Lions And Lambs

I am surprised that people universally seem to think animals are stupid. I am sure this is to do with the fact that we have an immeasurable sense of our importance – we have created religions in which we are just off centre of most important beings in the Universe (we have to put god there first, sadly) and we seem think the world has been put here for our pleasure.

Then we go about overlying a synthetic value system (economics) upon a valued system (nature) and proceed to destroy so much that now we argue about what can be saved. We talk endlessly about the possibility we may destroy ourselves before we find out all there is to know about the universe, we are so mindless we have to have leaders because we could never govern ourselves and all the time we denigrate animals.

I am not sure of course but I think the Earth would continue to thrive without human beings, and all the animals would continue on their merry way and prosper without human beings too. The only benefit to nature in having an animal that can build vessels that will leave the planet is to save the nature that has evolved on this planet once it falls into the sun. What a shame to have made that animal so ignorant all it will take with it is what it can eat.

And what it needs to seed new worlds but if we ever find a planet like Earth we won’t bother to take anything. Now that’s thick.

A Passion For Breathing

We rarely think much about it – letting our lungs just do their thing; but philosophers down the ages and more recently holistic health-practitioners have more and more taught how to concentrate on one’s breathing as a way to settle one’s mind. How many of us I wonder sit at the computer and breath in through our noses and out through our mouths?

There are many things we do which we do almost without thinking, or allow emotions to drive us without any brakes, which might produce finer results if we did think about them first. From thinking we are in love to getting angry we tend to assume more than we know and a good deal of hurt flows into our lives. It is as if we each have to learn everything for ourselves before we believe it, or worse assume what we have been taught is the perfect truth.

Next time you breath in you should know you are breathing in air that the whole world has breathed out from human to animal to plant. An admixture of millions of varied lives that keeps us alive. We are even possibly breathing in molecules breathed out by those who are now dead.

The mind also needs to breath; to be filled with ideas and the sense of life others have and if it worries you to hold two contrasting ideas in your head to which there is no resolution breath deeply. To live without certainty is to be wise.

How We Really Make Connections

I enjoy some of the friend-making at facebook and link-in. Mainly to see just how many people want to be writers and what they choose to write. Sometimes for the fleeting glory of being commended. All this getting connected around the world has rapidly become just another way of selling ourselves to each other. I shouldn’t complain, that is the reason I joined in with the social networking.

But the deep connections I have made with human beings in my life have little to do with shared interests. Since I was nineteen my two closest friends I met at University. One of them sadly died in 2004 and he and I did share ideals, but my other friend, now a mother of two, is someone that I just get on very well with. Whose company has never produced the slightest angst.

My closest friend here where I live is a builder by trade, he is also a fine man and a wonderful father. He is another person that despite any differences we get on very well on a human level. He loves fast cars, flying and all kinds of things I don’t find relevant but they don’t matter, it isn’t the cars I go to have dinner with.

And that’s what I have begun to look for in social networking sites. People who speak, who write, from their hearts because it is their humanity that is the  connection between us.

I Believe What You Believe

It is a very curious facet of the need to work together that we seem to be a species that needs to think together as well. I am not sure anyone has done much research on this outside of looking at ‘cultural homogeneity’  and I am sure that when a group goes through the same experience it throws up relationship-bonds in similarities of response.

But the animal in us is very strong which is why, it appears, we need leaders so much. One person to represent us all. There is a joke in Israel that is it a country where there are six million Presidents. And in a way that is how the world should be, a place where there are six billion leaders. Surely that is a better world to live in that one where there are six billion followers?

I am always amused by how people pass through the years of their lives and somewhere along the way, become a ‘generation’. I heard a musician say once that he didn’t know what it was but something ‘happened’ to music when he reached the age of thirty. This is why people ‘look-down’ at others for the way they dress, they way they speak, the music they play.

But they fail to look down at the way we all follow. The way we give away power. The way we all accept inventions without question as part of the human way of doing things.

I wonder how much of civilisation really exists in any of us. How many values would survive if any of us were the last human being.

What Makes A Difference

When I was about fifteen I remember sitting on a beach near where we lived with my uncle who was reading me something he had written about the universe being anti-gravitational (don’t ask! He had a friend whose PhD was on ‘the eleven dimensions’) and I noted that he was frightened of the sea. He said it was very dark. I remember being surprised because I had always thought of the sea as a wondrous place one merely had to respect because it was dangerous.

It made me think about childhood experiences and how they shape our adult lives no matter how rational we are.  I was scared for years of stormy weather and felt as if the ground was going to start moving until I learned from my mother that at ten months old I was at sea in a ship in a force ten gale. What she was doing on a ship when she was scared of water having been thrown into a pool by her father when she was five to teach her to swim, is a whole other story.

