Byzantine Bindings

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Pilgrim Prayer of Dedication


the clock strikes eight

I affect nothing there is no life purpose
knowing this is freedom
breath - silence - stillness

pulled and plucked
I sing the mellow
and the last rayed days
of autumn fading light days
I sing the cold comfort
and the last days
of long winter’s chilled days
I sing the urge
and the first days
of welcomed spring’s rising sap days
I sing the warm freedom
and the endless memoried days
of long summer days

I sing to the earth, wind and sun
the dust and the rain
and my song is this:
I cannot pray
words fail
they cannot take the strain
shoddy tools
outdated, outmoded
long ago created
no longer fit for purpose
logic has betrayed me
settling for mediocrity
in the face of change
while just outside the doors
there is more, much more
always was
always will be
world without end

Friday, 2 September 2011

500 words

What kind of a thing is a question?

calm cool collected
white cloud
sun threatening

samples of paper and cloth through the typewriter and then select destinations
I learned that from the debacle at Wysing.
Artists need the validation for their work from filling forms in.
Kurt Schwitters' barn… hmmm…
‘real’ artists don’t apply for arts council grants they just do
here I go again
I’ll be telling myself soon that
‘real’ writers are born and publishers
flock to their door

Back to the plot…
several test pieces…
that’s it
like the allotment
keep at it
futile attempts
punching above my weight
get back in the ring
dispel the myth
become the myth
theologise mythological philosophising
nice and simple
easy does it
laying traps for acoustics
the old ones are the best
see the caretaker about it
over dramatise

A monastery garden potting shed.

It’s raining - a gentle misty rain, the sort that will soak a man in half an hour.

WG: Do what is possible
M: Not what I can’t do
WG: Less what you can’t do more what can’t be done
M: But can’t everything be done or attempted or striven for or at least stabbed at isn’t that what life is?
WG: Waste of time all of it.
M: Here in this garden do we not both contend against something? Isn’t there a natural order waiting to reclaim our efforts, returning all to a necessary resolution? To an extent we are just doing work for the sake of it. If the order should close and the ground be levelled our efforts will all have been in vain. I cannot believe that what we do here isn’t something. I work for the glory of God, discovering the transcendent in the immanent, encouraging growth and beauty, establishing order from chaos.
WG: Doing what can be done, it’s all nonsense other than that. Reasons have no validity outside language.
M: How does anything have validity outside language?
WG: You pray don’t you?
M: Do you say my prayer has validity?
WG: Would that make it valid?
M: I say that it has.
WG: Then for you it has.
M: And for you?
WG: My interest lies not in your self-validation, no, rather in the validation of your validation. For example the processes by which you self-determine verification, how do you know what you know is valid? How do you use the word valid in your process? How is your nature nurtured, your understanding of nature watered, given the right conditions? What comparison is there of the seed to the plant?
M: When I water the seed it grows by the grace of God. When I pray I water the seed of my intention hoping that I provide the right conditions the rest is up to God. In the end it’s all up to God.


M: The rain has stopped.
WG: Let us pray.

Forgive me for falling into your trap said the rabbit to the hunter

Thursday, 1 September 2011

not more room...

I need a clean sweep
only a clean sweep will afford the opportunity…
I will make a clean sweep and move the bed and use the wall….
as in Dundalk
as in everywhere
the wall is my salvation
the bare walled room
rank with the stench of history
beneath the whitened gallery wall
feeble attempts at naming the unamable
living somewhere outside myself.
no distance at all
trapped by the mirror in the cage of language
parrot watching
cat stroking
toyed with
as in a bell jar

Sunday, 28 August 2011

50 word story...

There is a garden from where I start my pilgrimage.
Nearby two lovers meet by a bridge over a brook.
They share words of poetry from the psalms
it is 662
it is 1765
it is 1916
Creating language for them all
seeking meaning
weaving words with
the butcher’s knife.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

evening came...

and morning came...
the next day.

