Category: Consciousness

The Big Picture (2) : a portrait of the archer

If we’re going to set off in search of the spiritual – as seen in humanity’s ‘internal pictures’, we need to have a more modern definition of what ‘the spiritual’ actually is… Imagine we are reading a paragraph in an absorbing book – something like the image below. Normally, our brains would assemble a sequential stream of characters into recognised words, then meaning. The … Read More The Big Picture (2) : a portrait of the archer

Winter walks with camera (6) : the shape of drama

Drama comes in many forms, but those forms can be accentuated by the rigours of Winter (250 words, a two-minute read) The estuary to the west of Arnside has an ancient feel, and is filled with dramatic shapes and foliage. In Winter, some of these can look primeval, and the natural desaturation of colour caused by the lower levels of light play to the … Read More Winter walks with camera (6) : the shape of drama

The Big Picture (1) : life and the image

We don’t live ‘in the world’… an outrageous thing to say, and yet it’s true. Well, if we don’t live in the world, where do we live? We don’t live in the world; we live in a picture of the world… the ‘big picture’ of the blog’s title. If we actually lived in the world, we would go insane within a very short time … Read More The Big Picture (1) : life and the image

Winter walks with camera (5) : long-shadowed figures

A bright winter day brings a wonderful benefit: long shadows. Often a matter of being lucky and at the right place at the right time, the long shadow is at its best extending the movement of people… (300 words, a two-minute read) The opening shot was taken while walking behind a family. It was a Sunday afternoon and we had been strolling behind them … Read More Winter walks with camera (5) : long-shadowed figures

Winter walks with camera (4) : cold sunsets

Winter is not generally associated with clear skies, not in Cumbria, at least! But when when a period of high-pressure brings clear air, and everything begins to freeze, there can be found the most beautiful of sunsets… (300 words, a two-minute read) Sue Vincent, one of my fellow Directors of the Silent Eye, along with Stuart France, the third in our trio, are both … Read More Winter walks with camera (4) : cold sunsets

Winter walks with camera (3) : the fire in trees

I find a nobility in winter trees. They endure the brutal weather, but show us, in that endurance, their purpose in revealed structure… (140 words, a one-minute read) The inner process of leaf-life to come is laid bare as the rain howls and the wind tests whether this year will be the last. Below the ground, the vast spread of roots has a life … Read More Winter walks with camera (3) : the fire in trees

Deepest Night

We are creatures of cycles; the smaller fitting within the increasingly larger. We may have little conception of the very largest, but the effects of that level of creation trickle down to remind us of our true natures… (750 words, a five-minute read) We live in cycles within cycles. Every day, we wake up to a period of brightness which is essentially the same … Read More Deepest Night

Winter wanderings with camera (2) Water: form and flow

It flows, seemingly singular… until something intrudes. Then, instead of resisting, it parts at the level of molecules, and recombines on the other side. The bank is the end of one world and the beginning of another; a place of soft contrasts, where organic forms reach the limit of their existence, and begin to dissolve. The water embraces them all. Its force and flow, … Read More Winter wanderings with camera (2) Water: form and flow

The City and the Stars (9-end) : the most peaceful place in the world

The conclusion of the Silent Eye’s extended workshop to Orkney. A visit to the neighbouring island of Rousay. A sad disappointment and a wonderful surprise. (1500 words, a twelve-minute read) (Above: a modern reconstruction of a Neolithic farmer felling a tree with a hand-made stone axe) For our final day, we were off to the Island of Rousay.. I’ve written, elsewhere, about what it’s … Read More The City and the Stars (9-end) : the most peaceful place in the world

The City and the Stars (8) : Longships

The traditional picture of the Vikings – looting, marauding, raping invaders – may not be entirely true of their time on Orkney, though they did rule this gentle archipelago with an iron fist for five hundred years… (1300 words, a ten-minute read) (Above: the glory of St Magnus (Viking) Cathedral, Kirkwall) History can be complex. Patterns of events that fit in one situation may … Read More The City and the Stars (8) : Longships

The City and the Stars (2) : The Houses of Skara Brae

Skara Brae’s modern story began in 1850 when a violent sea-storm tore off the layers of grass, sand and soil that had covered what appeared to be two ancient and completely intact Neolithic houses. For 4,000 years, they had been lost to history, having been mysteriously abandoned. (1000 words, a ten-minute read) The local landowner at the time was William Watt, who lived at … Read More The City and the Stars (2) : The Houses of Skara Brae

The City and the Stars (1)

With the Pictish Trail weekend a long car journey and a boat ride behind us, we had awakened in Stromness to the early morning of an overcast Orkney day – The excavated and intact Neolithic village of Skara Brae was a few short miles away… (1300 words, a ten-minute read) We had not expected to be here at all. Visiting Orkney for the second … Read More The City and the Stars (1)

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