What is the essence of any blog, if not observation and writing? I have just finished Katherine Swift’s wonderful book ‘The Morville Hours’, a treasury of history, geology, horticulture, memoir and other gems. Of her many thought-provoking observations, two in particular stand out for me as I struggle to make something of
my life Dancing Beastie. Firstly, on writing:
‘It’s a quiet sort of heroism, the making and keeping of books. You don’t get medals for sitting in the library each day, scratching away, writing it all down. Still less for dusting the shelves. But it is what civilisation is made of: the collective memory, passed on, passed down.’
And secondly, on nature – specifically, her garden – and the importance of really looking.
‘The concept of time being sanctified by use is fundamental to the [monastic] Hours: to waste it is to waste our most precious asset, time upon this earth. This does not mean we should everlastingly be working in our gardens. Simply sitting and enjoying the garden is not doing nothing: it is the attentiveness of which the Hours speak. To watch time passing, noting the changes month by month, day by day, hour by hour – to live, as Thoreau said, deliberately – is a sort of sanctification in itself. It is Indifference which is the real sin.’
You might enjoy ‘They say that life’s the thing…but I prefer books’.