Shikantaza in Yoda’s cave

LUKE What’s in there? YODA Only what you take with you. It occurred to me that entering the haunted cave on planet Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back is like shikantaza meditation, which translates literally as ‘just sitting’. They both seem to be situations in which you cannot avoid facing yourself. The challenge is to bring your attention to whatever is present […]

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Distant, but often very loud

I dug out the old Distant Signal demos and uploaded them to Soundcloud. The lyrics are inspired by sci-fi and horror films and the riffs by days and nights playing Doom deathmatch, all this is routed through five distortion pedals and a Super Phaser™. The following track was recorded in a barn, the owner of which […]

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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

It may have been gung ho of me to say I was coming down to Cornwall to write a novel. There’s a lot else going on. A lot else to pay attention to. Beaches, the pretty granite town. A lot of reading to enjoy and watching my boy play. He’s beginning to crawl, has managed to […]

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Don’t crawl before you can sit

Procrastination shouldn’t be such a dirty word. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing at a comfortable pace. Giant sequoias grow to nearly one hundred metres over thousands of years. The Mona Lisa took da Vinci twenty years to paint. In an ideal world, progress would be limited to that which we do when […]

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Thunderstorm

Lightning arced on all sides of the bay for nearly two hours. Great forks and ambient flashes lit the warm front, turning rooms blue and pink. Rain made wooden sounds on rooftops. Storms like this are nature’s epiphanies, its big neurons flickering to make a black sea imaginable to itself for the briefest possible time.

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Run

Across the beach at low tide. Wet trainers on shining sand. Around the back of the island, sharing the view where people block the path. Catching breath against the granite when cars inch by. Past the bowling green, onto the coast path. Over rubble, up hills. Round the headland, into a new bay. Uphill to the boulders, clambering […]

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Supermoon

I write this after looking at the moon through a pair of binoculars. You really get a sense of how round and big it is, and yet how small when you see its craters silhouetted against undiluted darkness and realise how large a portion of the surface each one covers. Then there are the seas: great ash coloured […]

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