Bro. Ramon’s Diary…

Early spring 1926

awakening to the sound of the blackbirds pinking, today was another of those good to be alive days. The powder blue sky and the silence of the new day crisply sheeted about me
attention to detail now, slowly does it
breathing in as a first breath
breathing out as a first breath
eyes closed
aware of the rise and fall
aware of the ups and downs
aware of the rhythm of the universe
unaware of the universe
unaware of location or position
horizontal or vertical
but ready to make a stab at it.

The first assault:
ten thousand
headed by the strongest most fearful of the bunch
related to hamsters
some bears
or crows to the rescue
round and round
self-torture on the wheel
racked and ruined
ten thousand behind them
a million behind them
so many beady eyed gulls craving attention.

Aware of the breathing
it must be me
or some other
passing off a decent impression
breath in
some of them enter but make no impression
though there are many, the resolve is stronger.
Making a sound now
which cannot be made into a word
but it is like the breath of god
as it strains to forgive the sin against the holy ghost
and will not be stopped
they fall to rise again
the battle is on.

They are held in place by the breath of god
and stalemate ensues
for the day.
What passes for sanity
keeps me upright rising from the bed
seeing what is made
unsure of it's status checking its pulse
weak beyond belief
rootless and adrift
on a tide of barren seas
seeking something
but wouldn't know what if it was tripped over
onward Sancho!
there is more to life than this ephemera.

Seeds to be sown and weeding to be done after office…

after resting

when I think on my time in the workhouse it seems but a small thing and more a self-inflicted punishment when in truth my spirit was freer then than now and though the physical chains of poverty are removed from my circumstance the tenure of their composition has fitted me well for my life outside the walls…

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Lost in translation...

common union
of one mind
having the wool pulled over ones eyes

summer back again
struggling to let go
not wanting to die
but realising its time is past
its time is over
time for autumn now to take hold
brown and rustle russet leaves underfoot
crisp husks of shed skin
summer creeping
crawling into autumn

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wittgenstein's Garden...

I got a packet of seeds today
free with a gardening magazine
Trying to work out the relationships of identity and meaning and role-in-world of the seed and the packet confusion set in, necessarily - of course, as a matter of course.
The packet contains written instructions, images and seeds.
Oh, the possibility of losing my reason has occurred
don't you worry,
but Beckett the gardener stuffs the packet in his pocket mumbling something about poking them sometime in the lousy old earth, but I doubt both his sincerity and his confidence.
Sometimes I think he's a bit past it these days but he's been a faithful retainer all these years.
Anyway, besides the point, down to it
work to be done
close the gap count the selfish books which, homeless, have taken seemingly perpetual residence upon and amid the creaking and groanings of my home,
floor and shelf.
Perhaps, like Beckett, they have worn my pockets thin
becoming small change dripping out of my trouser legs
(some transitory temporality winks in the corner of my imagination
scuttling off down the temporal lobe)
now we have him boys
in broad daylight too!
He's out of the garden now
in the computer
keep him here
out of the pen and the ink
the flow
the journal rich in becoming
and discovery...
it's too late now...
the moment passes like black
intricate silken lace
over the shoulder of memory.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Endgame approaching - mind the gap...

…wagging their tales behind them.

If you want to tame a horse; put it in a bigger field.

…then, at his lowest ebb he dreamed of the market square in his hometown and a box of gold buried there…

or if you wish, ‘a man had two sons’…

either way

sitting in this grey room of dry mists
between sleep and wakefulness
what stories come to feed at this water-hole?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

covered earth

At the moment I am working away at digging over a piece of land on the allotment that I have had covered over for a couple of seasons now.
It was acquired it when the guy next door moved down one so it left a pice of land about ten by ten which I covered and left to let all the weeds die off.
It is interesting really, that's what the gardening books advise - to cover until the weeds have died. I don't know if I would have had the patience for it, but one thing is for sure it is just so easy to dig over. Here in the middle of the summer with the little rain we have had and the fact that the ground is mostly clay, yet it cut and turned over just like peat.
The digging hasn't been easy because of the heavy ground but not having to stop every two seconds to pull out handfuls of couch grass and bindweed root makes the task so much more pleasurable.
Over the last few weeks I have been otherwise engaged and so haven't had as much time on the plot as I would have liked. It's been great to go there and just switch off and connect with the earth again.

