Monday, 15 August 2011

All the small things.




I have let the big, ugly scenarios of living blur the beauty of the small beautiful things.  Whilst in Turkey, these past few weeks, I have observed the deaths of two people in the same day, people I do not know but whose passing away made me stop and wonder at things.

One life taken by accident and one by natural causes but both quickly illustrating the briefness of our time here causing me to somberly reflect on what I’ve done with my time so far. More than this, I have considered my perception of my time here and the way I live and constrew this life I have been given.

Books have fallen into my lap, which have made my eyes open wider, my brain pulsate in wonder and my heart beat faster at the words which are literally laced and marinated in wisdom.

Opened my mind to where in the past I have been going wrong and revealed the world to me anew in its simplest form.

One of these has been ‘An interrupted life: The Diaries and Letters of Etty Hillesum 1941-43’, which I will explain further some time soon and quote some of the beautiful words .I have about a zillion pages in it marked for me to note down as she manages to articulate what I have felt in the past so perfectly. Amongst this backdrop of; books appearing so timely in my hands to read, which seem to have been created for me in the moments I read them, together with the witnessed deaths of strangers and the riots at home (which has lead me to conclude that no humans are civilised we’re all just acting at being ‘civilised’)  it has made me hugely appreciative for all this world has to offer.

So I have not just noticed but paid attention to the small brilliant things in this world that make me want to leap and dance with the vivacity and depth and richness of life.

Just sitting quietly sipping my cup of tea, letting its’ warmth and calmness wash through me.

Walking across the grass and feeling it’s quiet, earthy dampness seep around the bottom of my feet.

 Exercising hard, pushing the limits of your body so that the muscles scream with being used to their capacity, skin gleaming with sweat, your mind telling you to stop because it hurts but beating it and finishing anyway. Overcoming something. Stopping and realising the dull ache of a body used, recognising the limits of this physical shell that contains the real you and being amazed at how much it can do, more than you thought. Admiring the interconnectivity of mind and body, if your mind says you can do it then your body can only follow what the mind instructs but then the body tells the mind, enough, in constant communication with each other.

Feeling hot, weary, sweaty and done but then stepping into a steaming shower and being revived. Wiping away the grime to reveal shiny, scented skin. For a moment, a delicious frozen segment of time, I stood in the soapy, swirly steam and breathed in the soothing scent of Jasmine and Ylang and Ylang. I audibly sighed with the feeling of becoming fresh and clean again, coming back to rightness. The world outside could keep on going around me but for a delicious few minutes I was away from it in the steamy air of the shower.


Sleep. That blissful slip from the conscious to the sub-conscious, where thoughts, coherency, trouble and worries from the day melt away into something else completely.


Hanging washing out. Just that age-old task of taking your clothes outside, pinning them to some kind of line and knowing that the sun and wind will dry them for you. Watching them bop and sway merrily in the breeze so that the clothes almost look alive and  taking part in some kind of strange line dance. Then when you next put some of them on, the freshness, the smell of outside of sunshine and the wind rather than the manufactured smell of being trapped in a dryer.

Rectangle shaped, compact, page upon page, word upon word. We have buildings dedicated to housing them, lives devoted to writing them and people changed by reading them. Books. The potential and possibility they hold. The portal into other minds and worlds; whenever and wherever you may be.

Hearing the rustle of the leaves in the wind, like hushed applause for another day lived.


 Paper and pen- something so close and personal about it. Seeing your handwriting unfurl across the page and knowing that those patterns, curls and flicks are uniquely yours. Thoughts unfold, becoming tangible, imagination, ideas, people and stories transformed onto the paper, no longer ephemeral fleeting shadows in your mind but solid words on a permanent page. Witnessing the fluidity of your writing- there is my thought spilling out for others to see and understand.

Running, just being able to run and get faster and go where your feet take you. Specifically, ahead of me a straight thin path, to the left the setting sun on a deserted beach ahead in the distance mountains, to my right fields with different farm animals, horses, cows, sheep, lamas and geese lazing in the evening sun. Then the cows and the horses start running, one starts and the rest follow as a herd dictates that they should. They are just running for the sake of it because they can and they look so majestic in the golden light. A snail making it’s slow way across the path, on it’s way somewhere. Above me to the left of my head a swallow dipping and rising and swirling in the breeze jut by the opening of its wing.

Observing the myriad of feelings and emotions crossing people’s faces as they watch different stages of a film, lost in the reality of it as blue frames flicker into their eyes.


Watching a mother duck and ducklings cross a road. Them all waiting at the side in a little huddle, then the mum suddenly deciding its safe to go. Off they go, with the mum setting a hasty pace at the front, then the seven ducklings in a straight row behind running as fast as their little feet can take them, tripping and jumping trying to get to the front. The one that’s always at the back because it’s the smallest and slowest trying with all it’s might to keep up, rescued occasionally by the mum who stops and tries to nudge the last one along. Their anxious fear to make it safely is palpable as is their sense of family.



Sunshine dappled in moving water becoming liquid light.


Leaves, roots and trunks of trees all working together for the same purpose. Green fingers reaching into the sky, so the tree can get taller and more leaves can grow, the cycle continues year in year out.

Mum quietly just having a bowl of sour, bitter yogurt for breakfast so that there will be enough cereal for everybody else. Nobody else realises this when they later eat their bowls of cereal and she doesn’t want them to know.

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