20 Mar 2016

20th March 2016 On inelasticity.


Sunday 20th, 38-50F, 3-10C, clear skies, bright sunshine but quite breezy. The wind is from the north west today which is quite unusual. I have to admit that brightness wins easily over grey, however interesting mist might be for its concealing novelty. My familiar walk to the woods would be almost like entering an amphitheater were it not for the lack of seating and the absence of unruly masses. Only a sparse few houses enjoy that splendid view across the ever-encroaching, industrialized, mono-cultural prairies. If no one challenges my solitary presence then surely I am master of all I survey? My mind can expand to softly envelope, but not contain, the few square miles within easy reach of my stride. 

The old church on the hump turns a blind eye to all that passes below its parochial, enfeebled interests. Preferring to bellow its now monthly message to a wholly disinterested audience. Who it seems are too distant and deaf to reality, to hear the clamour and must arrive in the tiny car park by newly washed car. Or be discussed in derogatory tones henceforth, for ever and ever, amen.

I wonder what smaller scale sounds could be heard over the aching millennia before the arrival of the roaring traffic almost brushing its skirts. As the gardening staff now toil noisosmely with their mowers and clippers above the racket of the passing, East European container lorries and vacuous commuters practice their 'racing line.'

Will this hypocritical period be remembered as the Second Dark Ages or the first faltering steps on the ascent into enlightenment and equality? Is poverty of spirit really any different from wealth of ownership? By spirit I refer to morals and empathy. Not some outdated, worn-ragged set of rules to keep the plebs obedient and subservient to their 'natural masters.' Actual ownership is to deny oneself the delicious anticipation of breaking the almost invisible barrier of the toy shop window. How could anything possibly stand up to comparison with your mouth-watering fantasies?

When I was a child the windows froze into fantastic swirls and a coal fire was the only warmth in the house. Did we feel poor for the lack of X-boxes and flat screen TVs or the very latest iPhone? Mass ownership of cars, TVs and even 'fridges was still nearly two decades away. We practically lived out of doors and we were our own entertainment as we walked and ran or cycled for miles each day. Our world was there to be explored and measured against the enemies of our freedom. i.e. Teachers, parents, all adults, nasty bigger kids, employers and similar bullies who cling corruptly onto power for their own selfish gain.

Life was something in which you deliberately chose to immerse yourself.  Not some hideously secondhand, low resolution experience in front of a plodding screen. We never stopped talking loudly as our small world events filled our days. Imagination was rife and had to be excitedly shared or lost to the moment. Laughter and cries of joy and pain were real and breathlessly enjoyed and feared at a tireless trot. The smells are probably what I miss most in these, ever shorter days. Everything had its unique smell back then. Now my failing senses are cursed with pig's diarrhoea obscenely overlaid with cheap, weapons-grade scent. Or the sound of pointless traffic and the smoke of neighbours burning their pastoral heritage. 

But my own today beckons with the reward of sunshine and warmth on my back. Do not pity me for my life's choices. Mine is not remotely your life. Not something to be regimented into boxes of acceptable behaviour. You cannot criticize my life without seeing it as a sober lesson for yourself. There but for the grace of countless [small] gods go I, and you. The cards are dealt but what you choose to do with them is entirely your own affair. Within the limitations that society places upon your routines you may encourage your own growth. Or utterly destroy it. Let there be no small lives. For there are more than enough small minds already and they do seem to constantly out-breed us. Several billions rise each day and voluntarily don their assorted balls and chains for the empty day ahead.[sic]

Do not lay down your life too cheaply to the economic treadmill. To commute beyond a quarter of an hour is to have failed your basic proficiency test for life itself. Life is too precious to be wasted, simply wishing large chunks of it away with the mundane and habitual and resentment. Nor for risking life and limb to overcome mere distance and altered time. With a stupidly risky maneuver to gain one car's length in the traffic queue to hell, and then back again and again. 

