We took a different route to visit my brother earlier in the week, and it's one I love because it passes Brentor. Even in January the little church perched on the tor looks solid and reassuring, especially through the skeletal patterns created by the bare and lovely trees...
Last month I wrote about the importance of sight in the run-up to my first cataract operation. I am delighted to report that the operation went well and I am now two weeks into what can only be described as a ‘no man’s land’ of very weird vision...
CHOOSING EARTH - March 2017
Imagine if you will a rather different take on ‘standing at the gates of Heaven’. In this scenario - which is more of an interview - you are deciding whether to live on Earth as a Human.
Let’s build on the idea. The interviewer – let’s call him/her ‘The Manager’ is a cross between a travel agent, an overworked corporate boss and a psychiatrist. You both run through a basic description of the planet, its geography and features, the locations you might choose – and then more serious matters are discussed. You have decided to be born in the United Kingdom.
The Manager: You have chosen quite a tough planet. You may not find it easy to settle down. You’ll be vulnerable right from the word go if your physical appearance doesn’t meet certain standards.
You: What standards?
The Manager: They make them up as they go along. Then there’s intelligence. You need to be bright, but at times you’d be wise to hide it if you are.
You: So far so good, I’ll play along. Any other difficulties?
The Manager: I would say one of the problems is the frailty of their bodies. They are very poorly designed. Humans haven’t evolved very well, and they are not good at looking after themselves. Even when they do, they can be struck down by physical and mental illnesses which they tackle in all manner of ways, none of which are particularly effective. It won’t be possible to choose a design, I’m afraid.
You: I’m well aware of that.
The Manager: Explain to me why you think you would be suited to this planet?
You: I’m passionate about some of its beautiful features and the way in which Humans interpret them through art, music and other forms of communication.
The Manager: Huh! If you think your lifetime there will enable you to devote yourself entirely to philosophical matters, you really haven’t investigated it properly at all! The odds of you being born into – or, for that matter, working to achieve such a life are far too long.
A pause ensues.
The Manager: You may find yourself emotionally ill-equipped to cope. You understand that you may form attachments to people; that those people may let you down or die. You may produce children: burdens of responsibility and emotional ties. Could you handle this?
You: I’m prepared to try, willing to learn, keen to contribute. Will these qualities be sufficient?
The Manager (with a sigh): I think you may be in for a rather rough time. Go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Oh, and try to remember not to take sides.
You: Which side shouldn’t I take?
The Manager: Heaven only knows…
A DOOR OUT OF DEPRESSION - November 2015
I’m trying to help three people at the moment. Let’s call them A, B and C. At the same time I have been working on my second novel ‘Stopping Time’. I say working, but in fact it is thinking which takes up much of a writer’s time. A recent visit to a timeless and uplifting place on Dartmoor called Brentor, led me to want to post a photograph on this blog. So the photo which you see here is the view from the doorway of the small church which is perched on top of Brentor.