Festival gold

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Edinburgh is arts, art and festival 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – which makes it a natural environment to host arts, art and one of the world’s best known International Festivals. Nature, and innumerable artists working together, will touch this vibrant city with colour, drama, light and great literature; with prose and poetry, music, song and dance throughout a happy August. And just outside my window I behold gold 🌱

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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Lingering at the Well

Photo at Pexels

One thing is certain, and I have always known it – the joys of my life have nothing to do with age. They do not change. Flowers, the morning and evening light, music, poetry, silence, the goldfinches darting about …

May Sarton

Freesias, for me. For my desk. Peppery and colourful. And my best ever morning light? Two best ever! i – Sunrise over Galilee. ii – Normandy. Scented apple orchards and a golden mist hung a few feet above rolling fields, just after sunrise. Evening? In winter when it’s time for firelight. Music? Usually one piece at a time, silence before and aft to hold words, notation, resonance (!) and echo. Poetry? – my way of allowing the Universe to speak to me randomly: close my eyes and take down a volume – pot luck, usually followed by more of good fortune than anticipated. Silence? – why silence? William Stafford’s glorious ‘Listening’ suggests an answer more exquisitely than I’ve ever penned to date. And goldfinches? The ones who seem to enjoy my Japanese Acer as much as I do. Two little tininesses that fly-in disproportionate measures of duty-free joy from wherever they’ve been playing.

My father could hear a little animal step,
or a moth in the dark against the screen,
and every far sound called the listening out
into places where the rest of us had never been.

More spoke to him from the soft wild night
than came to our porch for us on the wind;
we would watch him look up and his face go keen
till the walls of the world flared, widened.

My father heard so much that we still stand
inviting the quiet by turning the face,
waiting for a time when something in the night
will touch us too from that other place.

William Stafford
Listening
from West of Your City
Talisman, 1960

Deep the wells that supply entire lifetimes.

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Emergence

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Emergence: sound and light. Thank-offerings in the journeying of David Whyte.

Sometimes, oftentimes perhaps, it is our close friends who help us give voice to what we most need to say in a day – or in a lifetime. And other times when, even if they feel they can not quite, a friend might tell us: ‘but I know someone who can’ …

Thank you, dear Lori, for all the times when you absolutely know: thank you for sharing David Whyte’s articulating the prayer of The Burren – that great and Ancient windswept bedrock in the soul of all of us. Yes, thank you, Sound. And thanks to you, too, Light.

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i Only in so far

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Dark only in so far as a little international company were close-gathered beneath the firmament – huddled – half way up a volcano that last erupted here 350 million years ago.

Dark only in so far as midnight arrived before any of us expected her to, amid the silent music of the sun’s solstice-reluctance to leave us through the hours of our night.

Dark only in so far as we needed to scrunch our eyes a bit to focus in the twilight, taking care not to spill hot herbal tea or sit on a plate of grapes or another of fresh mango.

All else was light. Is light. Will be light. The light that – come what may – is irrepressibly present within, and in life-dancing … sometimes silent, sometimes heard (link), as though on a slight breeze …

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Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood, Edinburgh. Wednesday 22 June 2022

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Pottering

Some days are just pottering days aren’t they? – nothing very energetic or exciting, more a quiet tidying this and that, a contemplating, voting in the local elections, watching the progress of the light. And I’m feeling towards the close of day that the teachers who, through the ages, have encouraged a slowing down, a ‘consider the lilies of the field,’ an attentive watchfulness, have, between them, got it right!

Portobello light

Proximity to the beach is among the many joys I revel in here in Edinburgh. A ten minute bike ride from my door and the views of sand and sea and sky – changing colour literally by the second – root me to the spot.

Much, much warmer than in recent days, it’s nonetheless still windy and decidedly chilly (what else, in February? – I hear you reply). But the scent and the dream of Spring is in the air – in children pedalling tricycles joyously along the prom, in couples laughing whilst doing stretching exercises on the sand, and in something intangible in the very space of the place that seems to be saying ‘phwoar, it’s gonna be great to get beyond lockdown!’ And in Portobello light, that’s right.

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Post-Script

All in an Edinburgh day – from sunlit sea, to sunset, to fireside, to candlelight and shadows during our second power-cut of February 😊

The colour in reflections

screenshot credit @gingerandpicklesbookshop
screenshot credit @gingerandpicklesbookshop
screenshot credit @gingerandpicklesbookshop

Edinburgh is a city with whom I am engaged in perpetual discussion! – with architecture, with colour and line, with suddenly come upon and breathtakingly startling vistas, with bookshops, with birdsong, with history (mine and the city’s), with music (I’ll walk a quartermile out of my way to trace the source of the sound of the Pipes), with poetry, wind, hills, coastline – and anticipated conversations with others who are haunted and delighted and vivified by it as well.

Engaged too with the reflection that settles in one’s soul’s having been calmed, and drawn, and enchanted by her colours and her reflections. Edinburgh may certainly be spoken to, but there’s immeasurable benefit to be celebrated in deeply listening to her too. Hers is a hard won, long won, weft and wisdom. And in such slow contemplation there’s a seeing sunrise, sunlight, sunset, moon and starlit spaces behind – whilst simultaneously seeing sunrise, sunlight, sunset, moon and starlit spaces ahead.

Windows into the soul are so important. Here we find ourselves sustained by what’s behind us, and by what is – here in this city, in this ‘window’, right now, and by the light that calls us forward. All this, so often seen in one and the same windowpane. In a bookshop, or a stationers, or our own home, or our own dreams, or – most beautiful among the firmament of the windows of the soul – the eyes of family or friend or beloved.

All this discussion, contemplation and reflection steadily leads us inexorably to metamorphosis – gives wings to ‘The Extraordinary Life,’ to ‘The Boy (or Girl) Who Loved,’ to what ‘Bunheads’ might think of as the Dance of Life. And a certain being at home with oneself, be the days warm or cold, happy or sad: all the while growing …

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