Friday, 18 February 2011

The Flock

Set against the failing light of an evening sky I have often enjoyed watching the starlings searching for their safe roost. Once a woodland bird they seem to have adapted to the farmlands and urban spaces, but it on the edge of the wood watching the shifting mass of hundreds of birds set against the sunset where they are most special for me.

In many ways these birds remind me of people. They find their security in numbers and the shifting movements of the flock remind me of the ebbs and flows of both the physical movements of people and of the changes of opinions and viewpoints with regard to the whole. It is an incredible sight when the direction of the flock is changed by the actions of a single bird, one observation or shift in movement can turn a neighbouring bird and the effect ripples through the whole flock and the effect is truly spectacular.

It is thanks to the actions and initiations of a few people that it appears our woodlands are safe for now. They have helped move half a million of us to raise our objections to the sell off of the forests by a gentle steer. In particular I would like to pass my thanks on to Hen, Karen & Nick, I will wish you well whenever I see the starlings in flight.

Friday, 11 February 2011

The Haunting of the Mind

Sitting within the quiet and darkness gives many moments for self reflection. I find I am able to allow my mind to travel back through time and watch memories. Often the scenes I chose to view are uncomfortable and of times where I have been a source of disappointment, ridicule or simply a victim of the actions of another. It may seem strange to do so, but I have often found the hardest learned lessons are the ones I have learned the best. They are also the key to the successes.

For me it seems it is impossible to hide from the experiences of negativity. They will always manifest in one way or another, a harsh reaction, a phobia or a prejudice. To ignore them is to create a specter that follows and draws heavily on the strength of the mind when it is at its weakest. Perhaps this post is uncomfortable to read and may bring back such memories in the quiet moments for a reader, but it is worth bearing in mind that every negative aspect of life that is examined and learned from is a success. Every failing becomes a strength when it is not denied.

Armed with the lessons and scars of a past life and a willingness to confront flaws we can begin to achieve new heights and truly appreciate our efforts. There is much more to success than the simple act of gaining a reward, it is the balance of positive and negative.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Need for Distraction

To walk a woodland and take in its scenes is for me a distraction from the business of daily living. At this time of year I enjoy casting an eye upon the emerging snowdrops or seeing the sight of a dog fox on his wanders. For me these "distractions" help to ground me within the cycles of nature and the seasons, they also remind me of scenes that have always been there to tell us of the natural order of things.

For a while this week I turned on an old portable tv to catch up with immediate news beyond the scenes of nature. As is always the case, I found I was saddened by the events of the world, but after the headlines came an annoyance. I found myself watching the sports round up and seeing an aging footballer promoting the importance of football and the people who make the game. I have no objections to people playing games and searching for a release for a while, but many seem to put such games on a pedestal and hold them in what for me is an overly high regard.

I find it hard to understand this elevation of status because of a game. It seems our desire to seek out distractions from life has taken over and have given way to commercialism and nationalism. These games seem to have taken over as an idealistic way of life and reason for being. Many times I have considered setting up a business to make money from those obsessed with sport, it would be easy enough to come up with a product and business model for an eager market. But I have found the idea uncomfortable, a little like taking money from those who can ill afford it and have not been encouraged to challenge the reasons behind an obsession or pre-conception.

I have a deep love for the nature around me and land in which I live, but there are many abstract issues with the people here and their society that I find hard to stomach. When our basic needs are met by the low cost productions of other nations, we drift into obsessions that in reality are of little value but ultimately seem to give control & wealth to a minority. I suppose some would say that these sports and games encourage team building & community, in its better cases it is perhaps so. With open eyes and minds the people who seek benefit and status from such pass times can easily be revealed. But from what I have seen, many do not wish to dwell on the bigger picture.