Click Play on the video! Let the birdsongs and bass loops compliment the woods/words.
This video was caught on the outskirts of Stroud, a morning before heading in to busk the streets. Beetles crawled, flies swarmed and covered my body and gear, spiders spun webs to catch a closer look. Even though this music may seem ambient/relaxing/peaceful, I do wonder what effect the noise has on the insects and animals around? Playing in the woods, I’ve seen squirrels, rabbits, and birds (mostly Robins), sit closer and look at me, they’ll often run away if I make a higher pitched note or louder noise. I hope that the music isn’t detrimental to their health. I can’t imagine a nest of ants meditating and studying to this music, like humans might do, although I can imagine them dancing in a very tribalistic way: the music takes over and they cannot help but dance in non-natural ways, with dance-offs to impress their queen, whistling down grass-cuttings and harmonising, tapping small sticks and creating rhythms only an Ant can imagine…. tangents!
Waste is the curse of our civilisation. Because that waste – the endless stuff we buy and then throw away – is polluting our air, our soil, our water, the very things we need to survive. We can have beautiful things, but they should also be useful and durable, things that last and that you treasure. We can all have a good life if we live in a society that is less wasteful and less polluting.pg. 43, ‘A Year of Living Simply’ by Kate Humble.
I read ‘soil’ as Soul, when first reading this page. I suppose we could add Soul into the list, as waste is bad for us in that deeper way. How can we be less wasteful? How can we reduce the amount of things (we don’t need to impress people who don’t actually care) that we buy and own? How can we reduce the amount of things we throw away? Good questions to ask yourself.
Recently I watched The Last Samurai, and as the main protagonist learned the way of the Samurai within fighting, he was told “too much mind”. As in, he was thinking about everything. So when it comes to waste and having ‘too many things’, could the same be said about our mind, our thoughts. When we’re having a conversation with a friend, why are we thinking about next week’s plans, or last night’s events? Why would we hold so many thoughts. Start to strip the mind, and hone into the present moment, the task at hand. Too much mind can be polluting to our actions, and our lives.
I have found myself recently having ‘too much mind’, when I’m performing. Thinking about the people watching, the songs, the questions like “am I going to make enough money today? Can I cover my expenses? What if no-one likes this and think I’m just a racket?”. When in reality if I just focus on the music I am playing, focus on how my hands feel on the fretboards, and how this song feels in the current moment, truly hone in to the song, the performance, the enjoyment of playing this music… everything else means nothing, and is only distracting myself from enjoying life.
‘too much mind’… When do you experience this? What could you do to focus on the task in hand? What thoughts could you strip away? What thoughts can wait for a later moment?
Perhaps it’s our culture of always having access to all the information there ever was. In our pockets, glued to our hands, is a device that is linked to everything, everywhere, everyone… all at once. So then it leads us to believe we should be doing everything all at once. Watching films while also replying to messages. Eating dinner with friends while also checking our phone notifications. Walking through the woods + listening to a podcast + replying to messages + bumping into other walkers because you’re in three places at once, and then you fall over into a bush of stinging nettles, then a muddy puddle, and now your clothes are ruined, your phone splashes in the puddle beside you, so now you’re in Tesco buying a bag of rice, so you can go home, change, put your phone in the rice… and hopefully laugh it all off. ‘too much mind’.
Maybe just start focusing on one thing at a time? If you’re writing a blog, then ignore your emails and messages, stop thinking about brewing another coffee until you’ve finished the paragraph. Did you know that Coffee beans are berries? When you go see family/friends, leave your phone in your backpack. When you’re in a queue, be in the queue, listen to the world around you, see where your thoughts wonder, see what ideas might grow.
Eldrene, so beautiful that it was said the flowers bloomed to make her smile.‘Eye of the World’, A Wheel of Time Book One, by Robert Jordan.
I really like this sentence, and I’m really enjoying the book. The Wheel of Time is such an epic amount of pages and stories and characters, that it’s quite intimidating to begin or think about finishing. So many people claim it to be so good, and have read it multiple times, so surely it must be worth the time and imagination?
To relate this sentence to the previous subject on ‘too much mind’. You could replace either the word Eldrene of Beautiful with Present?
Eldrene, so present that it was said the flowers bloomed to make her smile. She spent her life in the moment that she noticed the flowers bloom, she noticed the world around her and how it acted, and how in reality this world was created for her, as it is created for you (who reads this right now).
Present, so beautiful that it was said the flowers bloomed to make you smile. (I changed her for you, to have more sense). The act of being present is beautiful, because you catch the world in its purity.
Here are some thoughts, I wrote them out, I highlighted sentences from books I like, and shared some sentences with you. Thank you for being here.
If you’ve enjoyed – this link takes you across the internet to all the place my music and words exist – https://linktr.ee/jameschatfield
My biggest push at the moment is my Patreon Page – here is a public post that allows you to see what you’ll get from being a Patron. Patreon is a really cool platform that allows you to subscribe to creators that you want to support. With monthly donations, you will be granted exclusive content, so it’s a win win for all :).
Anyway, you take care! Drop some comments and share your thoughts, share your favourite quotes from your favourite books.
Here’s a question for writing/journaling purposes… What is your 100 year goal?