Waking up

The psychologist Ellen Langer talks about the importance of living with full attention and not mindlessly. Paying attention is about being open to noticing new things, even in situations which seem so familiar to us that we feel we already know them completely. We...

Moments

In the film Boyhood (2014)a group of four actors were filmed over twelve years by the filmmaker Richard Linklater, to capture the journey of the main character, Mason, from a small boy to his first day in college. It manages to record in a stunningly successful way...

Stillness

People who fish our local lake spend a lot of time standing on fishing platforms like this one. It demands a lot of patience, an ability to be still and silent, to slow down, waiting for that perfect moment, for the fish to bite. Writing demands the same quality, an...

The Peace of Wild Things

This morning there was something about the quality of light on this path in the local woods that brought me back to walking country lanes during childhood summers spent on my Uncle’s farm. The empty grassy path, with only birdsong disturbing the silence, had the...

The Memory of Elephants

In 2012 the legendary conservationist Lawrence Anthony died at his home in Thula Thula Game reserve in Zululand. What happened in the days following his death was truly extraordinary. Two herds of wild elephants grazing in separate areas of the vast reserve began to...

Towards self meaning

One of my favourite philosophy  books when I was in college was called ‘Towards Self Meaning’. It was about how we come to know ourselves, how we come to self understanding and it in turn was based on the work of the philosopher  Bernard Lonergan who wrote a book...