A summer evening in Granchester
There have been times when I well might have passed and the ending have come–
Points in my path when the dark might have stolen on me, artless, unrueing…
Thomas Hardy, ‘In Tenebris’
Granchester Meadows – a grey and cheerless dusk which Hardy would have appreciated.
It is cooler now and the meadows have lost the smouldering Tuscan gleam they had last week. As if to reinforce the changed mood the farmers have been around and mowed flat the long grasses and the dry thistles that baffled even the tough lips of the Redpoll herd. No doubt this will lead to fresher and sweeter leaves to eat for the cattle as the summer days shorten to Autumn. For the moment however, it is a somewhat dreary sight. Last night at dusk there was a grey wash over the sky as I walked out into the meadows. It was one of those summer evenings which are nonchalantly non-descript – the air was warm and thick with the sweet peppery smell of newly mowed hay, and a few a slightly darker rags of cloud banded the uniform grey above. Continue reading
Just to let you know that an in depth documentary film about the life of a community of Buddhist nuns in Tibet is about to be released.
The London Premiere takes place on
30th June 2013, Sun
Bulgarian Cultural Institute, London
188 Queen’s Gate
Urthona will be covering this fascinating and unique film in our next issue due out in the autumn.
A page from Blake’s Book of Urizen
Blake is virtually unique in European art for the way in which image and poetry are married in his visionary prophetic books. Early in his professional life Blake hit upon a novel method for printing his own books from etched copper plates, where hand written text and images could be combined. Continue reading
Without water no Buddhas!
Zen Master Hakuin says: ‘All beings from the very beginning are Buddhas, it is like water and ice, without water no ice, without living beings no Buddhas’. This suggests that metaphorically living beings are water and the Buddha ice. In one way this is appropriate because liquid water is the general case, the form we normally find, and ice is a special case under particular conditions. A Buddha is a special case of a sentient being, a sentient being who is awake and knows who they really are. However, there is much to be gained from reversing the metaphor. Continue reading
In praise of a Victorian suburb
Red brick villas with the coal smuts long since polished away
Bela Tarr in reflective mood
Bela Tarr – the ultimate director of European existential film-noir?
Are you a fan of long, slow European art movies with strong symbolic overtones, shot in black and white or at the very least shades of murky sepia, in which the main character walks down deserted white roads in the mountains at dusk, or through deserted city streets at night, where the occasional candle at an upstairs window seems to signify both their utter and final loneliness and the distant possibility of some kind of redemption mediated but not bounded by the outworn rituals of a discarded faith? Continue reading