"Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? What do we ever know that is higher than the power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered? Why does death still catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking." - Annie Dillard
“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” - Stephen King
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.” - E.B. White
“Perhaps one central reason for loving dogs is that they take us away from this obsession with ourselves. When our thoughts start to go in circles, and we seem unable to break away, wondering what horrible event the future holds for us, the dog opens a window into the delight of the moment." - Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
Today, two tunes from Show of Hands, an acoustic roots band from here in the West Country. The core members of the band are singer/songwriter Peter Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer, joined in recent years by Miranda Sykes on double-bass and other musicians. I love these guys, who are terrific live performers -- and Knightley is one heck of a songwriter.
Above: "Roots," from the Witness CD.
Below: "Country Life," from the Country Life CD.
And on the subject of the threat to country life, have a look at these sad but beautiful photographs: "Last Days at TrueLove Farm." They were taken by Dartmoor photographer Chris Chapman, who lives up the road in the village of Throwleigh. (The link takes you to his home page, where you'll find a link to the TrueLove project in the menu on the left, along with other good things -- including the mythic Three Hares Project, if you haven't stumbed across this already.)
"The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas. It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down - sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray.
"At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.” - Terence McKenna