Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Resolutions

This was the path I took this morning in the forest close to my new (temporary) home in Switzerland. One of the first tasks on 2014 is to find a 'permanent' one.

It forms my first New Year resolution: walk more regularly into the woods. It is the landscape that I most dearly love. It brings a sense of enclosing stillness, of light playing in dark, of turning a corner always into the unexpectedly new (that appeals to one born under the sign of Aries) and there is always the possibility of becoming lost (and found). I come out each time refreshed and renewed (and possibly a little lighter)!

This particular wood on the edge of Steinhausen in the Canton of Zug is very definitely a place managed for amenity indeed on one side, I came periodically to sites that aimed to improve your opportunities for exercise by offering tips and discretely placed apparatus (sponsored by Zurich Insurance) yet you can, as always, loose yourself from these by stepping in amongst the trees and stand stilling, slowed thinking alongside that of the trees. Trees that are, in Jung's words, 'thoughts of God.' This being Switzerland you also turned a corner, found yourself at the edge, and brushed by the sighting of distant, inviting mountains.

The second resolution was to become, once more, a correspondent. As I was packing in England, I came across letters sent and received (mostly in the 80s and 90s) that reminded me of how different an art letter writing is from either e-mail or social media. They were revelatory both of an ability to write and of things worth saying, at depth, personally and universally. I have no idea who I may enlist in this desire for exchanging epistles but I aim to try. It could be done electronically (though I would prefer paper and stamps) but would require a different discipline than the usual patterns of swift exchange (however welcome in their own right).

The third resolution (as they should always like buses come in threes) was to try and be a more disciplined reader. By which I mean try to stop accumulating (in actuality or digitally) texts I know I am not going to enjoy and profit from and which I merely think I ought to read. That 'ought' simply ought to go. Time is too short and precious to spend time on that which does not carry beauty and compassion at its heart.

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