Peace Amidst Chaos



“The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.”
Alvin Toffler


The challenges that arise from change are common, and change happens often. Every time we turn around, it seems that the familiar has become un-familiar. Coping is both daunting and exhausting. Many people feel pressured to keep up.

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The last hurrah?

On a rain-filled, late Autumn, Wednesday morning; on what feels to be a devastating low point for the politics of hope/decency/democracy, perhaps you’ll forgive me if, for a moment at least, I bury my head in my hands and remember the last hurrah of Autumn.


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Autumn by boat


It’s been a while. The floating thin object. Gorgeously purposeful purposelessness.

A slow chug. From town to village. Cross-country. Brass and rust. A held-breath, mindful morning. Ochre. Burnt Umber. Drab Olive. Hectic flirts of bright yellowredorange. Gloss highlights in a matt world.

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Wabi-Sabi of boat

Our old boat Eileen is a project that’s never likely to be completed. In my minds-eye there are grand designs and the hope that the ‘next big push’ will move it towards some degree of completeness – but it never actually happens. Time’s not on my side and life gets in the way. There’s just too much distraction and not enough daylight as the boat’s located just too far from home to make an evening’s work on it viable. Still, that’s not to say we can’t enjoy it’s rough-&-ready incompleteness. We can indulge in ‘glamping’ afloat perhaps, shabby-chic without the chic and, over time, we’ve cobbled together a camping stove and sleeping bag ‘make-do and mend’ mindset that works. The threadbare space, the unfinished rough-edges being seen as an antidote to slickness. The boat’s concrete materiality is a refreshing change from the temptations of the virtual world.

This year we’ve not been able to get a-boat as much as I’d like. This picture-post is about when we did and for a few days enjoyed the wabi-sabi of the boat

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Old wooden peg

It takes a great deal of effort to see what’s in front of you, whether that’s a stone, a mountain, or another person. After much watching, after much witnessing of the metamorphoses from object to presence, you find that everything is self-luminous. If you observe something long enough, its being comes forth, the is-ness of the thing is made manifest.

Don Domanski from his Ralph Gustafson LecturePoetry and the Sacred in Reliquiæ Supplement 2016

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