The final design of the plot is complete now and I hope to do some fairly accurate measuring now in order to plan out what goes where. It has been a long time in the working out but now I am there it feels just right. I'll say more about the decision making process later and include some images soon.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

On Language…

maybe words are not to be trusted…

I may think I mean what I mean to say when I say it
but certainly cannot trust that you will know what I mean
when I think you know what I think I mean.
I may be very confident that I know what I think I mean when I say it
but cannot be confident of the fact that you will know what I meant when you hear it
Andy Murray won the other day didn’t he?
'is the coalition winning the war on terrorism?' might be a different question.

On Monday the lady in the shop said, I’ll bring your sandwich over when it was ready
maybe I don’t hear so good these days.

Maybe there is something behind language - like a engine ticking over keeping it all going - like background radiation.

Some say language is all we have - I am not sure..
Slowing down and listening with a watchful tender eye...

In speech misunderstood
In silence unheard
In the allotment
I am
at the heart of the matter
using coronary language
establishing a beat
a pulsing
a pattern
a rhythm
a growing
a living
a dying
I am
another vision
of understanding
unable to articulate
seeking expression
using the language I mistrust.

"If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."
Edward Hopper (here)

Monday, 13 June 2011

Descartes- alternative view - Last Post.

for those who missed
the curious (this isn't what I saw)
and for the others...
still on the journey.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Star of the Show

what's new...

"I think it's beginning to dawn about the 'live' business... what I learned when I first started on this journey about 10 years ago was that 'I' needed to be in the work - not enough to 'paint' something and hang it on a wall, 'sculpt' something and stick it on a plinth - 'install' something and - well you get the idea.. 'I' need to be in it - there seems to be something about 'me' that completes the work in a way that can't be any other way and yet it's not acting that I'm about  nor is it live art - or maybe it is... That's why the recording of something can only ever be a trace, and why the interaction with people is the point of doing the journey...
I only know this lot sounding it out with you, now... which is somehow paradoxical because 'you' aren't 'here' and we aren't 'live'... it's v. confusing!"
Now I'm left wondering what all the " ' " marks mean?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Stepping stones...

each stepping stone is complete in itself
it needs no tread for justification.
True, it plays well
with the boys and girls
and close companions
it is probably better understood
as a mountain in the stream.

Sometimes, perhaps,
seen as a part of the journey
its inherent qualities can be overlooked
as part of a process
rather than a complete system
like the weather
or stars and stripes
signposted pictures in an exhibition
notes on the staff
or mathematical formulae
serving to move us on
rather than
encouraging stopping
watch and listen
to discover
to realise
(make (things) real)man!)).

the thing is, it’s all in a state of flux - except the static bits...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Nearly there...

Memory reveals what memory remembers through a lifetime of filtering and inter-contextualising, juxtaposing and just supposing, until its ossification leaves sometimes brittle bones of painful memories as hides or skins flayed from life’s experience. Mocking like some Aegean parody the smoke blackened gold of Jason’s fleece caught in the thorn bush of my mind.

Have I journeyed for this?
Is this all there is?
What of taking and bringing back?
How ever will the next journey start?
what omens or signs will point the way?
how will decisions be made?
how is my new life including or excluding possibilities?
when will the time be right?
Will I look to the stars
the clouds?
The weather-woman on the telly?
Or deep into my heart?

What’s in the box?

1. a typewriter ribbon
2. the buddha
3. a book "The Artificial Kingdom"
4 a paintbrush
5. glasses
6. pva glue
7. an emery board
8. a canvas panel
9. an easel
10. my belly
11. a slipper
12. bank paper (500 sheets)
13. a vice
14. brass eyes
15. dust
16. a holey stone
17. a pencil
18. a photograph
19. driftwood
20. a screwdriver.

