the sky and fields

OLD NOTEBOOKS: East Anglia: 06.00hrs I’m upstairs and daylight enters the room. Desk placed in front of the small window; I can sit there and look out at the world. What a strange sight, everything is chocolate brown. The field was ploughed yesterday, I remember now, a man in a red tractor ploughing the earth into neat chocolate furrows, moving by small increments across the field and back, followed by a flock of pale grey seagulls making a tremendous mewing sound. It took him the whole day.

Such a nice colour; a great vista of furrowed chocolate brown fields forever, like lines drawn in the earth, as you would draw with a pencil on a piece of paper, but on a huge scale; a measurement made across the field. Like when you pass a comb through hair and it leaves the individual strands separate from each other? It’s done and no evidence of it having taken place remains. Just the mystery; strange how there is this energy left behind. The field devastated with precise lines marked deep into its surface; an orderly catastrophe.

The on-going transformation. Events generate their own time, like these clouds in the sky speeding along in this cold and windy October day; they normally move so slowly you can’t see them moving at all. On a windy day like this they’re tumbling and spinning along against a layered background of other clouds in their own air currents and in their own dimension of time. And it’s all contained in the greater space of sky.

It’s as if the sky has become the sea, slow moving but clearly defined ‘waves’ created by a complexity of air currents. The eye/ brain/ visual mechanism, engaged with cloud watching in this way, becomes weary and things come into consciousness in small jerks. The smooth flow of movement is broken up into a speeded up sequence of ‘stills’ that seem to have their own life, unfolding as my consciousness apprehends the ‘knowing’ of it. I go downstairs, step outside the door to see the sky and the scale of it blows me away…. It’s immense, over the top of the hill and away in that direction and all directions in a pattern of huge arcs and smaller interlocking wheels of cloud forms reflecting complex wind movements that I can see only part of. There’s a sense of very much more than this and the rest of it is sweeping around, thousands of miles away over the curvature of the earth. Clouds moving in all different directions like blossoming flowers speeded up in time-lapse photography.

I go back inside the house and upstairs but the security of this building is not reassuring; I feel like I’m caught in a hurricane held in freeze-frame motion. When I look out the window again the sky is still up there doing its thing. The ploughman’s neat lines etched into the earth, row after row stretching as far away as the eye can see. This does not bring stability; there’s a feeling of vertigo that takes some time to settle. No ‘self’ getting in the way; mutuality with a world that’s not separate from me. I am not different from the sky and the fields out there – all of that is in here.

In hindsight I can see the struggle to get conscious experience back to normal was what was causing the vertigo. When I stopped doing that the situation became less hectic. I don’t remember how it happened but somehow in the searching for something to get grounded in, I ended up with the familiar self construct again and I can understand now why there is this tendency to cling to it.


‘I am what the world is doing here and now. Trying to ground myself in constructed reality is not it. I am not inside my body, looking out at the world outside, so I don’t need to secure myself. Letting go of my self, there is nothing that needs to be made real.’ [David Loy, Linda Goodhew, ‘Consuming Time’]

One thought on “the sky and fields

  1. Pingback: wake up | dhamma footsteps

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