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Archive for September, 2014

In the second series of verbs in the A to Z of Becoming, L stands for Laugh.

I think it’s been well established that “laughter is the best medicine” – and, the best way to test that is to try it yourself.

Humour, however, is very personal, so I don’t know if the things which make me laugh, also make you laugh.

Here are a couple of short videos which have made me laugh again and again over the years…..

 

 

What I suggest this week, is that you find what makes you laugh, and treat yourself……have a good laugh, you’ll feel the better for it!

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berries

As I walked along the banks of the Charente recently I saw these berries catching the sun.

As ever, I’m caught by the sheer beauty of the image, but it also sets my thoughts off on two different, related tracks.

Berries are full of potential. They contain the seeds of life itself. This is how this plant, this species, creates its future, offering these berries as gifts for other creatures to eat, to digest, to carry elsewhere. This plant can’t walk or run, but it isn’t confined to this one little space on Earth. This plant lives in a bigger world than the few square metres where it has its roots, not least by creating berries. By creating berries and offering them freely it not only adds to the Universe, but adds to the lives of other creatures too.

We’ve no way of knowing where each of these individual berries will end up. We can’t tell their story forwards, other than by using our imaginations. But we know they are full of potential.

The other track my thoughts go down when seeing this image is the one of diversity and difference. No two of these berries are identical. I love the variety of colours, shapes, and size in this little group. How that is magnified on the World scale!

Nature loves diversity……the unique expression of individual life in every organism, every circumstance and every event.

So, this little image says a lot to me – about beauty, Life, growth, potential, connections, relationships, uncertainty, unpredictability, difference, diversity, creativity, expression, and……..[add your own thoughts here]

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Rainbow fountain

I love rainbows.

I love how a rainbow only appears when we are standing in the right place looking in the right direction.

There’s no rainbow without the viewer.

There’s no rainbow which lasts for ever. It shimmers, it deepens, it fades, you can’t find the start or the end of it (you’ll never know if there is a bucket of gold hidden there!)

It’s the symbol of hope, of promise and of diversity.

I love it’s transience, because transience heightens the present moment.

Immerse yourself in today.

Enjoy l’√©merveillement du quotidien.

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Adaptation

Look closely at this photo. The white object which you can see is a concrete post. The tree has grown around it.

The tree is about the height of a five or six storey building so I’m guessing it is many, many years old. Slowly, imperceptibly, it must have first encountered, then grown around the post.

Isn’t that amazing? A brilliant example of adaptation!

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John O’Donohue used to talk about “invisible nearnesses” –

He said “…the mountains, particularly in Connemara, are huge dark mountains. There’s a lot of moisture and a lot of rain and a lot of mist. And some mornings you’d get up, and the fog would’ve come half way down the mountain, rendering the top of the mountain invisible. You’re in the presence of the mountain, and half the mountain has vanished. It’s there, but not visible to the eye. And I often think that it’s a wonderful image of the imagination, that image. In other words, that there are around every life a series of huge nearnesses, a whole invisible world that we can’t see with the eye but that is absolutely crucial to who we are. And I think that the imagination is the faculty that brings you in touch with these presences that are around your life. That’s where I think the divine, and the soul, and the magic of the world between us all, the world of betweenness – that’s where they all reside. And that’s where the imagination loves to dig its furrow and to disclose these hidden, oblique kind of presences.

Every morning for the last few years, when I’ve been at home, in Stirling, I’ve looked out at a mountain – Ben Ledi, but sometimes it’s not there.

rainbow no mountain

Recently, it wasn’t just invisible, the way John O’Donohue describes it, but there was a rainbow there instead! I immediately remembered his idea of “invisible nearnesses”, so I browsed around and found the original text I remembered from his film, “Anam Cara”.

Now I read that again, I’m struck by another of his points – “the world of betweenness” – and how that is exactly what Iain McGilchrist talks about when he describes the right hemisphere of the brain’s approach to the world.

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In the A to Z of Becoming, Part 2, K is for kiss.

In some countries it is common cultural practice to greet friends with a kiss on each cheek. Whether the kiss starts on the left or the right cheek, and how many kisses are given seems to vary!

I don’t think anyone kisses the back of a woman’s hand and says “enchant√©” any more (except in Period dramas), but other common light kisses are the affectionate placing of a kiss on someone’s forehead.

Light kisses, kisses on the cheeks, a kiss on the forehead, or deep, passionate full-mouthed kisses……they all have their place, and in their own special ways, they enhance our quality of life.

Why not take this opportunity to ask yourself about the place of kisses in your life……and whether or not you are giving enough of them?

One of my most favourite movies of all time is an Italian film called Cinema Paradiso. At the very end there is a scene where the main protagonist watches a special viewing of all the scenes the local priest cut out of the movies shown in the town as part of his regular practice of censorship. Here’s that scene…..both the music and the scene itself are uplifting, moving and, just, well, quite wonderful.

Even if these are the only kisses in your life this week, this week will be a GOOD one!

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Water swirling round corner

One of the most beautiful and mesmerising sights in the world is, I think, flowing water. This photo captures a flow of water around a post at the beginning of a weir. Flow is a very important concept to me.

Giles Deleuze‘s radical philosophy emphasised difference and change to the extent that he called on us to change our priorities from the old Greek ones which still dominate our reductionist science.

He emphasised difference instead of identity. Championing uniqueness, and the special-ness of the present moment, over categorisation, essences and identity. I am a one off, not one of a kind.

He emphasised change over objects. His philosophy is a philosophy of becoming.

As it says, in the byline to this blog……becoming not being.

These ideas have been with us for centuries. In the West, it was Heraclitus who said you can’t step in the same river twice. In the East, Taoism emphasises the Way, and Japanese culture, for example, reveres the transient (as we see magnificently in the annual cherry blossom celebrations)

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