Out Now!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Gin and Reality

As I walk down Lancaster Way into a bowl of woods and hills and patterned fields, I feel like I’m walking into a picture book enclosed in sky. Only how do people live in picture books? Imprisoned in a crisp neat page and circumscribed by plot, to our eyes colourful but flat. Sometimes I’ve stood and wondered whether I could reach out and clutch handfuls of green and sky and tear it apart; see what’s behind, and know that I am staring into the face of madness or its sister, whimsy.

Turn right at the bottom of Lancaster Way and you’re on a country lane that meanders through half forgotten names: Llanrothal, Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, Wendee Wood, St. Weonards, Orcop,Welsh Newton, Wormelow Tump, Much Birch, Little Birch, as Wales slips into Herefordshire.

It is a lane of low, afternoon suns, rich meadows and woods of translucent amber and green. When it is cloudy the ivy covering trees, embankments and slowly rotting logs resembles chainmail, cold and dark, and you appreciate the importance of light. Or should I say photons, along with gluons and quarks that pattern and bind the molecular structure of all that we know. And then I think of neutrinos.

My pace slows.


To them we are gossamer. All our fine buildings, grand armies, and wealth, a faint mist, they race through. From a neutrino’s perspective we are 99% space, vast distances separating the component parts of the pattern we define as reality.

It doesn’t solve the problem of hunger or the demands of a tyrannical boss, it doesn’t cure heart-ache, but it helps to remember the material world is not all there is or all that we see.

At this moment I :

am walking through

And even this is material – colourful symbols - thought captured on screen.


Ephemeral products of a ‘designed’ or random construct; or an aspect of spirit that lives beyond flesh? Either way it comes from the world we don’t see.

Designed or random our material world may be a mere filament in a mass of seething particles - or emptiness - where faith and thought, even dreams, may share more than we know.

Time for a beer, I think, or better still a gin and tonic - Where dream and reality mixes nicely with ice and sometimes combines.


Claudia Del Balso said...

Oh Mike, no wonder those are half-forgotten names: they're a mouthful. ;) However, that pic of the trees is beautiful. It seems so peaceful. I hope it inspired you to write something (without the gin and tonic, of course!) :P

nikki broadwell said...

beautiful writing, Mike...I wanted to be under those trees in your picture. My imagination was captured by those place names. And then the shift to neutrinos--another landscape so different and alien! Has me letting go of petty worries about politics, book promoting and all the other moment to moment craziness we live in...

Mike Keyton said...

They are wonderful names, Claudia. I could write an entire blog composed of one long Monmouthshire mumble of names, a whole series of haikus dedicated to hamlets and long forgotten woods.

Gins gone.

Just a keyboard patiently waiting : )

Mike Keyton said...

Nikki, thanks for the compliment. And it's true - when I don't feel like prayer I think of neutrinos rushing through a vast pattern of particles - and somewhere in there is something which may or may not be me.

Mind when I come out of it bills still need to be paid and beer consumed.

DRC said...

Hey Mike! Just to let you know I've awarded you with a couple of blog awards. Pop on over and check them out x

Mike Keyton said...

DRC Thank you. I'll put my thinking cap on and figure out what to do next.