Thursday, 25 September 2008

Dawn Chorus (and cat legs)

Thursday 2.30pm

It is 5.30am on a Spring morning. The sun is rising but hasn't yet made it over the horizon, the sky is grey and the air has a chill to it here in the garden but it is not unpleasant. A new day, my day off so there is no pressure. The rest of the family is asleep apart from the cats who have been fed and are out here with me ears twitching. We are surrounded by sound.

As you may have realised, I am a very visual person. My head is full of pictures. When I talk my hands move to describe what I am saying into the air between us. And if you talk to me I construct a vision of what you are saying and then describe it back to you to check that I have understood. If I want to remember something I'll write it down or draw a picture. I see the patterns, colours and shapes around me, first, before anything else.

But when it comes to relaxation, then music and sound is much more important. When I look at something, my brain is full of questions. How did they do that? Why did they do it like that? How would I have done the same thing? But music cuts past all of that, going straight to my emotional core which seems to be just below my breast bone, in my centre. Poetry too does this for me, evoking feelings rather than thoughts, but music is quicker and more direct. To me, modern living places too much emphasis on thinking, we need to make time for feeling as well. It would make us all more balanced people. Those few minutes spent outside in the morning do it for me.

Jack Johnson says in one of his songs "You don't always have to hold your head higher than your heart."

I like that.

Monday, 22 September 2008


Monday 7.40am

When I was younger, ink came in hard glass bottles with big black shiny plastic tops. It was for fountain pens but you could also draw and paint with it, and this is what I did. And just for fun if you dropped some onto wet paper the ink would spread through it separating out into it's different colours like a bruise. Ink came in different colours of course - blue, black, red, green and brown I think, and also one called "blueblack". This was my favourite. Black was just black, a little plain and a little flat whereas blueblack was blacker than black, such a deep, deep indigo that you could stare into it forever and never see the bottom. Since then if I can I will not use straight black as a colour, although this is much more difficult now with ballpoint pens and inkjet printers. The slightly off colour that can only be got by doing things by hand gives life and vibrancy to what is created, your eye is drawn into the colours and kept interested. Like notebooks in the computer age there will always be a place for the handmade.

Blueblack is also the colour of the sky just before the sun comes over the horizon in the morning.

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