Arundhati Roy

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never … Read moreArundhati Roy

Colum McCann

“Don’t write what you know, write towards what you want to know. A writer is an explorer. She knows she wants to get somewhere, but she doesn’t know if the somewhere even exists yet. It is still to be created. Don’t sit around looking inward. That’s boring. In the end your navel contains only lint. … Read moreColum McCann

Emily Dickinson

I dwell in Possibility – A fairer House than Prose – More numerous of Windows – Superior – for Doors –   Of Chambers as the Cedars – Impregnable of eye – And for an everlasting Roof The Gambrels of the Sky –   Of Visitors – the fairest – For Occupation – This – … Read moreEmily Dickinson

"Letting go" installation, for Thy Kingdom Come 2019

Thy Kingdom Come

Thy Kingdom Come is a global wave of prayer uniting Christians around the world during the days from Ascension Day to Pentecost. From 30 May to 9 June 2019, Exeter Cathedral is hosting a special prayer room in the Grandisson Chapel tucked into the West Front. Based on the parable of the hidden treasure, I’ve set up a small installation with a small action to help people pray.

Xray of lungs. Photo credit: Adam Ciesielski on FreeImages.

Migration can kill

Since my wander around St Loyes with Rosie King, I’ve been continuing to think about migration patterns. The daily migration of workers on Sowton Industrial Estate became particular obvious to me during “The Birds of Sowton Industrial Estate” as it emptied of cars at the end of the working day. How do we make this migration pattern less harmful? How can we persuade people out of their cars and onto their bikes/feet?

Thomas Merton

“Paradoxically, I have found peace because I have always been dissatisfied. My moments of depression and despair turn out to be renewals, new beginnings. . . . All life tends to grow like this, in mystery inscaped with paradox and contradiction, yet centered, in its very heart, on the divine mercy . . . and … Read moreThomas Merton

Wendy Cope

No coats today. Buds bulge on chestnut trees, And on the doorstep of a big, old house A young man stands and plays his flute. I watch the silver notes fly up And circle in the blue sky above the traffic, Travelling where they will. And suddenly this paving-stone Midway between my front door and … Read moreWendy Cope

The world is my ostrich. Photo credit: cocoparisienne on Pixabay.

Pitch Me!

I had this little idea of Paying It Forward during 2019. I’m offering up to 3 hours of my time to help you with something inspiring, worthwhile, bonkers, thought-provoking, or maybe even useful. So it’s not wholly altruistic, as I want to have fun too!

Star field. Photo credit: Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

“Star Spangled Kyrangle: Winter Star Lore”

The two events of the Star Spangled Kyrangle were opportunities to bring people together, and encourage them to be attentive to their place, surroundings and nature. The night sky holds many myths and stories in its depths. It has spoken to humanity since our earliest times. We too can step outside and look up, and gaze at the beauty of the night sky, and wonder.

"Listening to Silent Spring"

“Listening to Silent Spring” audio

“Listening to Silent Spring” is a piece of sound art, based on a listening walk around east Exeter on the 50th anniversary of publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. The sounds I noted became the script for the piece. The work is mostly silence, which allows the listener to become aware of 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.”

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,

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.