Category: Stream of Consciousness

The tree and the bay

We walk from the car park in the centre of Grange-over-Sands to get to the ‘high corner’ that looks down to the park – the collie’s favourite grass area – and, beyond, the fabulous lone tree that shapes and defines the vastness of Morecambe bay, seen from the north, whereas most shots are from the south… And the bay was shining. Literally shining, in … Read More The tree and the bay

Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

We’re lucky to live close to two forests. The first is a few minutes’ walk away, the other is further and larger, the main path taking the walker in a slow ascent through the ancient Sizergh estate. At the highest point, you emerge into the open air within a few hundred metres of the local organic farm shop and cafe. Tess loves the walk. … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (5) : sounds of the forest stream

Painted Pebbles in the valley of the Moon

John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era. He was also an art patron, watercolourist, prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, education and political economy. For the last quarter-century of his life, he lived at Brantwood – a house he designed on the shores of Lake Coniston. Despite this, one of … Read More Painted Pebbles in the valley of the Moon

A Hundred Years of Calais

You took us to your window To see the cliffs of dawn Across the miles they shone like sheets Hung on a washing line We knew, you said, beyond the chalk On scribbled boards you waited And prayed that you were searching, too For those who searched for you… ©Stephen Tanham

Horseman in the Mist

The town of Cassel, near Lille in Northern France, is shrouded in mist – the same mist that had accompanied our first ever visit to the World War One cemeteries of Vimy and Notre Dame de Lorette. Six of us are slotted, snugly, into the mid-size people carrier bouncing at speed into the centre of Cassel. Behind us are a variety of warm coats … Read More Horseman in the Mist

The Opening

I know the words The long-learned words With which this view is framed These slats of wood I crafted round The Opening… ➰ Yet there it lies, unshut before me The rawness of the world Behind my words I kneel, now Afraid to stop their flow’s intent In widening my wood ➰ One day the words will be unspeakable The splinters brushed aside By … Read More The Opening

The Bedouin

It is said we learn most from those we would wish to emulate. Not copy, perhaps, but take from them an essence of thought, of action. If we are younger, of style, even… There must have been a thousand people in the room. The university hall was full. When he stood up to speak, his movements were relaxed. His body language gentle, open. What … Read More The Bedouin

Afternoon in Scorpio

Half grasped, leaving like silk, much less remembered

Gilgamesh descending (9) – final part

And now you will want an ending… Like day gives way to night, though there is no single point where we could all agree that it was either… Like the moment of sleep or awakening, though one drifts into the other and each knows little of its twin… Like the point in the play where the character releases the player from his undertaking and … Read More Gilgamesh descending (9) – final part

Gilgamesh descending (8)

The portal through which all the others have passed – except ghostly Enkidu and forlorn Gilgamesh – shimmers and fades. My brother – his twin – fades… And he and I… and then only I am left alone in the middle of the most threatening inner space I can imagine… There is the dominating sense of ‘nowhere else to go’; and yet I know … Read More Gilgamesh descending (8)

Gilgamesh descending (7)

I watch as he runs. I am tired of his slow-witted learning. Act Four is half way through, but already he has exhausted the patience of everyone but his mother…. Where did that come from! One of the features of a central role in these mystery plays is a certain degree of exhaustion. Even if you are familiar with it, the script will have … Read More Gilgamesh descending (7)

Gilgamesh descending (6)

Faces… If there is one thing upon which Gilgamesh would wager his life, it is that life is all about faces… His own face now burns with a permanent redness; whether from anger or something deeper, he does not know. But it burns… and gets hotter with every passing encounter with the faces that fight to decry and destroy what he has achieved as … Read More Gilgamesh descending (6)

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