Funny how some things get an ‘a’ before them like ‘a’ screwdriver and driftwood doesn’t.

I wonder, however, will the final journey start?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Cian The Celtic Warrior

the thing is

shortly after I met my travelling companion,
I had to buy his services and he came
somewhat grudgingly
from his foster parent charity shop;
(Ubi Caritas et famen deus ibi est)
I met Cian the warrior
cutting and slashing his way through the waterfall
in Derby market place.
His mum, the wisest of women,
stayed not the lad’s hand
nor yet his bold temperament
as he, with soaking jeans
and trainers oozing watery evidence
of engagement with endless
and formidable enemy horde
took arms against
an imagined sea of troubles
his reward
- a gingerbread-man
a true hero’s companion.

Monday, 9 May 2011

and then...

wondering about it all
watching for the signs
they come in many guises
sometimes on the wind
sometimes in the weather
sometimes skin
bone tooth
and claw
a good wine by the waterfall
bread and cheese
good company
and sometimes
the maker of the starry skies
looks at me through the eyes
of all who have ever loved me.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Have you seen the work of...?

finally, does it ever end
finally the penny drops...
this question the bane of every student of art

the thing is
when ‘they’
'they' are being helpful - but don’t say why -
and you say;
what about my work?
or you say;
yes I have seen the work of;
what about my work?

and it seems like 'they' are trying to stick a sock in your baby voice
just as the first words tumble out…
you want to be original but you don’t know what that is
and you don’t know why
or maybe you know for certain
or maybe you have an inkling
but you know
it’s very important for some reason.

though there are clues
dots if you like
for you to join up,
you may not recognise them.

Here’s the secret;
it’s academic art
that’s it
and academic art can only live within discourse
so you need to know who else write, paints sculpts, installs, performs, dances, dreams, thinks, draws, philosophizes like you,
or you like them to be more accurate
or perhaps not,
then you can explore how they thought, what they did, how they did it, why they did it
what were their concerns and intentions, who were their influences and what was their form
this is so that you can enter into a dialogue with 'them'
and through this dialogue discover
if you like
how your work is the same and how it is different.

It stops your work being cliche
and enables both you and them ’them’ to place you work
have an idea where it sits
develop a shared language
learn how that language works
how words,
slippery worms, of communication,
work in this context
this common ground

it’s a good thing!

BUT beware…

it may be a good thing for ‘them’ more than you.
once placed, it enables ‘them’ to judge your work in relation to it
let me give an example.
Imagine an early student of physics getting in and out of the bath and discovering the displacement of water, who then rushes off to share the discovery with the science teacher.
We’ll say nothing of apples acorns and conkers falling from trees - you get the idea.

The upshot is that the student is told that someone got there before -
So take heart - ‘Have you seen the work of…”
is really shorthand for,

“Your work is really interesting, you have reached deep inside and produced this, and that’s good. I am aware of other budding artists, scientists mud wrestlers who have discovered a similar way to yours. If you look at their work it will enable and empower you to engage in a dialogue which will eventually move you forward, for example have you seen the work of…”

but life is short and ‘they’ have their own agendas, so you just get the end bit.

What interests me is who has looked at how this phenomena works -
How is it that I can produce, without “knowing the work of” work similar “to the work of”?
What's the mechanism - is there one by which two individuals - so called - are gifted with the same breath of life?
I’ll slope off now
reminding you that you signed up for the course
thereby inventing a world in which it can be easy to lose yourself
and your grip on whatever reality is, hopefully,
and asking myself the question,
“Have you seen the work of Alfred Korzybski and time binding?”

Hopefully some passing cyber-surfing-junkie reading this will comment by saying... "Have you seen the work of..."

