Beautiful afternoon, so quiet, peaceful, nourishing …. walking along beloved and known country lanes bathed in sunlight. As if a fine wine, an elixir.
Yet bbc radio news tells us that rain will cease (never has been) and a cold night (yes) will follow.
If I was to plan my life according to the nonsense of bbc radio weather ie north east England …. then I wld be wasting my life. Its often been the case, a decade and two ago when keen to paint my window frames I soon cottoned on to the fact that whatever the weather bods forecast was mostly to be ignored.
Look out the window, trust your instincts.
Almost forgotten a penpal on qq … a quite useful and interesting medley of random contacts that never were irrelevant, all worthwhile.
Ancient man would look down at us and think … ‘He cannot catch his own dinner’
… or that we cannot make our own tools.
We would be a laughing stock as the term goes.
Yet we think we are so slick, so modern on our keyboards and buttons. And yet know nothing of what far brighter and wider minds have left to us on the printed page from decades and centuries in the past, of art, architecture, engineering and how things are made. These last two decades have seen the loss of so much human achievement, silicon and the electron have put paid to that ! And yes, accessibility is wonderful, but also there is a slower more human dimension we are losing, particularly younger people need to re-set their priorities, their values; they never will. In some ways they ‘undersell themselves’. So little is transferred from generation to generation, as if they are mocking their parents, their ancestry.
postscript … How lucky I was growing up, skilled working class household, ended up at a quite remote off the beaten track village but with some books, encyclopedias, workshop full of tools and garden front and back, decent countryside, stunning coastline. My Dad was a practical man I am glad to say and going out into the remoter parts of the county at weekends for his job gave me a view I’d never have achieved otherwise. With a clever Auntie (who made the effort to correct a late reader, school much like the GPs ie blind to my situation) and a grandmother who was a wonderful cook and generally of high standards. My Dad was the right man for me, grounded, intolerant of pretence and silliness; praise was scant but he expected a manly authentic effort. So basically I was self reliant at occupying myself and achieved lots by age eighteen which is when he died if cancer and the house sold and me into digs; which actually wasn’t all bad, I could get the bus into the local city and visit bookshops! One thing that has taken me forty years to realise is that I should have actually taken my so-called mother to Court; she always did tell me she wished she never had me or that I should / could be put into a home, likewise forty years to realise she would not say that in front of my Dad. I should have told him.
I’m baffled when I visit a house and books are not to hand, I was always dipping into the fantastically illustrated Caxton Encyclopedias of the late sixties and seeing the best of World Art (still do occasionally) … this is what bugs me about the web, the paucity ie lack of new and interesting images and knowledge that is served to me. I have to go seek it. Viewing the web through our little pinhole is not all its cracked up to be, too much is ephemeral, too little of what has stood the test of time. Kids today are blind to so much, as young adults can barely use their hands, struggling like infants.
For years a remaindered bookshop was my main source, latterly a couple of charity shops are useful hunting grounds for £1 gems. I even spent £50 on a dozen Time Life boxed sets of classical recordings, merely to get the notes and booklets that accompanied them, photographs I’d never seen and playlists of the best; to own them as objects.
… and not as some clever trick to deceive but as works of artistic creation of what we ourselves possibly could never devise, visit or speculate upon, to provide a reprise from the idiocy of king donald, nah …he’s no king … he’s just a gangster and fascist, a nasty windbag. I mean to be able to see back into times past, spanning many generations and witness ideas developed from cleverer people than ourselves, to see how they recorded and created beauty. Blimey, that IS indeed a staggering statement, creating beauty …. something few individuals are capable of particularly nowadaya; kids finish school and many are clueless. Art can be a snapshot, a time capsule, can contain great beauty, warmth, human love and virtue and why should it be crowded out because of tv, texts and twitter and other such junk?
So where does Art count in our so-called ‘modern’ lives?
…. in many ways and sadly now due to our sucking upon the papp of the much lauded information superhighway we have denuded ourselves of so much of human accomplishment; as if becoming the donald j trumps of culture ie seeing and knowing so little, existing merely in the here and now and kidding ourselves we know it all. The web should (and can) allow us access to an array of clever and talented minds.
