Blog

I was just down in Cardiff to teach and on Friday evening I gave a talk on mindfulness, exploring what it is and what is definitely isn’t.

Daylight anxiety

Another sunny Spring day fades away in Newhaven.

And I see it: I am happy when the sun is shining and there is daylight but I get edgy when it dims.

Mindfulness of the Body and Chalk

And the earth will swallow us.
But not yet, not yet.

Keep on moving,
keep producing and possessing.

See some old places,
visit some new ones.

Feel the cold, the heat, fatigue.
Stop for a moment; continue.

The daily grind and how to exit it

I spend most of yesterday having cups of tea and meals with different people, talking about the desire to break free of the humdrum patterns of life and the hypnotic compulsion of ‘to-do’ lists. How to unwind the daily grind - what the French concisely call “le train-train”.

on shedding straight-jacket and magnetic fields

Words have loyalties
to so much
we don’t control.
Each word we write
rights itself
according to poles
we can’t see; think of
magnetic compulsion
or an equal stringency.
It’s hard for us
to imagine how small

Sleekening the hull at 9,000ft above sea level

The first fear
being drowning, the
ship’s first shape
was a raft, which
was hard to unflatten
after that didn’t
happen. It’s awkward
to have to do one’s
planning in extremis
in the early years —
so hard to hide later:

stumbling down the mountain to ink again

Imagine a
train-track figure
made of sliver
over sliver of
between-car
vision, each
slice too brief
to add detail
or deepen: that
could be a hat
if it’s a person
if it’s a person
if it’s a person.

I have been reading Matthew Crawford’s brilliant book The World Beyond Your Head which has really inspired me.

Stepping out into the shared World

The simple musical score of moving around in a world.

It’s the first morning home and my feet are remarkably spry.