Thanks Gary and Alfred.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Concerning Method

somewhere - ?
sometime - ?
turn round three times (pause)
type a list
roll the dice
spin the wheel

(open the first ob-servant envelope);

Ask of the clouds - or similar

(open the second questing envelope);

'What shall we eat today?' - or similar

Deliver a timed -?
rant, raided from the unconscious to my travelling companion.
Type a sonnet

Participant /observer false dichotomy;
The cow pat has a megaphone and I can speak through it!
Thanks Dave

Wednesday, 4 May 2011


12 off 9 x 1.5 x 2.4m
2 off 8 x 4 exterior grade plywood sheets
3 off 3 x 3 2.8m
10 off 2 x 1 x 20'
3 off metaposts
1 off 10m roll HD roofing felt
500g galv felting nails
3 off 2 x 2 x 3m
all wood 'treated'.


lost and confused a bit...

the days are being lost now
in a confusion of disability
smack smack
I can never remember being smacked
that’s all I remember
no love
as such
exterior marks of a confused god
interior wounds attendant
some 60 years on
forget it
let go
approach the vastness of the open heart
with the same generosity you would now
if you only knew how.
The human spirit is not rational it is a repository of
feelings and impressions
stirred and evaporated with the intention of
open to all and sundry
we are from dust and bear the marks
of kneading fired in the furnace of life
carded wool
spun and woven in some pattern we acquiesce to
partake somehow
in a confused and confusing self indulgenced hymn to wisdom
torn between tent and town
we take our fellow earth and create a city
from its entrails
not counting the cost
save in our insecurity
masking our confusion with golden smile
having all the comfort of a hard shiny surface
I do not know that there is meaning in anything
nor that anything can be learnt
watching waiting for the tiger
gatekeeper of the mirage
come to meet me in the desert
I pray that I will have the resources to
deal with his questions
pass the test
drink the
vintage glass of sand.

I can smell seaweed.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Halfway House

How difficult
to live
in the moment
being present
through the din
the persistent hum of creation.

never quiet
constant whisper, hidden
unearthed by being still in time

recycled truth
wrapped in blanket
muffled sounds emerge
smothered cries
mu mu ma mu

void eclipsing silence of…
taken for granted
wholly mother of God
mu mu ma mu

see me
tainted by the hand of God
unable to wrestle free
mu mu ma mu

Unable to resolve the situation, our intrepid hero gives in to the temptation to state a position.
Little more than the gurgling of a weaning child in arms, his utterance belies his frailness and yet determination to articulate, as only he can in his position, what only he knows.
inconsolable now as, misunderstood nothing happens as a result - there is no response of any kind and the day goes by and the night draws on and the night draws on.
He makes a battle cry:
By the sweat on my fevered brow
I curse this affliction of language longing for the day!

Take it with a pinch of salt
look to your own belly and its yearnings my friend
lest the loaf-lord make you a wretch like me
forced now to wander and live by my wit as poet and sage.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Best get sorted then...

first stab at training session - decided to walk to mum's this morning and back, she'd gone to Mass so it meant a quick turn around so that's about 4.5 miles this morning and about the same this afternoon with rucksack and picnic and friendly accompaniment.
Did some stretches when I got back have a few more routes planned. I need to build up to 10 miles in the morning and ten miles in the afternoon on two consecutive days.
Will do it tomorrow too so that will be about twenty miles in two days which is a good base to start from.
best extrapolate the above into a chart of sorts.
It's good to have started.
It's become a thing now.
New walking gear works a treat.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Source Code

Am I walking towards or away from?
How will I record the journey?

First I’m asleep,
but the only reason I know I am asleep
is the awareness of not yet being awake
then starts consciousness' dawn chorus.
In that transitional state
shadowy slumberland
where reality and dream meet
walking along the shoreline of the creative imagination.
Picking out a single ghost note, or trill
‘walking toward or walking away?’…
 - in your journey -
‘walking towards or walking away?’

