Monday, 23 June 2014

At The Still Point of The Turning World

You tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
I brought you silence
(for I know silence)
you would say
This is not silence 
This is another poem
and you would hand it back to me. 

'Gift by Leonard Cohen

There is a silence that falls softly here on a summer's afternoon.  Languidly stealing in between the hum of the honeybee and the occasional fluttering wing.  The birds have finally quietened, mates have been found, nests have been built, eggs laid and now the hatchlings rest with bellies full in the bliss of a sunny summer's zenith.

All June I've been waiting for it - that moment in the middle of a summers day when the birds stop singing and all you can hear is the heavy hum of insects.  It sounds like the cosmic OM, the Hum of Creation, and on the honeysuckle drenched air of a blazing afternoon it makes me feel as though I'm blissfully drowning in nectars freshly delivered from a honey-bee's tongue.

Finally, on mid-summers day, the hour came. It seemed very appropriate that the descent into bird silence should be at one of the most potent moments of stillness in the year, the tipping point between summer and winter, between the inbreath and the outbreath of the seasons, between being and un-being.

No one is in a hurry at this time of year. I wander the fields and woodlands with panting dogs, marveling at the wonders all around us and almost holding my breath so as to treasure the sacredness of this stillness.

Sometimes, it seems, even the ever-present desire for walking is overruled by the desire to be still!

Even the chickens can't be hurried on a day like this.

It feels as if the smallest step could take you through the crack between the worlds and far far away, 'love is unmoving' said the poet, and I am deeply rooted here and also there.

'At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh no fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.  And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered.  Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent no decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.'

T S Eliot 'Burnt Norton' from Four Quartets.


  1. Please excuse me for gushing, I am so exceedingly glad to have found your weblog, you write gorgeously and your photographs are a dream.

  2. Please come and be gushing any time you like. I love gush, I do it all the time. :) Thankyou for your lovely comments - I'm so happy to be read by people who like what I'm writing!

  3. Woah. An exceptional post. You realy convey that expansive moment of still and your photos are awesome. xx

  4. Beautifully written.... very evocative 💚

  5. Sorry, I've never commented on a blog and bit fuddled on requests for url's etc...hope I did it alright.

  6. Thankyou for this lovely post.Great photography. So good to celebrate the being news of our human condition

  7. So uplifting Thank you for the inspirational messages during this time of transition for us humans on Mother Earth. The pictures remind us of the miracles everyday. Have a delicious and relaxing time away!!

    1. Thank you! Bizarrely I've just been sent a load of emails from who knows where with comments for the blog from ages ago! The weirdness of the interweb never ceases to amaze me!