|Painting by Grandson Joshua Leek|
I have been absent a lot of late. Truly buggered to use a very British slang expression. Broadband has not been working well, in fact, it was Broadband that did the buggering. I have been unable to contact Gwenyth in Canda which is distressing. We had only recently been chatting online but of course with Broadband broken that hasn't been possible. Fingers crossed it is now as a new Broadband has been installed.
With my lack of being able to get online, I have taken to one of my favourite pastimes that of reading. I have, and still, am, re-reading Robert Wright's illuminating "Why Buddhism Is True." You may recall my having a problem with the title when I first read the book when I was undergoing radiotherapy. I thought the title was suggesting Buddhism, that is all the philosophy, was right. The title doesn't suggest that. It takes Buddhism's central tenant meditation as goes a very large way, using modern day psychology and science, in proving it is right. How it can, how it does improve mental health. It is a great book. I gave a copy to my mate Paul who in turn gave one to another friend. Like Paul, I have to read the passages over and over to get a full understanding of how our brains work. Some of the science is daunting at first but it really does show how Eastern philosophy, for it isn't just Buddhism, now some 2,500 years old, helps.
Another book I am reading is a Fred Vargas crime thriller. As you know, the author is a perennial favourite of mine. She never fails to deliver and the priceless jewel for me is that this is not grim realism but fiction at its finest. Exceptional characterisation with such wilful yet highly imaginative plot twists. "Wakenhyrst" by Michelle Paver also proved very good. Less a ghost story, more a psychological thriller set across the decades but beginning in the early 20th century. I popped into Chelmsford last week to browse around the community bookshop that hides away behind the main thoroughfare. There I found two books which collectively cost only £2.50. The first was Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything - Capitalism vs The Climate" and "The Chandos Book of Dissent" by co-authors Michael Rosen and David Widgery. I have yet to read them but am already excited by the prospect. Another good and very cheap find was Terry Pratchett's and Neil Gaiman's now legendary "Good Omens." Again, I can't wait to start turning the pages of this one.
I have been making things from old toot. I think I mentioned this before. Thus far I have 'upcycled' four bits. For now though here, below, is the first of them. From washed-up old Dolmio sauce jars, I hand painted and mutated what I have called "Three Glass Candles." I have tried to give the impression of wax melting having been lit to light the evening. They make wonderful focal points especially when meditating but are just as good when the morning sun shines through them. I like them and as I made them just for me that is all that matters. I think I shall make more. Increase the colours to include blue, brown and maybe purple.
|Three Glass Candles|
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.