About Face…
the face you never see -
looks towards a fixed point - shoot…
reach the point
turn - shoot...
continue for the journey and present the result in pairs
a linear progression a vertical map of the journey
that anyone can follow…
with a commentary somehow -

Korzybski’s Reality.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Vanishing Earth Egg

On Saturday
I found a pure white egg
like a small
chicken's egg
in the earth
lying there, mind you,
nestled in the soil
as I hoed the weeds.

I held it in my hands
it's fragile whiteness
like my soul or something
I left it back
where I found it
it vanished without trace.

seems to have happened,
either because my reason is not sharp enough
or my intuition sulking
and untrustworthy,
I seem unable to process the significance
of this event.

It was a pigeon's egg

Monday, 25 April 2011

Exciting times

made some headway with regard the final shape of the plot.
Need to sort some graphics out to post in order to save a thousand words.

Finished off weeding now and waiting for the weedkiller to take effect. I hadn't wanted to use it but with the way things are at the minute I only have the time to do what I can so sadly I have resorted to using some Roundup.

I'm amazed that the onions I threw in last week have taken. It's surprising how there is a lot of moisture below the surface after such a long time without rain.

Decided that whatever happens tomorrow I will sow some beans ready to go in when the last frosts have passed.

Took out the seeding head from the rhubarb.


Concerning bird’s egg, owl feather, two chance meetings and the song of songs.

Act 1
hoeing weeds
Oh my God
there’s a perfectly white stone
it’s a sign!
No, even more miraculous
because thou art so good
in the soil
ground egg
earthen egg
I am very sorry for all my sins
on Easter Saturday
and by the help of thy grace
I will not sin again
Which bird lays it’s egg in the soil?

Act 2
In comes Daisy stage right
I like your beard
you don’t mind me talking to you do you?
I went to town yesterday
didn’t know it was
red cross day
I’ve been ill and needed some t shirts - y’know
it was full
didn’t know it were red-cross day
you couldn’t walk in town
all out there, drinking an that
on of them said I was rude
very rude
you don’t mind me sitting here do you?
telling all my secrets
I won’t talk about me illness
no point
lovely day look at that dog
what day is it
must be going now.

In comes Dave stage left
d’y want a go?
you can go on this where you can’t go in cars
it gets me about
you can have a go
can’t walk like I used to you know
it’s my own fault mind,
I didn’t listen when I were young
they said, ‘Don’t grow up, and I did.’
Army escapades
Northern Ireland
mapping the dessert
under the stars in

Act 3
owl feather
on the way to evensong
“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
by the roes, and by the hinds of the field,
that ye stir not up,
nor awake my love, till he please.”
Song of Solomon 8:5 KJV

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Two Discoveries

discovery 1
having less time focuses the mind and galvanises the body into action
discovery 2
I can make some raised beds on the land where there is a thin layer of soil atop a roadstone path
discovery 3
gardeners shuffle is a universal dance it links me to the land and the others in time
dust flys up
amid thunder clouds

Easter Day

And so it begins.

dying rising
circle of birth re-birth
comes one no longer held by death

once again
meeting in the quiet time
holding my breath
watching the flaming sparkling
splinters of faith
rise high
engulfed in the dark
desperately wanting it to happen this time
thoughts turn to afters
breakfast, laughter
tears and pain
spells cast in dreamtime
mainfest and evaporate before dawn's reality

Even when I believed with true and perfect faith I wasn’t sure. It seemed I had to cut my toes off to enable them to fit into the shoes of faith. That was a weakness in me of course. Saints have no trouble in understanding these things and willingly buy bigger shoes or trim their toes with little regard for the consequences. Certainty of purpose gives a clarity of vision beyond pain of martyrdom or sacrifice of sons or reasoned argument, pleading or family ties.

I wonder now about those days and how I dealt with the questions and the fences I fell at and the twists and turns and the glimpses of another reality perhaps.
The meal ends with the first bite, it’s often over just in the imagining thereof like silence, whereof in conversation where angels reside, a blink of the eye and the moment is gone forever.
There’s yearning, yes
emptiness, yes
communion, yes
But all that counts cannot be counted and the heart takes stock of the bodies excesses. Extreme conditions demand extreme measures in any time or place.