In a mad fancy of accomplishment I would think that in my last twenty years were I to capture such beauty and interest with ‘simple’ brushstrokes then it would be time well spent and probably best spent. I have my work which is ongoing but also need recreation less energetic than walking miles with my dog. Years ago I would often visualise and work out how to capture cloudscape, distant horizons, thinking of toned grounds, overlays, colour or warmth. My problem is that I can only paint when I’ve had a drink, or maybe need convincing something worthwhile will result from sober effort. Perhaps if I paint with the intention of conciously keeping it all private it will free me up to make me ‘go for it’. In all my travels in all the pastoral settings I can honestly say I have never once encountered an artist or enthusiast of merit wanting to lay down on paper the form, tones, beauty displayed to them. Maybe I should? I dunno. Realise too that Lowrys work often mostly is a lowcost set of negatives from Boots; look closely.
In the above for burdock to grow in such a position I’d say the ditch is dry.
If we are on David Cox then we have to see the famous one…..
whoops to follow as somehow unfindable ….
My idiocy, i had forgotten its Cotman I need to ask for!
I think I need to go looking for books for them both!
Its a bit like the contracted term ‘poetry’ or ‘books’, what we really mean is all that is contained therein ie viewpoint, experience, memory, mindset, knowledge, a way of seeing; so thank goodness for Art, the valuable kind. I wonder of todays activities of installation, performance, staged and often grant aided events as how they will be regarded as of any merit (whatsoever) in a hypothetical one hundred years (when we have ceased to exist as a species anyway).
In my opinion the timescale will contract to much sooner than predicted. At least they have the confidence to write of such things, ‘time will tell’ as the saying goes.
I will not be able to view any material that shows seals and polar bears struggling. As I’ve said before, a picture of a starving polar bear needs to be nailed to trumps head so that everyone can see what the 9-carat plated fool is about. The term climate change is forbidden by Scott Pruitt at the American EPA, likewise scientists have been dismissed or put on garbage tasks such as payroll.
You can read the same for anything, Pacific salmon, Atlantic salmon, phytoplankton, diatoms, complete food chains … its all going. My passion for years was diatoms and algae these being the step below the larger and visible phytoplankton that all convert CO2 and (did) help form weather systems. Its quite horribly ironic, burning the ancient oil and gas from diatoms has created their demise.
In searching for more recent material it strikes me theres not much being produced. Quite fair to say the silence is deafening. Note how we depend on google offering up what we request, we are so open to manipulation. Partly I suppose to be expected as Scott Pruitt and trump have castrated the American EPA and banned mention of climate change. You could not get a greater admission of climate change being real and happening right now than this brutal boot being crushed into intelligent scientific minds. Many reports such as below frame out the demise of whatever species or effect to ‘many years hence’ but what is being demonstrated is that when most of a species collapses then ALL of the species collapses, its an all or nothing situation. And bear in mind its all part of a food chain from diatoms upwards. Trout are reported (98% of) in west coast rivers with empty stomachs, likewise seabirds starving, emaciated sealions in California with mothers unable to suckle their young. But as demonstrated with the seabird crash a couple of years ago it can develop to an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ situation and people merely say “We aren’t seeing them anymore”.
These links are meant to be read in full, for instance above the National Geo tells us …that mercury is now so high in Arctic terns and iother seabirds that is probable reproduction is being affected. Also they inform that its the ‘cocktail’ of pcbs and chemicals that is so harmful. The birds themselves must wonder … “Why are we like this” … no food, deformities, impaired abilities, unable to raise young. Its as if advancing technology and Industrialisation and an endless grab for Economic Growth coupled with never ending population increase is all a sick joke, a sick experiment watched from afar. Elon Musk makes electric cars, but at what carbon cost and how do you generate that electricity to charge them ??? I feel so sorry for his suppliers and the madness of locating a car plant in Silicon Valley. China has been mocked for pollution but thank goodness they had the guts to have a one child policy and that the bicycle was King for so long. I wonder at what point the ‘re-think’ will at last be placed upon us all?
Every day or two I broach the subject of climate change with whoever / anyone and its hard for ‘ornery folk to realise how complex and interconnected are the effects of increased CO2 therefore global warming and the impact on weather systems, including Jet Stream, ocean circulation, Arctic ice loss, plankton, food chain disruption and collapse etc etc.
This morning we hear on UK radio news that the ocean circulation systems and pathways could well be for a greater disruption and modification that previously realised. see second link below. Here in the UK we depend upon the Gulf Stream to keep us away from anything like Siberian winters.
Its difficult for many at first to comprehend the interconnectedness of all this and the speed at which all of this is happening. Each system is subject to increasing ‘positive’ (ie disastrous) feedback, in turn influencing each other as further feedback which again spirals to further interconnectedness, feedback, change, feedback, change etc etc. Its as if some perhaps malevolent higher force has decided to hit the ‘wipe’ button.