So, second month into super lockdown and things are the same, but all has changed. Certainly, one’s perspective – not just in ideas but actual experience.
We are in a world of isolation and masks:
Lots to say, of course, about the politics of what is going on – but why spoil a good blog?
My own life has gone in both directions of the micro-macro spectrum.
Micro to the extent that my world is my immediate environment – house, garden, forest. Apart from driving up the road to keep the wheels moving, I have not driven anywhere with the car for almost three months.
Super expansive though in terms of the scope of contacts and information on the Internet. To me, the Internet is Faustian: it allows us to do all these amazing things, but it also has its dark sides, and is mostly responsible for the rise of populism.
So, May – a special month.
1st May is Mayday, and I suitably celebrated with ‘Lily of the Valley’ in the house.
Also up a few times at 04.30 to hear the dawn chorus:
Elsewhere, it is that Green Man time of year:
The Forest is often on fire:
For me, I am unable to procure flowers from the Garden Centres – as they are closed. So, I leave a patch of my garden to go wild and enjoy the wild flowers: Buttercups for example:
Some roses as well:
The Buddha under a ‘cloud’ of petals:
I have also got to planting some seeds. Hopefully, these will turn into Courgettes:
A friend from students days, sent me a photo of the time. Mike in 1979 when he was living in France:
Still cooking lots: leek and potato pie – and bread!!!
I have been desperately searching the house for hidden supplies of chocolate. My latest and last find:
Some of my lectures were published on YouTube. In the Court of King Crimson from last year in Santiago, Chile. With Spanish Interpretation:
Also, this month I did a lecture on Bourdieu and Social Suffering for a university in Buenas Aires, Argentina:
Still possible to get all manner of culture from the Internet. This month, various plays from the National Theatre have been a feature. All excellent.
An ex-pupil sent me a film he had made – video plus a reading of the Irish poet William Butler Yeats’ poem The Man who dreamed of Faeryland:
I was very into Yeats when I was a student; he was influential on another poet became committed to William Blake:
In fact, it has been quite a poetic month: also reading the poems of Arseny Tarkovsky – son of Andrei:
So, quite an extravaganza of reading and listening to music – being so ‘home’ bound:
I completed the detailed reading of In Search of the Miraculous by P D Ouspensky, who was an early student of Gurdjieff. It is, in fact, his account of meeting Gurdjieff and what he was taught. I did the reading with a friend – 15 pages per half month – it took us about 18 months.
I am also publishing my précis of the book here:
Also, I have been reading Peter Kingsley’s extraordinary account of Jung and the Red Book: Catafalque.
Literature wise, I have been reading Ben Okri’s Freedom Artist, which is a ‘magic realist’, allegory of the current world – should we say ‘dystopia. It is to be read ‘slowly’. It has the sub-title, Who is the Prisoner?. The answer at the end seems to be ‘the ego’ – so quite a lot to meditate on there.
I began the month re-listening Robert Simpson’s String Quartets. Again, one of those lesser known English composers. I like them. A bit like Bernard Stevens: radical and strident without every submitting to chaos and abandoning the pastoral, which is so important in English music.
The sunny weather however, had me gravitating to more exotic climes: Reggae and the amazing Malian singer Salif Keita – what a Joy!!