Re-evaluation is painful, in part because of my limited perception of time. Constrained to move forward, curtain of past behind and future’s fog ahead I pound the treadmill of the present moment locked, as it were, in some battle with some unseen enemy behind and before me.
Stopping is the impossible option, death to past and future. Free-fall. Free for all. Chaos of nature’s cycle beyond my understanding or more importantly my control.

Who is it that will not leave me alone, that hounds me out sniffing my scent across time and space, annoying me with compassion and love when what I want is to be alone?


Why was he unrecogniseable in the garden?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Ticking over

it's been a fraught few weeks with family illness and I am only just beginning to come to terms with integrating it into my practice. I manage and hour some mornings and just pull weeds and tickle round with tools.
I think I'm kind of resolved to just dig and keep on top of the weeds this year and do what I can until things improve. Hoping not to have to give the plot up.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

First Mowing

Friday saw me off to do the first mowing of the season. I have lots of path; don't like slabs.
It also found me playing with 'Livestream'. Considering using this for a performance of 'Descartes' Blanket'. Otherwise, handed in a piece of coursework and so now I am free to dig away for the next while.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Descartes' Blanket

(I think therefore I am(c(old)))

If thinking is a disease of the mind (unattributed aphorism)
and the great error is the Greek, `however beautiful it may be.' (Gauguin)
what if, leaving aside the observations of artists and sages,
we fast forward and backward to the seventeenth century - what are we to make of it all,
Life's purpose and meaning?
Let us turn in our confusion to a little known disciple of Descartes 1596-1650
and progenitor of mine Arnold deBeaufrere (Born 1595 died sometime later)

In need of comfort amid the vagaries of life,
Arnold reached out to embrace the comfort blanket of what would later be called Cartesianism, in order to stave off the extremes of the cold winds of uncertainty and experience.
`At last here would be a method' he recalls - `by which
I will know for certain, that I will be able, at last, to sleep;
conscience clear,
having stared into the eye of God.'

Arnold was accustomed to take a walk by the river after
his lunch and caught by a storm; it was midwinter,
he took shelter in a rude cave, hewn out by some eremite his mind fancied, (oh fateful lack!) in years gone by.

`How fortunate a man am I,' he thought, as he unrolled from his knapsack
`a woollen blanket to stave off the cold of the day and how fortunate to have the time to extend my usual reverie.'
His focus now on the blanket, he began to employ his friend
and mentor’s method to examine it.
Here is an abstract, I have translated from the French, from the journal he kept with him at all times:
What a pleasant and delightful thing is a woollen blanket!
Its very colours warm me an such a chill day.
Is the colour enough, I wonder, to warm me? - surely not!
I will get to the bottom of this and examine the warp and woof
the spaces in-between, the very soul of the blanket as I unpick one from the
What warms me?
is it these tiny threads of wool, each no thicker than half a stem of corn?
Not the colour, as, though my mind is disposed to reds and oranges
as warm colours, in truth I never burned myself upon an orange!
and not in these individual threads I observe…
I will endeavour to know wherein the warmth resides!
As I make careful observation of each unravelled thread - I see that it itself
composes three other threads.
I will separate each of these and examine and test their texture and composition testing each rigorously for warmth.
When divided I observe each one of the three strands
seems composed of tiny filaments, and though my fingers
now numb with the cold are clumsy instruments
with which to conduct my experimentation, they are all
I have.
I have decided that the loss of heat from my body,
overall, will soon be replenished when, upon discovery
of the object of my pursuit, namely wherein the
warmth of the blanket resides, I will rapidly be able
to make up the loss of heat I am currently experiencing.
Half the blanket used up in experimentation and strewn
around me in small heaps, I confess to experiencing
slowness of mind in this cruel winter’s cold but non
the less I feel a breakthrough immanent as I trust in the process.
Closer investigation of the threads reveals them to be as thin as a spider’s web .
My next task will be to gather all the filaments
together from the whole blanket, thus, having
exposed the essence of the blanket, I will
at least be able to apprehend wherein the
warmth resides.
Before that, however, I will rest a while as I
confess to being cold to the marrow in
this damp and freezing place…

