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.