A New Year: A New Hope…?
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness” – John Muir.
“Foamfollower’s question caught him wandering. “Are you a story-teller, Thomas Covenant?”
Absently, he replied, “I was, once.”
“And you gave it up? Ah, that is as sad a tale in three words as any you might have told me. But a life without a tale is like a sea without salt. How do you live…?”
You must have noticed.
The words have not flowed on this site as one would like. Sure, my gobsmackworthy powers of expression and composition did not miraculously return with the chimes of Big Ben the other night, but all is not lost! As Ovid once said: “Perfer et obdura!” (Be patient and hold out!)
One great – and highly recommended – way for anyone to slip back into their creative groove is to escape from their desk and explore the outdoors. Supposedly, the biting nip in the air during this particular season should do wonders for my stuffy cranium. Sometimes, the crashing sounds of the surf can usually entice me down to the beach, but today, the opposite direction is taken.
On top of the hill looming majestically over our village, lies “The Ring” – a glorious local nature reserve named after a ring of beech trees planted up here in the late 18th century. Signs of habitation on this prominent point date back into prehistoric times, and traces of a Roman temple were unearthed back in the 50s, so the charm of this spot has been entrancing people for centuries.
Would proclaim myself: “Lord Of The Ring,” (oHO! 😉 ) but nah. The WordPress masses no longer swing by this site these days, and one doesn’t wish to lose his last few remaining readers by dispensing such cheap ‘cracks as that!
“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone…
“In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there. They struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws…
“A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else…” – Hermann Hesse.
“Of the mastersmiths in the Northlands that were, and of their marvellous skills, the Winter Chronicles tell many tales. Greatest is that of-”
Brad, who, rather than stay on a crowded train reluctantly listening to such inconsequential babble emanating from endless banks of smartphones, you are more likely to find him trudging through the beechwoods, high atop The Ring, lost in the garrulous harmony of jays, nuthatches, robins and even the odd fastidious crow…
Why should this ol’ dude, now sporting a formidably bushy crumbcatcher, spend either his time or creds on such flaccid fare as Aquaman or Bumblebee, when this season boasts a positively splendiferous plethora of maidenhair spleenworts and their effulgent yellow-green pinnae?!
One arborial landmark in particular (see above!) entices me every time with its fantastical, Middle-Earth-like charm. Nicknamed it the “Elf Tree,” ‘cos you half expect an elf, goblin, or some frabjous form of faeriekind to lurk beneath its bark…
Whatever magickal and bewitching fantasy land lies deep beyond its gnarly roots: take me there!! For it can only be infinitely superior to this mundane madhouse we call the Real World, with its gaggles of dunderheaded politicians – on BOTH sides of The Pond! – bickering pathetically amongst themselves while We, The People, suffer as our socio-economic institutions are left to ROT.
And what about that other 21st century gripe of mine?!
My foray into social media (up until three years ago) did not last long. Upon finding old “friends,” the general consensus seemed to be: “Uff, he’s STILL alive…” And they all drifted off back to their own monotonous pursuits.
The distance – and anonymity – that social media affords has only served to increase – and embolden – the anti-social behaviour that now festers online… and on our streets. In my opinion, the uncontrollable proliferation of smartphones only makes these matters WORSE. And, regrettably, these wretched gadgets will NOT be vanishing like our ancient forests any time soon…
It is NO coincidence that a direct link exists between such rampant modern tech and a substantial lack of care and consideration for others…
So you see, up here, amidst my own bare, leaflorn bastion of solitude, there is no reason to rant. Just savour the serenity! And you can blot out such harsh truths that – as we traipse timidly into the year in which Blade Runner is set – the economic gap between the richest and the poorest around this befuddling Pale Blue Dot of ours is now so gargantuan that it makes the Death Star look like a ping pong ball…
“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” 😉
“The book of nature has no beginning, as it has no end. Open this book where you will, and if you have the desire to acquire knowledge you will find it of intense interest. No matter how long or how intently you study the pages, your interest will not flag, for in nature there is no finality” – Jim Corbett.
“What can we look forward to in 2019?!”
Well, you see, therein lies the problem – “looking forward” has become (for me) a most uncomfortable exercise that screams nothing but: “Make more tawdry remakes! Be more obtuse to your fellows! Dehumanize yourself further by snapping up yet more superficial gadgets with money you don’t have!”
NO thank you.
In order to deal with incessant swathes of rotten luck and poor health – during this past quarter alone – the pull towards nostalgia and the joys and contentment synonymous with yesteryear become ever more comforting. And helps replenish my waning will to write. So, expect to see more nostalgic-tinted stuff on this site!
Encouragingly, Christmas week witnessed an upsurge in both the quantity and quality of my writing, and the renewal of that urge to finish and Publish more Posts!
To help avoid any more anxious loooong waits for subsequent Posts, you might like to know that my Manic Music Monday series is to be resurrected! Thus, there will be a guaranteed weekly dose of Brad while my usual Reviews and special Features (hopefully!) come to fruition!
Any new ideas for this New Year you would like to see on Bradscribe, pls let me know!
Let me conclude then, by saying just this:
The Very Happiest of New Years to you all!
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And lo, Brad settles down this balmy eventide to write
Long and arduously into the night…
The view from atop the Ring, looking east… ^
…and looking west…
“Either we all live in a decent world, or nobody does…” – George Orwell.