Where You Stand

Mountains appear small on the horizon. They are little inundations across the landscape, of subtle lines against the sky. Hills seem massive when we are at their foot, almost too large to take in with a glance. We have to turn our heads to see them.

Where we stand shapes our interpretation of what we see. The mountains and hills are constant, but perspective changes and thus our perception of them varies as we shift our positions.

Some people never shift positions but see things from the same perspective. I do not blame them for that. Eventually we are all locked in a position where we stand. Perhaps with age we should no longer see things but perceive them as a whole, as though locked in the sky above them. That should be our aim.

A twenty three year old man once wrote and sang “how terribly strange to be seventy”. He is now four score and fifteen and I wonder if he finds it strange to be that age, or whether the strangeness is limited to the unknown fears of youth having not yet gained the high ground and thus finding things imperceptible.

 

We All Lived on Love Street

The late 1960s was quite unlike any other period through which I have lived. We, the young, all lived on Love Street, perhaps not loving as much as we should have loved, but nevertheless loving as we experimented with new freedoms and new joys. We nearly changed the way that people lived, but nearly wins no cigar and eventually greed and the wearisome nature of having to live spoilt our dreams and ambitions for the world. Continue reading

On Work

When I was young, many years ago, I thought it best not to work too hard and if possible should spend days in pleasure. Subsequently I worked very hard and enjoyed working even though work makes us weary. Continue reading

Earth Abides and the Problems of Things that are Finite

I see our good mother earth in some difficulties these days. her oceans will soon contain more plastic than fish; (I use “soon” not in the sense that humans understand the word, but in the sense the earth understands it). Its atmosphere will soon contain so much heat insulating carbon dioxide that species will have to adapt to a hot climate or become extinct. There will soon be so many humans on earth that they will themselves will have to ration humanity and its proclivities or perish. These are the problems of the things that are finite. Continue reading

The Best and Worst of Times

It can be hard to make sense of the world at the best of times and even harder to make sense of it in the worst of times. Charles Dickens wrote that the best of times and the worst of times happened simultaneously, along with belief, incredulity, wisdom, foolishness, light, darkness, hope and despair. Perhaps he was right but it seems more likely to me that these things happen in different times in different measures in different places.  Continue reading

On Thinking

Some days it is hard to think clearly. The paraphernalia of living gets in the way of clear thinking, and I end up rigarmoroling instead of writing clear ideas. Other days a phrase that someone says sets a spark which I cab kindle into a flame of an essay, testing or destroying what I try to set alight. Continue reading

The War of Ideas

Ideas fight each other. The battles go on for centuries. The warriors are ordinary people led by a whole ranking of politicians, economists, religious leaders all pushing ideas they have obtained and often misinterpreted from prophets, philosophers and thinkers. Where one idea conflicts with another humans usually end up killing each other over the conflict.  Continue reading