"The wise person will flee the crowd, endure it if necessary, but given the choice, choose solitude. We are not sufficiently rid of vices to be contending with those of others . . . It is not enough to have gotten away from the crowd . . . we must get away from the gregarious instincts that are within us" Montaigne, as quoted by Richardson To which we might add her quoting John Clare: how good it is to get away from "the chatter that sprains the soul."
I keep returning to images of the coast (as I do here at home, a very different coast!) and the sea. Something about this resonates with, reaches within me somehow.
And reading Richardson again this morning, I came cross where she quotes Basho: "My solitude shall be my company." That too resonates with me (and somehow with the image above).
Rosamond Richardson: "Here away from all sounds except those of nature, I had found myself on a . . . reserve half a mile from the sea, green refuge in a world of crowded cities and white noise--over grown prisons that shut out the world and all its beautys, mutters John Clare."
Simplicity and complexity together
Rosamond Richardson: "when I was ten years old . . . my mother took me . . . into Holy Trinity Church . . . We went in to look around . . . and all I know is that there was a moment when something changed. A timeless moment, perhaps, a glimpse. Whatever it was (and it was indescribably beautiful and has never left me), I felt the existence of what we call God for lack of words for what is ultimately unknowable and unnameable . . . When, many years later, I read something Witttgenstein said--To believe in a God means to see that the facts of the world are not the end of the matter--it took me back to that moment. What happened that day I had no idea and still don't know, although it certainly wasn't a domesticated deity, the old-man-with-the-beard-wagging-his-finger kind of God. The memory of that moment remains, completely down to earth yet suffused with light not of this world. Ever since, I've loved going into quiet churches and listening to the silence, an experience not unlike waiting for birds in quiet places."
"Things are saturated with significance." Bonnie Friedman
"In the experience of beauty the world comes home to us, and we to the world. But it comes home in a special way—through its presentation, rather than its use." Roger Scruton
Rosamond Richardson wrote about Gerard Manley Hopkins that for him "holiness itself is grounded in things, not in intellectual ideas or abstract ideals. It's not a notion swilling around inside the head, it's a being thing . . . For the passionate priest, every creature speaks of itself, and by doing so of its origin in God. This revelation may be experienced serendipitously, irrelevantly even, in a moment of illumination . . . in what Wordsworth called spots of time, and in that flash, and experience of timelessness, a glimpse of the unity of all creation."
Last night, for the first time in a long, long time, I listened to the (to me) pleasant sound of rain pounding against the window. More to come, supposedly, and that is good news after a dry, dry season.
Benjamin Britten's 4 Sea Interludes from "Peter Grimes" together with this image from Peggy's Cove made for a good meditation yesterday afternoon.
"Wild, wild the storm, and the sea high running,
Steady the roar of the gale, with incessant undertone muttering . . ." Walt Whitman