Now, a final push as I fear there
may be little time before the previous
occupant of this cave, whose gloomy form I apprehend,
attempts to steal the warmth from
my woollen blanket which now lies
as fluffy clouds before my eyes…
such pretty shapes..
in which I see reflected upon the wall of the cave
the fields of my youth in summer’s guise,
and hear the skylarks song…
oh cruel fate!

mother calls…
time for tea my son…
wash your hands now…
like a good boy….
soapy water…
perhaps I have been in error seeking warmth
in the woollen blanket
instead of the summer sun
which warms the sheep
or the grass they nibble…
yes, perhaps the warmth is in the grass of the blanket
but where is the grass now…
yes the grass will warm me…
through its intimate connection to the sun…
whose golden warming rays are trapped within…

The journal ends here…

Arnold died in that cave,
his body found by his dog who upon discovering
his master’s body lay down next to him in order to revive him with the warmth of faithful companionship
as only dogs which run freely in green fields under the sun know how.

The journal was handed down to me in a wooden box inlaid with intricate
marquetry, rosewood and pearl inlays,
full of family letters
Someday I will explore them

but for now I return to my
studies and the quest for
how meaning can be found and made through
and how to connect the history of the land
to spiritual journey.
remembering Einstein's definition of insanity and that
in every journey, there is a mystery of meaning,
an enshrouded epiphany, unknown to the traveller
converting, by faith, wanderer to pilgrim.

Friday, 4 March 2011


The Tree of Red-Herrings and the Secret of the Woman Tree

...the serpent doesn't lie
Adam and Eve do not die
the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
- a real eye opener
verifies the serpent's truth
so what of God
now the cat is out of the bag
and the scrumper to blame?

Fig leaves sewn - off to work they go...

I am drawn to the idea of the Other Tree story
an exploration of the Tree of Life,
the Woman Tree.
What is that and how does it fit with the other tree;
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
Something tells me this is the Tree of Division
and that the Tree of Life is the Tree of Wisdom, wholeness, unity, peace and resolution...
It's a binary thing...
East West
Tao Genesis
Poetry Proof.

The story begins...
There were two trees in the garden and one got all the attention.
The other tree took back stage and was the subject of a preservation order by God.
Realising one was no use without the other
keen to prevent wholeness and godlikeness slipping out
in the guise of immortality,
made it hard to get at the Tree of Life
with the curious combination of cherubs and multi-directional flaming swords.

Somehow, realizing that this life isn't the end,
death only a way-marker along the path.
Somehow, discerning the question of morality is only one half of the story
albeit the dominating one.
Learning to pursue The Woman Tree fruit,
making discoveries
learning in other ways
spinning, weaving
rather than asking the question, 'What..?'
led to ask the question, 'Why..?
listening through fingers
learning through the pains of birthing
making meaning in the face of death.

An alternative reality emerges, coaxing spring from a winter's morning.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is about
the what of things... division.
Tree of Life is about the why things... unity
The fruits of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a red herring
introducing duality and explaining how duality came into the world.
It is the basis of and logic and reasoning.
The fruits of the Tree of Life are intuition, inkling, cunning and wyrd.

Strange that, how trees look in silhouette
changing by the seasons of one's life.
The poetry of their existence
proving things with less certainty -

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Sowing Seeds

Here's the business:
Planting Seeds

Made all the bits today after buying the trays yesterday from Wilko's.
Nearly ready to rock and roll.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


look what happens when doctoring meets gardening...
makes me want to get a second mortgage and start NOW!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Magic Beans...

once upon a time Jack went to Poundland and got 4,160 seeds and beans for £5. He wondered about the wisdom of his investment. Only time would tell - seeds are seeds after all he thought...