By kind permission of Anthony Garner
Release from the shackles of a mind made prison, sought for so many years and yet so recently achieved.
The bars of the cage dissolve, as illusory as once they seemed so real.
Watching a kestrel hover above a marshy field, its every feather vibrant in the wintry sun, quivering in the strong breeze.
Swooping for its not so lucky prey but that too seems the way of the world.
A pair of buzzards wheel and shreik above, chased by angry crows.
A snow white egret lands the other side of the reedy stream, a leggy grey heron languorously swoops above the treetops.
This is life, this am I too. Part of what is all around me. An animal, a relative (and not so very distant) of all that I see on this and every other day in the quiet countryside of a little green island.
Would that I had witnessed this pleasant land a hundred or a thousand years ago.
Even now there is enough beauty left to mock and ridicule the small conceits and irrelevant concerns of a species which has long lost its way. Or has it? Perhaps we were never designed to see through the deceptions which bind us.
How quietly amusing it all seems from a distance. Of what consequence the concerns of man, viewed from a point where eternity stretches to infinity across time and space.
Rustling leaves, the gentle murmuring of the wind. A trickling brook, the far off roar of the sea.
Shelter, enough to eat and a medicine man. What else required to live in peace and harmony with a planet still beautiful enough to be worth saving.
But if the machinations of the naked ape finally destroy all I see around me, then that too must be. For what point resisting the tide, fighting and struggling unaware billions who look still for unachievable, illusory goals.
Did they but know it, less is more. Could they but see it, yearning serves only to whet an appetite.
War and conquest, physical or sublimated through the world of commerce. Dominance, the need to defeat and to rule. To humiliate and subjugate.
No peace to be found in such unrest. Do their restless souls not see that only quiet will ever satisfy. That all else serves only to foster greater craving, that all such yearning is never sated.
Is that awakening? The abandonment of more. Bearing witness to the circuitous treadmill and stepping off it.
Emptying the mind, unlearning the destructive habits of an unwise and poorly led life.
Who will awaken or wants to. How many will turn their thoughts inward and ask whether they have understood. How few will change their ways.
Some perhaps. Who knows, one day a trickle may become a stream. One day may greed and violence lose their potency. One day may we realize the purposelessness of lives led in the pursuit of the unachievable.
In the meantime, does any of it truly matter. Do good and bad exist or are they just a matter of perspective. Accept all and nothing will disappoint.
But keep out of their way, if you can. Ask them to leave ambition on the doorstep when they come to visit. Ignore the quest for more and shrug at any assumption of superiority.
Peace may be achieved by remaining small and invisible. Not getting trampled under foot by a thundering herd seeking countries which will never be found.
Race, colour, creed, gender. What an irrelevance. Class, pomp, snobbery, position. What thin gruel.
And so a quiet evening after a day of revelation, if that does not sound too grand.
Fingers spreading maladept over a keyboard. A little work on the latest eccentric algorithm which will likely be still born – the latest in a long line of dead pups.
And Rachmaninov – lost in the glory of his Vespers. Russian liturgy, what solace.
Getting there. Or somewhere. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Released from the shackles of the mind, a modest awakening of sorts perhaps.
A freedom which has come from letting go. Grasp nothing.