In recent months, whilst I've had more time not only to reflect but also to review, research and interrogate life's processes, I've allowed my mind from time to time to become infected by pessimistic thoughts, which have conspired to worsen my mood, with a concomitant fear for the futures of my children and grandchildren in a world with an increasing population, increasing greed for its limited resources; self-interest, political and corporate corruption and treachery.
Life's rich tapestry. It is just that, a rich tapestry, and all the more interesting for it; so not all is bad, there is hope.
|Babbacombe from Oddicombe|
In the face of all this, it is sometimes invigorating to know that there are still many very courageous, inspiring as well as philosophically and intellectually ennobled people in the world, people with huge integrity as well as faith, who are capable of giving us great strength as well as hope for the future of humanity. They come in all shapes and sizes and you find them in the most unexpected places, not least amongst some of the free spirits that are to be found here in 'Blogosphere'. They can be anybody, from wealthy philanthropists like the social thinker, John Ruskin, on the one hand, to the totally charitable, nay saintly, who dedicate their lives to the cause of the underprivileged, to help the truly needy of the world, whose selfish human motive seems to have been subordinated and whose spiritual conscience transcends all that is material; here I think of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
At this point, I should insert some more worthy examples; links to individual sources, as one should in any properly supported research. This may not be properly supported and corroborated research, but, quite frankly I don't care, when I know... I feel that what I am saying is just plain common sense; we instinctively know it to be a truth.
|The Captain's Table nearby poetic inspiration...|
Whilst we each fight our own battles to survive and thrive, to overcome whatever obstacles there may be in our competition for the world's resources, as well as our own sanity, I am constantly reminded that there is also a vast array, a rich vein of powerful and beautiful natural phenomena that have the unquenchable capacity to ennoble our own minds, to elevate our spirits. I am speaking of the natural world; the flora, fauna and insectoids, some of which existed long before homo sapiens marched onto the scene with our unique set of biological characteristics that have enabled us to rule, dominate and change all that we see. But - and I say this with some trepidation, because I know it is controversial in some quarters - we are still animals; animals with an extraordinary ability for creative and innovative endeavour, but animals nonetheless. Look what happens, as we can on our television screens almost every day, when law and order breaks down or when people get hungry or angry, and tell me human beings are only capable of civilised behaviour... the fact that we are, well, hopefully a vast majority of us, capable of civilised behaviour, is a cause for optimism; a cause for us never, and I mean never to give up the fight to maintain democracy and intelligently to vanquish those who represent the worst side of human nature (ibid) and the greatest threat to our freedoms.
Although the natural world cannot help us directly in this quest, it is in this vein that I come to the point of this post; an event that I would not normally have expected, not even given my ability for creative thought.
|View from The Cary Inn, Babbacombe|
The terraced borders at The Cary Arms are very well tended, including plenty of roses, all of which were in full bloom that day. My thoughts on this event incubated for a short period, after which, early on Saturday morning, they evolved into a poem - a Shakespearean form of sonnet called...
...well what else could I call it, but "Rose Petal"..?
(You can read the poem here)
Sounds a bit sloppy, really, but it is invested with so much that is significant to me; I hope also to you. Please let me know.
P.S. I'm adding a post script because I want to ask that, come the day that I am wearing my wooden overcoat (or perhaps it will be reconstituted, reusable wood chip from renewable forests) ready to set forth, ceremonially speaking, into the fabric of history, please, please do not cut roses or any other flowers for inclusion in the ceremony. I don't wish to have any lives sacrificed in my honour; leave them growing for as long as nature intended them to; plonk them in a pot of healthy compost, if you must, but don't let them die on my behalf, thank you. Just thought you ought to know that this is the result of the very welcome influence my wife has had on me, and a set of values that I have come to embrace.