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Showing posts from November, 2018

Sunday Reflection - On Being A Child of Light

Our ancestors must have feared the darkness of night terribly. Oh how they would have loved  daylight and those nights when the moon shone bright. Most of all they must have loved the full moon. It is all too easy to see how they came to worship the sun and the moon.  But then, of course, they discovered fire. At first it was probably a natural fire; perhaps, a bush fire following a long hot summer. Those fires would have inspired awe. And keeping alight a flame from a natural fire through the dark winter must have been a very special responsibility - the sacred flame. In time, the secret of making fire was discovered. The Greek myth tells how Prometheus defied the gods by stealing fire and giving its secret to humanity. He was sentenced to eternal torment for an act that enabled human progress and civilization. Life in the cave without fire would have been pretty constrained, if not impossible. It was the coming of light in the form of flame  that led to man's greatest c

Night, night - my poem of Remembrance 2018

This poem on my Dreaming in Purple and Grey poetry site. It was written in remembrance for the 100 years' anniversary of the First World War armistice.  You can find it at this link . I wanted this poem to sound like a nursery rhyme despite the gruesomeness. For us growing up in the fifties, the First World War was not very far away. My Grandad was a wagonner when the war began. He was called up with his horses. My Mum could remember those horses being dressed in horse ribbons to be paraded through the village before they made their journey to France. Grandad drove a water wagon at the start of the war and a water truck by the end. I don't know what happened to the horses. I know he lost a brother and, I believe, a brother-in-law, on the Somme. All they told us kids about his experiences in the war was about the lack of clean clothing. And, how each night in the trenches, Grandad and the other soldiers would kill the lice in their vests by running a candle flame up the seams. E

Sunday Reflection - Just Listening

  When you think about it, it seems strange that so many people use sound to help them sleep. Surely most people prefer silence. But do they? During long periods of silence in sensory deprivation experiments, people have imagined some pretty strange sounds. Being robbed of sensory input doesn’t suit the brain - it needs to fill the silence. The brain just craves sensory input. So, to sleep better, some people listen to white noise machines. Others love the sound of waves or a tropical forest. What about meditating in complete silence? Well, the first challenge is to find somewhere completely quiet. That isn't easy in the modern world. And, the countryside is certainly not quiet. Of course, you have then to sit in silence and quiet the mind. That in itself requires the strongest mental muscles. So, gentle rhythmic sounds or chants can help us meditate more easily.  There is a practice that I love - meditating on sound. To do this, sit quietly with your eyes closed and ta