always something more beyond the horizons of life. The territory of the invisible is profoundly real.
A Word Picture:
Dry leaves and twigs crunched under his boots as he stomped his way through the bright reds and yellows of Autumn. The path had petered out and he was struggling to find a new one.
He stopped, took a breath and listened for some familiar sound. What if he couldn’t find his way out of these woods? His mobile was in the car and nobody knew where he was. His stomach tightened.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by a cawing crow. He saw the bird a little way from him hopping on a gnarled branch of an old Oak. He saw the sparkle in its eye as it jerkingly scanned the ground. The behaviour was strange, but a welcomed distraction from his rising panic.
He stepped carefully, not so much as to not scare the crow, but rather to cautiously examine what it found so unsettling on the ground. Nothing caught his eye. What he did find, though, to his great relief, was a path – a new path that finally led him out of the woods.
(Sometimes Nature sees and knows)
We spent today at Chartwell, the country home of Winston Churchill. What a day it was. We took a tour through the house and then through its gardens. It was such an enriching experience. To visit the little places he loved, where he did much of his thinking, provided us with some touching moments.
What struck me about the great man, was that as he dealt with the lofty and hugely difficult affairs of State, he never lost touch with the simple things in life. The photo above is of one of the ponds in the gardens. The chair (the original chair) you see on the left, is his chair in which he loved to sit and feed his fish. He was passionate about his fish and even bred butterflies in the midst of all sorts of other little earthy activities he gave his time to. I came away deeply inspired and energised.
The Universe is huge. Perhaps huge is an understatement. It is endless, incomprehensible and infinite in distance and span. Pondering on this certainly evokes wonder and mystery, but also a profound sense of insignificance, smallness and even threat at times.
I find that this kind of thinking or meditating reinforces in me my need for belonging, for place and for closeness. It’s then that my thoughts go to my home, my garden, my community, my village, this tiny piece of earth where people know me by name, and I am overwhelmed with a deep sense of gratitude. This is where my boat is moored in this vast expanse we call the Universe.