Listening to Silent Spring

“Listening to Silent Spring” online

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring – 27 September 2012 – I spent a couple of hours walking around my neighbourhood and listening. My notes became the script for a piece of sound art that provides space for the listener to pay attention to their own ambient soundtrack.

Franz Kafka

You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, just wait. You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, still and solitary. And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked. It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet. — … Read moreFranz Kafka

Give blood at blood.co.uk

25 pints

Recently I received through the post a small package from the Blood service: a letter, certificate and badge to mark my 25th blood donation. I didn’t expect to feel so honoured and proud.

Emerging mushroom. Photo credit: ekamelev on Pixabay.

Breaking SAD

There are times for everything under the sun. Times for sleeping, times for waking, times for planting, times for reaping, times for getting stuff done, times for taking a step back.

Iona Abbey, a thin place. Photo credit: daisiem on Pixabay.

A prayer story

This is a slightly longer version of an article I wrote for Exeter Cathedral’s monthly magazine, the first in what is hoped to be a regular feature focusing on the prayer lives of members of the Cathedral community. There are as many different understandings and types of prayer as there are different people.

Labels on little boxes. Photo credit: Sanwal Deen on Stocksnap.

Label-free

Clare Bryden. Label-free. The Porch Magazine, May/June 2017.
Who am I? I can and do slap any number of labels on myself. I am not alone. Other people slap labels on themselves. We slap labels on each other. Then the labels I give myself and others affect how I see myself, how I see others, how I expect them to see me, and how I interact with them.

The Book of Joy

“The three factors that seem to have the greatest influence on increasing our happiness are our ability to reframe our situation more positively, our ability to experience gratitude, and our choice to be kind and generous.”

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

Wiggle Room in the Universe

Clare Bryden. Wiggle room in the universe. The Porch Magazine, October 2016.
“Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side had won, and you had the kind of society that you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now!” – Paul Goodman. Clare Bryden embraces Rebecca Solnit’s vision of Hope in the Dark.

"Artist Toys", Berlin 2016. Image credit: Rekha Sameer and contributing artists.

“Little colouring book: Winter Blues” in the “Artist Toys” exhibition

The idea for the “Little colouring books” originated partly in the games I made for my “Particulart: Up in the Air” show. It seemed a natural progession to create more playful engagement with climate change. Although the maps are of the UK, they can be applied elsewhere, and I am very happy that they have made their way to other lands.

Henry Ford

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which … Read moreHenry Ford

Kathryn Schulz

“And to me, if you really want to rediscover wonder, you need to step outside of that tiny, terrified space of rightness and look around at each other and look out at the vastness and complexity and mystery of the universe and be able to say, ‘Wow, I don’t know. Maybe I’m wrong.’ ” — … Read moreKathryn Schulz

Bad hair on landing from a tandem skydive. Worse things have happened, I suppose!

The day I jumped out of an aeroplane

Hospiscare does amazing work in caring for terminally ill people and providing respite for their carers, and relies on the generosity of many people to continue this work. I have had a surprising number of connections with them, through friends, family friends, work, church, and singing. So I wanted to do something to help.

David Wong

“Happiness takes effort. Also, courage. It’s incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don’t create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.”

What the frack?

Clare Bryden. What the frack? Third Way Magazine, October 2014.
Depending who you ask, hydraulic fracturing – fracking – is either a panacea for our energy crisis or an environmental apocalypse in waiting. Clare Bryden drills through the propaganda in search of some answers.

BP has been found "grossly negligent" in the lead-up to Deepwater Horizon. Credit: skeeze on Pixabay

Petroleum

BP has been found “grossly negligent” in the lead-up to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I wrote a series of haikus in response to the original event, and other oil-related events past and imagined,

Parker J Palmer

“I am a novice in every new moment of the day, each of which presents possibilities unknown and untried. Why not embrace that fact and see what happens? … [W]e all live at the intersection of our small worlds and the big one around us. If we want to serve others, we must attend to … Read moreParker J Palmer

Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it? Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, can I do better? Will I ever be able to sing, even the … Read moreMary Oliver

View of St Michael's Mount from the top of James Turrells' Tewlwolow Kernow at Tremenheere Sculpture Parl

Tewlwolow Kernow

It was a hot bright day during the 2013 summer heatwave. I approached from below through the gardens recently planted with exotics from even hotter climes. I passed through a circular seating space, an antechamber, through a narrow door into a low and dark space stoppered by light in front and behind, and opened out suddenly into bright height.

Emery Allen

“There’s so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way, and it doesn’t need to be painful or empty. You need to … Read moreEmery Allen

Ted Hughes

“The progress of any writer is marked by those moments when she manages to outwit her own inner police system which tells her what is permissible, what is possible, what is ‘her’.” — Adapted

Old Heavitree Quarry face on Quarry Lane

Heavitree quarries

When did the Heavitree quarries stop being worked? The old maps provide some evidence.