Begging for Giveness


Epiphany: dissolving the veil of perception behind which floats understanding. The Twelfth day of Christmas is when three magi, wise enough to make a detour on their return to the Orient, happed on the stable in Bethlehem. Today marks the end of the sacred fortnight.

This fresh Decade started violently. That don’t bode well.

However, if we learnt anything from the last twenty years, it is that evolution has quickened its pace and we aren’t catching up: melting ice-packs, smelting forests, oceanic plastic, drastic resourcelessness. We’re choking ourselves.

Consumption: de-link consumption from status and we augment the quality of what we produce in virtue of needing less of it. This gives the Earth a chance to catch its breath.

If I knew how to beg, I would sink to my knees and encourage all within earshot to look inside and share what they find. Giving of oneself opens the windows in ventilation of being meaningfully useful. Call it prudence or self-interest or humane or kind: all terms apply equally.

Giveness is not yet a word: might it become a deed?

Listening to what the inner life murmurs seems never more apposite by virtue of what, ever more clearly we discern, awaits us.

Breadth of Nature


Our three heroes and the Toad, illustrated for Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 treasure by Ernest H Shepard

The Wind in the Willows is one of those enchanting tales in which one finds all human life: that is to say, the full panoply of personable characteristics is laid out with gorgeous humanity.

We concentrate on the thin-skinned Toad, the proud and loquacious Toad, the gracious and affable Mr Toad, the …

Part of Toad’s irresistible appeal is the charmingly frank-while-often-only-fleeting-acknowledgement of his excesses. Deep within his substantial form beats a kind and generous heart and that generosity of spirit makes him, somehow, immutably unimpeachable.

© Estate of E.H. Shepard

After splashing about in the pool of his own hubristic harmartia, it dawns on the traffic-quelling Terror that his passions lead nowhere but downfall. Brushes with prison, mottled-arm-barge-women, Wild Wooders (and loyal friends) show that doing the right thing for the long-term is always the right thing to do, no matter how hard it seems in the short-term.

Toad’s quintessential self comprises vivacious appetites, eruptive joie’d’vie and a compassionate empathy for the plight of others. His nature wraps around a breadth of character which spans cheerfully guile-less charm to rogue-ish intrigue. He is never mean-spirited, spite-full, mercenary nor spineless. This, mebbie, is why we never tire of his derring-do’s?*

You’ll notice we haven’t mentioned the #Resident of the United States in these pages for a while.

* grammatically, do’s is clearly a shocker but we can’t work out how it ought be written.

Tradesman’s entrance


Tradesmen (9) by John Johnson in the ownership of the Bodleian

There are times when all one craves is a supercilious footman to peer down his nose and instruct the person at the door “Tradesmen round the back”.

As the country braces itself to rise in full height to dignify higher ideals of the #special relationship, it is possible to lose focus on its transitory players. Thus, we reflect on the curious mirroring of throwing toys from the pram which the peoples are doing inspired by the jejune reactions of their elected [and candidate] leaders.

The United Kingdom is not alone being in turmoil. Turns out it appears to be a function of the Millenium. If we look at neighbours near and far, none seems immune from expressing national displeasure. Seems that in leaving the Twentieth century behind, an appetite developed for refreshed engagement between rulers and ruled: the peasants have revolted and contrary to 1381’s precedent, are unlikely to re-submit to serfdom.

All of us are at the service of something beyond us in one way or another, whether the demons who drive gamblers, the merchants who drive trade, the oligarchs who swell their coffers, the families we wish to cherish and protect. What seems to have shifted and opened a space for dialogue is the acceptance that absolute power is an indication of the absolute corrupt-ness of its holder. And with that acceptance, it is discounted.

With the #Resident’s arrival through the Palace’s gilded front door° moments before the seventy fifth anniversary of D-Day’s Normandy beaches landings, perhaps there’s a chance to take a breath, listen to echos of the sacrifice others have made on our behalf and extend empathy for all those trapped in cycles of hellish atrophy.

© Akron Museum                                                     Put’s things in perspective

° Just learnt the #Residential party will land in the Palace back garden.

The Jung Ones


© Ben Elton?                                       Neil, Rik, Vyvyan & Mike in younger days

Could Jung’s proposition of archetypes – that psyche is a composition of three elements namely the ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious – influencing our behaviour explain the synchronicity of trans-polar neighbours.

In one of the twelve pearls that are the episodes of The Young Ones, the phrase negative reality inversion is uttered by the hapless Neil upon emerging along with clones from a muck-heap.

Ras and the #Resident could be a tribute band instead of the democratically elected leaders of the OyesUR & USA.

The seeming reflected image over the polar ice-cap of two slight and trivial individuals who appear willing to heap responsibility for their own actions to the shoulders of collective consciousness is dazzling. Along with an election-boosted ego and personal unconscious, Ras will be in power til 2024 which coincides with the #Resident’s planned departure from the term of office for which campaigning as already begun.

Never mind the precedence it sets, load your rowlocks for a fast getaway otherwise heavy, heavy, heavy: it’s gonna be the negative reality of an invasion.


In-credible: fear & credulity


Image: Eric Johnson

Trump. The whole story in a word.

What was expected? It appears what is being done was expressly planned and announced: well in advance. There seemed no lack of credence at the time. Perhaps we didn’t Listen to what was heard?

Cambodians didn’t deserved Pol Pot, Rumanians Ceaușescu, Ukrainians Stalin. So it can’t be right to suggest we deserve the politicians we get; other than in fully paid up members of Democracies, naturally.

Listening and hearing are similar but not akin. To Listen, attention must be paid: to the words used, the manner of expression, the way the body is held, the breathing that ventilates the ideas, the light in the eye, the kindness – or otherwise – in the demeanor.

The hard work of Listening yields surprising dividends that justify honing skills on a daily basis. Even so:  #ResidentTrump evidently spoke to something in us. To the fear in us, perhaps?