Saturday, 6 February 2010


this picture captures better than most the hectic flow in our little babbling brooks. My friend Brian , who occasionally makes an appearance in the comment columns as the Rationalist, and who is, I have just learnt, the celebrated author of the seminal work on de-umbilification, drew my attention to a passage in the Book of Silence by Sara Maitland which I want to quote in its entirety because it describes what we seek on our walks and occasionally find.

" And there, quite suddenly and unexpectedly, I slipped a gear, or something like that. There was not me and the landscape, but a kind of oneness: a connection as though my skin had been blown off. More than that - as though the molecules and atoms I am made of had reunited themselves with the molecules and atoms that the rest of the world is made of. I felt absolutely connected to everything. It was very brief, but it was a total moment."

For me these moments seem timeless, and above all I feel present and deeply interconnected, the boundaries have dissolved, but it is wordless, pre-verbal; and Spot shares this with me. It is not thought free, in fact it feels deeply thoughtful but wordless, unconstructed, unlabelled. I think it must be how we thought before we used names to crystallise out the world around us, and perhaps is similar to the inner mental space of other creatures like Spot.


  1. Coincidentally I am just about to finish the book you mention. I can identify with your sentiments entirely. In an earlier incarnation, I was a not-particularly-accomplished road runner and on a couple of occasions I experienced the very same emotion as Sarah Maitland describes. I've never been able to replicate those few moments but I remember them vividly.

  2. "True silence is the rest of the mind;it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment"

  3. I often feel those very fleeting moments beside the Tamar! Love the photo of the drop.....