Sunny, peaceful, uneventful, highly enjoyable.
Favourite festive drink: tall glasses of iced coffee at 3pm on a boiling hot summer afternoon
Favourite dish: Caramelised tomato tarte tatin made with ripe and juicy, misshapen, scarred organic tomatoes and flaky buttery puff pastry, a scattering of opal basil leaves from the garden
Standing talking at H’s garden gate with Buddleia davidii ‘Black Knight’ in purple glory, the fragrance of blackberries and chocolate and honey. Unforgettable.
Sharing our favourite Jorge Luis Borges stories and quotations by the light of a hurricane lamp under green stars and watched over by a conference of owls. We went on to old ghost stories (Turn of the Screw anyone?) and then to scurrilous gossip. We all gossip, we all find it pleasurable, we usually curb the tendency within ourselves and others to gossip because speculating about others reveals us at our mendacious spiteful worst.
Spurned offerings. To be greeted at the front door by the host’s visiting daughter who announced she had just made a huge jug of tequila, gin and lemon milkshake. ‘You must try this, it will blow your mind!’ Maybe not.
Wondering if it is possible to fast-track enlightenment via a Buddhist ‘stream of entry’? Doubtful. Fascinating read though.
“Stream entry,” is a Buddhist term for initial enlightenment — a shift in perspective where the practitioners’ mind flips inside-out and for a split-second recognizes its own inseparability from the rest of the natural world. Everything is different after this; there has been, in Ingram’s language, a “breach in continuity.” Meditators reported dramatic reductions in personal suffering, although more mature commentators also discussed a commensurate increase in heartbreak and vulnerability. For better or for worse, they have now entered the undulating stream of true spiritual practice.
My small dogs up on their hind legs doing a hysterical dervish dance of welcome to see me coming in through the front door. To love and know ourselves loved/ on this green earth.
“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”