Friday, May 28, 2010

Across a field and through a hedge

I'm in a fair bit of pain today due to some heavy duty dental work. I can't talk at the moment, although some who know me might say that's not too bad a thing. Unfortunately I can still type. I once read a medieval description of dental pain where it is described as a large worm burrowing around inside your gums and teeth and this is exactly how it can feel sometimes. I can't remember who said the thing about us coming into the world crying and covered in blood and very often leaving in this state too. We all get pain at some time, we have that in common.

There is much ugliness in the world, there is a lot of ugliness here and I think that this country has exported much that is ugly and destructive. I could show you the photos of how ugly this country can be as I have plenty, but there is also much to find that is beautiful here. Strangely I find most of it is the stuff that mankind has not got hold of and mucked around with.

When I was quite young I had a year in a classroom almost within reach of the woods and trees that I grew up with and loved so much. The woods were just outside the classroom and behind a fence. One of the oak trees had grown up over the fence nearby and I would spend plenty of time gazing at it. I would observe it catching the morning sunlight in the spring when all the leaves were fresh, like they are here now. I was captivated by this beautiful sight, so simple yet holding so much magic and promise. I always wanted to be able to get out of the classroom and get into the woods, a feeling of freedom and wanting to escape that has never left me. Usually as soon as I got out of school I would be in the woods being filled with wonder by things, like the first time I encountered a giant rhododendron towering over me in full flower.

There was the tricky nature of finding beauty in the industrial landscape across the water from where I lived, which was a huge oil refinery and power station. You may remember the beginning of Bladerunner, it was that sort of a thing. When sat on the beach at night there was the spectacle of this infernal city, flames of gas flares, smoking chimneys and much banging and blast. It was obviously horrible and destructively polluting but it was also somehow beautiful as well, a bit like sitting on a beach observing a vision of hell from a distance, lighting the clouds up and reflected in the sea. What is this captivating ugliness?

I consider myself very fortunate to have had the time to spend exploring the woods. I am constantly surprised where my small curiosity has lead me. I sit on a fallen tree in a place already largely a secret and see a small gap that I hadn't noticed before. This turns out to be a tiny path which leads to other beautiful hidden places, and again the site suddenly increases in unimagined size. The location where these photos were taken has some nice and unusual plant species and is a place to tread very lightly.

I see destruction of nature going on around the world and I think it is intentional. For a long time I thought that these things happened because of an uncaring attitude and incompetence but I don't think it is incompetence anymore, I think it has been intentional all along.


evat said...

Hello john , There is no ugliness in these fields ,evrything is beautiful ,grass ,roses ,trees , look at the sky ,it is the same blue sky at evrywhere you go ,I like your photos very mutch .

john said...

Hello there evat and thank you for your kind comment.

You are right, there is no ugliness where I took these photos. It is a beautiful place that I have very much enjoyed exploring. There is so much to discover around the area and it has so many interesting plants and flowers. I am glad you are enjoying my photos. All the best.

Penny said...


argh, dental work!
don't even get me going...
I relive the horror of my wisdom teeth extraction!

the pics are beautiful as always john, some calm in the madness.

And what madness with the attack by Israel?

I saw you let the message about nobody and I did drop him and e-mail.

If I get a response, or you get one, I will drop you a line, or vice versa?

john said...

Cheers Penny. Yes if I hear anything from nobody I will let you know as soon as possible.

I have been reading at yours lately though haven't had much to add in the way of comments. I am just about to look at the videos at this Turkish site as I have had a request to dig some early footage up.

There is plenty of madness at the moment.

Cheers and thanks Penny.

su said...

thanks john for the images of beauty.
i don't believe in free will or volition in any way other than we can choose where to put our attention.

i can't take my eyes off what is happening on the planet right now but i also make sure that the eyes meet beauty and life such as here.

i also ensure that every day i bake a loaf of bread. something about the kneading, the rising, the baking, the smell, the nourishment -

it is the smallest of things that keep us sane.

the Silverfish said...

Hullo John, I can understand your feelings about the woods. I am so fortunate that wherever I go I seem to be surrounded by forest woods, lakes and streams be it at the cottage or here at the Nest.

I don't know if you are aware of the fact that Manitoba the Provence where I live has more than 100,000 lakes and Ontario where I have my cottage has in excess of 250,000 lakes. It's hard not to get your feet wet here.

Had a humming bird fly into the house today, I tried to catch her but as my house has a thirty foot ceiling sometimes it's not easy. Anyhoos I lost her when I went to get my butterfly net and simply could not locate her, I felt
really down as hummers don't last very long without feeding. Anyways when the kid got home from school, she went up to the loft to get something from my office and came back down with the little hummer in the palm of her hand, it had been sitting on my desk. I took it from her and brought it outside to the feeder to give it a drink. I stuck her beak into the flower and wow did she ever drink alot. Poor thing was so weak she couldn't even stand but rather drank while laying on her side, but within a few minutes had regained her
strength and was good to go. After I was sure the she was ok I took her back to the office and gave her a new bracelet with her own special number, btw I have banded hundreds of hummingbirds here at
the Nest. Then it was back outside and a kiss on the top of her little head just to remember her by and then as it should be freedom. Today ended well, well sort of. John I also have a roaring toothache. The damn thing rocks back and forth a full 1/4" but has roots like grappling hooks and just won't come out. Damn it hurts just to write about it.

Tomorrow we fly to the lake for the weekend, I hope the damn thing doesn't bugger up the weekend, but hey thats what Scotch is fer huh.

Until next time bud have a Happy.

nobody said...

Hi John, thanks for the email mate. I'll drop you a line shortly. Otherwise nice stuff mate. I particularly liked all the bluebells. Um, has anyone mentioned your writing? It's very good, deceptively so, and has a pleasant flow to it that makes it a pleasure to read.

And evat likes your blog. Good on her.

Hullo Evat, have you ever done life drawing? I had a look at your art and thought that perhaps you hadn't. Perhaps they don't have life drawing in Syria? I don't know. Anyway I think life drawing would be a good and useful thing for you to do. All the best.

john said...

Cheers everybody and thanks for your lovely comments and good words. I have been away for the best part of a week and haven't been able to get to the internet much.

Hi su. It is the time of year here when nature comes back so lush and bright, as if seeking our attention. I like to take the time to notice as the seasons seem to move through so fast. Your words are always well chosen and perceptive su.

Nice one and good work with the hummingbirds Silverfish. I hope you had a good weekend despite the toothache, sailing those lakes sounds like a lot of fun. I hope to get out on the water again at some point. My brothers boat was taking on water a bit too quickly for my liking the last time we were on it, I was getting that sinking feeling.

Cheers nobody, it's nice to see you up and around again. We had a nice couple of weeks of the purple haze through the woods. There are a few bluebells around still but their time is past again for now.

Sometimes I write quite a lot and then I read it back and think 'nah' and end up with just a few sentences. For a change I thought more words would go out this time. I like to try to keep things shortish.

I spent a lot of time over last week watching birds, especially a nesting swallow. I even managed to get some photos of the swallow flying out through a mill door. They are so busy in these long summer days. The ravens were good entertainment too.