Our ways of thinking can be very structured but the foundations and assumption we base our thinking upon may often be nothing of the sort. Understanding those assumptions and questioning them may actually be the foundation for a less fractured society because nothing is so fixed we need to believe it all our lives.

Change, after all, is the great strength of nature.


We are well used to seeing things that do not yield, that are instantly resourceful, as the ‘strongest’.  Though in the way of Chinese philosophy it is pointed out that sometimes giving way makes you stronger as water can erode everything in time. And that’s the point, time. We are creatures of moments, held within the amber of infinity, and because we cannot conceive of timelessness we concentrate on the time we have. Everything is whittled down to fit into our lives and our vision rarely extends beyond what we have the energy to do in our own lifetimes.

Or do we? Silently, almost without knowing it, the thrust of our existence is to extend it. Every single person who bears a child is sending their life force down the coming ages. Every artist who creates the smallest thing is showing people to come how they thought, what they felt. Like water the human race is flowing down through time. Tumbling over centuries, a waterfall of ideas cascading into the minds of new generations.

We may hit brick walls from time-to-time but we simples flow around the edges and continue on our way. For thoughts are like water and cannot be stopped, nothing is their equal and nothing is stronger than their power to erode away pretension, delusion and self-satisfaction. And yes, create them too – water gets dirty sometimes.

Ideas are the paintbrushes that paint your personality into existence.

Clowning Around

I think I saw my first real, live clown outside a circus in Bristol when I was a child. He gave me an Indian Feather hat which I still have replete with broken red feather and an elastic band at the back to keep it in place. I have never been one to be scared of clowns, and I love their traditions and make-up.

Which is probably why when I was working in a library and they were saying they trouble thinking of things to do to engage children in the library service and turn up for afternoon story-time, that I volunteered to dress up as a clown. And that is why I used my stage make-up skills and borrowed a red wig and got the most jazzy clothes I could. I looked at books because I cannot juggle, for things that were clownish to learn and ended up choosing a little mime joke, then I read stories.

It is really difficult keeping the attention of around fifteen to twenty five year olds for over an hour. But the library service enjoyed it so much I had to go and do it four more times! I still recall this little child coming up to me after one session with a drawing of a clown she had done for me and asking, “What do you eat?”

A very important question for Clown Rollo!

Mind Altering Drugs

Since my sister has tried everything in the world (so I am told) and lives in a haze of marijuana, I do wonder why people seek mind altering experiences through chemicals in plants. I do have an understanding that artists have often tried these things, and religious shamans have used them for centuries to great effect for trances,  and even cures for illness (especially psychiatric disorders like depression).

But with the classification of drugs has come the plea that we must understand the social reasons people use drugs.  In my sister’s case there are issues of high intelligence, guilt and escapism. Peer pressure and money lead others down the road as well as making money. I wish I could say it is the stupidity of youth but it affects all social classes and all age groups, so simple experimentation also plays a part.

Then again some people truly enjoy the ‘lighter’ drugs that do not kill you and since dopamines are released in the brain for many reasons the high one gets with sugar or some teas can also be assumed to be some kind of ‘drug’ therapy. Look at alcohol, which is apparently the acceptable face of chemical imbalance. We are a bunch of chemicals living off another bunch of chemical.

It makes me wonder what is really going on in my head when I stand on a cliff top, in front of a wild ocean and feel as if the whole universe is stuck between my ears.


Words pander to the literate. In doing this weblog I do not want it to become a kind of psychoanalysis, something to which I am not much given. Many years ago my mother told me that Ted Hughes used words as a form of therapy for some darkness within him. The reason why he is not a true poet. But in a way everything we write, do and say demonstrates our psychology even if as observers of the world our art is to imbibe the psychology of our fellow human beings and reflect it back to them with mirror-like perfection.

When I was growing up I used to have this terrible feeling that if I concentrated on someone giving a recital too much, I would become that person, and make an awful mess of things because I did not possess the skill to do what they were doing…be it talking in a foreign language or playing the piano. I was in my thirties before I learned from my mother that she also had that exact same idea when she was a teenager. There it was. Whatever synapse or connection my brain had made the thought was as much inherited as the capacity to have it.

And that is why I know sixty thousand years ago on a warm, mild day in a different Africa a man was walking with a burden on his necessarily naked shoulders when he saw a fruit tree. Apple, pear or some other known or unknown fruit. Putting down his burden he went to the tree and touched its bark with his splayed hand, watching the skin under the fingernails change colour with the pressure and stroking the bark with his thumb he felt connected,

“Thank you for your fruit, ” he said ,”I will be coming this way again and before I ate I wanted you to know my name is Daniel…”

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