Not everyone enjoys being in the spotlight. Finding a peaceful spot away from the hassle of the modern world – somewhere to quietly reflect, meditate and generally sort things out – can help soothe the troubled mind. But too often sounds, lights, schedules etc intrude. As the poet William Wordsworth wrote, ‘The world is too much with us.’
The figure in the photograph is a small sculpture of the Weeping Buddha. It is believed by some that the Weeping Buddha takes away the grief and troubles of the world. In return, he bestow peace and provides strength to those who rub his back.
Beach in October
Where land and level acres of sea merge
seamlessly, waves hypnotically lapping,
endlessly oozing over ridged flats
scattered with brittle quills,bleached shard,
skeleton shells, oceanic detritus.
Drifting awareness of keening gulls,salt on the tongue.
As life blurs into the vast movement
of an ever widening scene, this brief,
vital moment in time imprints
deeply into the palimpsest of the mind.
These photographs were taken from my doorstep yesterday morning. The occasion was enhanced by the early Spring sunshine. I was more fortunate than Robert Browning – I was there, not abroad!
This image brought back to mind a favourite poem from my school days, Oliver Goldsmith’s Deserted Village and the title is ‘borrowed’ from the opening line The extract below will perhaps give some indication of why the poem appealed to a young teenage boy.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day’s disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew;
‘Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too, the parson owned his skill,
For e’en though vanquished, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.
I had no notion at the time of the poem’s satirical connotations.
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,’ Matthew Arnold