Tell a child, if they will listen, that you only get one shot at this endless game we call life. Tell them that time is an elastic band and that they are only ever allowed to have one. It starts out extremely flexible and can wound to last all day and stretched to an infinity in youth. But the decades quickly pass and the rubber grows weary and stiff from daily abuse. So that the days fly by and Christmas comes around every second Thursday.

The completely invisible cat hunting on the marsh. Note how a single, cloaking blade of grass was easily enough to make it impossible to see.

Every child should be taught constantly and repeatedly that time accelerates rapidly with age. When the days are long we have few tools to shape them well so must live on our senses and instincts alone. With old age you have more tools than you have space to store them, But now, there is simply no time left to get anything done as you muddle amongst your pointless, ephemeral, tawdry possessions.  One never really owns anything unless you destroy it. Cake and eating it, come to mind. One merely rents something for the duration. To be passed on to, or discarded, by a greedy, ungrateful genetic pool looking for a free, and often completely undeserved, handout.

Above all, do not imprison others within your grudgingly narrow viewpoints and tragically small dreams. Or everybody will end up exactly like you and that would be truly, hideously awful. A quite literal, hell on earth! Value variety above conformity. Every single one of us is a walking example of how not to do life properly. The self-made man is foolishly amateur, arrogant and lopsided in constructing his pack of cards. And is often a tyrant to [jack] boot. Do not let your anger minimize other's absolute right to life and limb and whatever happiness they allow themselves. It is always your own anger at fault. Not their duty to be your victim, your slave nor even your disciple. Adjust your own reasoning [if you have any at all] and "get over yourself." Those who use people as cannon fodder have no moral leg to stand on themselves. Pick a cause. Any cause...

The images above are all from today's loop along the marsh. Birdsong provided undemanding companionship for my thoughts. I disturbed a Heron and several large birds of prey. You want it paved? Or tidied up? Or made "more accessible?" Wouldn't that be rather like building a tourist railway up a mountain? How will you measure yourself against the mountain with a passive audience passing effortlessly by at timetable intervals? They paid the terrifying price of the fare. Just to have that gleam of accomplishment stolen from before their very eyes.

Enough of the home-spun philosophy. Despite the Nor-Westerly wind I decided to head north. Having become lost in the tiny rural lanes I found myself nearer Bogense than my intended goal of Søndersø. So, this time it took me 26 miles to reach a 22 mile distant target. Last week it was 24 miles but who's quibbling? I still hadn't eaten by 2am so I was beginning to tire by the time I headed home. Despite being refreshed with two rounds of wholemeal bread and thick chunks of "Dubliner" mature Cheddar I began to lose the will to live at 30 miles. Thankfully a banana washed down with pure apple juice revived me and I was going strongly again by 40 miles.

An archaic mode of transport poses in front of obsolescent architecture. Long may they enjoy each other's patient company. Others are always in far too much of a rush to be somewhere else. They have no time to dawdle or be idly curious. The car takes you nowhere important at a speed  which always denies you the ability to travel at your own pace. Or even to pause and smell all the delightfully faded flowers of your own heritage. You are denied access to that which you deliberately set out to visit. How can you possibly immerse yourself in anything but a sensory deprivation tank, behind the wheel?

Highlights of the day included being deliberately cut off at a roundabout by a short fat and ugly barsteward in a short, fat and ugly car. There can be precious few rewards in life for a short, fat and ugly barsteward, with matching car. So I was obviously his token, powerless victim for today. He is probably working himself up from torturing little animals so I suppose I should be quite flattered. [Rather than quite flattened.] Fortunately my brakes and reactions still work well. Otherwise he would have been explaining himself to a sympathetic ambulance driver. Telling him about the mad barsteward on a tricycle, with delusions of grandeur. That rights of way at roundabouts equally apply to cycles... and how I had deliberately run into him despite him looking looking me straight in the eye as he cut me off...

Lots of keen cyclists about today and the warm and dry weather has even prodded quite a few fair weather motorcyclists out onto the roads. The wind was a hindrance for most of the day until the last leg. I was cruising at 16-18mph in the middle and for last few miles. A rather, red faced 48 miles, but still not out.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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