Welcome to November….
This time of year, I should be in South America, but the Covid 19 situation, with a new Lockdown in the UK, makes this impossible. So, more opportunity to connect with my immediate locale.
The forest continues on its autumnal transformation.
Everywhere there are Bats and Owls. Mushrooms too:
But, in a lull in the epidemic, I escape to Cornwall – and am blessed with sunny days.
On my way down, I stop off at Temple Church – a kind of pilgrimage for me. It is the site of an old Knights Templar monastery. It is still a very atmospheric place. When I first encountered it about 30 years ago, it was almost derelict; but now it is much restored:
Then, on to Gwithian to catch the sunset:
I base myself in Zennor but also make it over to Mousehole – my home village. And one of the ancient cross – I used to stand on when I was a child – just near the former home of Ithell Colquhoun – Stone Cross Cottage:
And, a walk to Lamorna along the cliffs. Here, is a secret: if you walk West through the village of Mousehole and up Raginnis Hill to the coast path – not the first one to the cave but the second one along the cliff past the old Coastguard’s Lookout – we used to call it ‘the crackers’ – you will come to this little stream in the rocks. I always pause there and sometimes bathe my feet. It is a kind of Holy Well. Must be my favourite spot!!!
I stop for a traditional Cornish Lunch and later tea with Saffron Cake.
Another day, I have a Dowsing event at Tregeseal Stone Circle and then hang around to do some sketching.
Another day and another favourite stone circle: Boscowen-Un:
These places are 4000 years old.
I also find my way down to the Lizard. Lion Rock – can you see why it is called this?
Also, Lands End : the end of the country. A place for beautiful sunsets.
Back home then in the New Forest, and an increasingly inside life. I take in a few films from the Internet. Another Shakespeare – Henry V. And a film about the making of the first English Language Dictionary. Both good…
Also a film about Hannah Arendt. Incredibly, she was in a collection camp as a Jewess in the second world war but then escaped to USA. She was asked by a newspaper to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann – one of the leading Nazis of the war. She received a lot of criticism because she refused to denounce him as a ‘monster’. She also coined the phrase, ‘the banality of evil’, protesting that he just did not think – an incredible insight from someone – her – who was close to Heidegger, who was a Nazi sympathizer and wrote a book called ‘What is called Thinking’. A thought provoking film:
Meanwhile, the forest is now on fire….
……which is very apt since I have been reading books with fire/ light in the titles. Firstly, Glimpse of Light about a philosopher who buries himself in Norway as a way of asking ultimate questions – reminds me of another philosopher and a friend. Also, a book of writing from the archetypal psychologist, James Hillman – A Blue Fire.
I am reading another book about an early Bluesman – Charley Patton. It is written by John Fahey, who was a great guitarist, composer and indeed writer/ thinker. I once spent the day with him and interviewed him for a guitar magazine:
He was such a psychokinetic individual, one day was like a month in terms of experience and conversation. I intend to write that up one of these days.
Great music from new acoustic CD from West African singer Oumou Sangaree. Also, some lovely C15 polyphony.
Last week it was Samhain, All Saints Eve, a Full Moon/ Blue Moon. The veil between the spirit and material world is very thin this time of year. So, many insights, intuitions and coincidences. We live in portentous times!!!