Monday, 29 December 2014

Why I love the garden and its context - a walk with Bruegel

Dear Monty,

This being the time between times, I have been on a short journey around my garden and the land above it in order to see it in its context.




















It has been such a bright day.
I have been walking with Toff the whippet on the coal tip above our garden.
Frosted
The hill and its gouged tracks looked like a 21st century Bruegel.





The wooded hill down to the post industrial town
The smoking stacks
The brightness of ice
The toned down colours
The posts and wires










































This industrial scene on the edge of the Brecon Beacons is where I am trying to carve out a small sanctuary.



This has been a day of bright joy.




Paul

Sunday, 28 December 2014

7 days reflection

Dear Monty,




14/12/14
There are owls over this coal tip garden - tawny owls that hoot and screech.

15/12/14
The dilemma of how not to be self promoting.
How do I reconcile those Christians who say certain religions are evil and wicked from the fact that Christ himself said that any religion that becomes hypocritical is evil - this surely includes 'Christianity'. We do not need swords - forgiveness and peace are our weapons based upon a secured inner peace. I wish we could stop fighting with our tongues and get on with a life of faith.

23/12/14
Solstice passed - days will slowly become longer - buds fatten. If we haven't succumbed to winter and death  - we look forward to a spring.
Christmas was invented to turn us away from the worship of nature's gods. Christ's birth wasn't celebrated by the first Christians. They celebrated life in Messiah - the consolation of Israel. Our constructed mid-winter festival is a mix of wassail and church tradition. The advent of Christ has become wound up in so much tradition, but it is as much a present reality as the bare bones of winter, it was a moment in world history which broke through into our time-bound world and revealed the ever existing sphere of the God who is spirit - through Christ.
There is no particular feast or celebration needed now, apart from breaking bread and sharing wine - yet on we go distancing ourselves from the fundamental - a very dim reflection of the light. Braking up the continuum into days has its downside.

25/12/14
The sunset over the park




Pines with guilded edges
Gilt sun sliding west
Clouds turn from lemon yellow to gold then pink
Now in dusty blue the slip of moon reflects a kind of melancholy

Upon this earth he stood
He wept
And I weep still

Remember the author of our story
'The angelic host proclaim' - we have forgotten him
So we bow to fabled stories
And forget the consolation he can bring

Look 
Look up to the moon
Ancient
Empty
Like the earth once was
Our lives lived under it 
Its phases, shadows, light
Tells us of a might beyond our understanding

Why this fertile earth so close to pitted desolation ?
Was our seed meant to foster love ?
Instead we cry
'I am not my brothers keeper'

And so we weep
Yearning for another Eden.


26/12/14
Impatient, we now open boxes on Christmas day, so boxing day becomes an anti-climax. Like so many festivals they have their moment and then they are over. I see berries and birds and nature waiting for the spring - we cannot wait - we cannot rest. I inwardly rest.


27/12/14
The dog sleeps in the low sun on the sofa after his hobbling run
On sore paw
He soaks up the warmth
And huddles his paws and tail together.

-------------------------------


The immovable star





Last night I looked up to an immovable star through the roof light
There the clouds moved fast like wisps of smoke
veiling eternity

This one star shone through the infinite distance above my head
How far was she above my bed ?
There before I was born
And for centuries after I am dead
Constant light
Too far away for me to even imagine

In the garden of the night
Time is almost timeless
As we turn about in our beds
As the earth spins on its axis orbiting the sun

We are so insignificant.


28/12/14





O bright and clear morning
The sound of sparrows chirruping in the hedge
Golden sun
Blue sky
Hope rises with the light

Strange that the sound of ' random' sparrows can do this.
Then a carrion crow sits on the highest point of a cypress tree
And crows
Just to make it complete.


Paul.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sugar Loaf

Dear Monty,

After a frosty start looking at the coal tip garden, I went to meet up with friend, social worker, photographer, blogger and associate garden maker to veddw.com charleshawes.veddw.com to walk the Sugar Loaf mountain above Abergavenny.






Being principally spiritual, arty, romantic ? I look at the world from that perspective - this may be perceived by others as deluded - hence the title of this blog. I have wondered for some time who has the right to title themselves as an artist - or in Charles's case photographer - is it success in financial terms rather than whether the work inspires or communicates beyond words ? The inventors of art nouveau said that art is for everybody - there is no high or low art - that dream did not last like most dreams. Charles and I always have good conversations when we walk which I value very much, they make me re - examine myself  and my beliefs and help me to refine what makes me tick, so as a thank you to Charles I have written some words to reflect what was going on in my strange head after our bright exertion.



Sugar Loaf




Dreaming I still dream of a life lived that dips into the crystal stream of clear consciousness
The stream that flows from God's blue skied hard topped peak
Where the world spreads out beneath




He utters words I dare not speak

Names are carved in stone - but this time no verse
Forgiveness is difficult
For creatures cursed with knowledge




When will these rocks melt and the sun turn to cold blood - no more to burn ?
What will the marks we made upon this earth mean then ?




The river will cease to cut its path
Seas will dry up
Fools will perish where there is no love




Wake up to this sharp beauty
This spear of crystal cold
The air of life
Caressed in love
Held
Remembered
Never forgotten



Paul.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

An ode to Anselm

Dear Monty,

Anselm Kiefer www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/anselm-kiefer? wanted to be Jesus - this was his ambition as a Catholic boy growing up in the bombed out streets of post war Germany. Later he realised that he couldn't be Jesus - none of us can.
He struggled with his and our inconsistencies - he saw the two sides of ourselves.


The burning burns into my head 
A sickening blackness
Sometimes a bright furious flame
Flames of passion
Or a dull smouldering
Ash that fills nostrils and mouth
Smothering
And dulling thoughts to a numb sleep.




Creativity bursts out
God speaks
A voice from inside 
One that I hardly recognise

The start was explosive
The void occupied with matter
That cooled and cools still
'The wise understand the destruction'
'The power of the holy people will be broken'

The cooling of the core
The turning of years
The degradation of life

Wars are inevitable
We struggle to maintain boundaries
Overwhelmed
Like decaying seedheads overwhelmed by frost, rain and wind
A whirlwind will take us up
The earth and all that there is therein
And all the people said - Amen.





Christ was meant to be the first fruits from among the dead - an offering of light from darkness.

It was never meant to have its complete fulfilment now - this was a future promise, a hope fixed in Christ in love, forgiveness and encouragement. Outside of that we are just left with our inconsistency.

We are left with hope - we can still sense it in the light that illuminates.

I live in this 'lovely ugly town' - the reality is intrusive noise from trial bikes on the tip - and the beauty in the colours of winter - and hope in the maturing.










Paul.