Pandemic Pondering #133

Some days, pondering takes place beyond the blog.
This morning I was pondering or puzzling over a conundrum of my own making. Prosecco was involved.
I’m running the social media presence of an art group throughout August.At an informal planning meeting, I may have drunk a little prosseco.
At the meeting we were planning the August social media activity. I am not enlivened by prompts.In the art group world, prompts can be considered- helpful, inspiring, bonding, stimulating. I find them the reverse, Stifling, controlling, enervating .

Prosecco led me to be particularly blunt about prompts. Understandably, after I left, the others ignored me and went on to plan prompts.

Suddenly this morning I realised the prompt hater (me) would be managing a month of prompt related posts.

Not awkward at all.

Luckily I caught a programme on the radio. Serendipity had struck. the dogs are big fans of BBC Radio 4.
I caught them engrossed, listening to a woman talking about being creative.

In half an hour she cured my awkwardness over prompts. She is someone who embraces and creates from uncertainty.

I completely reccomend sitting down and listening,

30 minutes of down time listening to someone so much better than me at expressing a love of serendipity, or uncertainty and how it can be a positive thing

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000l7zh

More importantly, while listening to Caoilinn a lovely way of coping with prompts has revealed itself. I will embrace my awkward and consider the unwanted structure of daily prompts as my uncertainty and some days even use the prompt to inform and structure the blog.

These two morning events and the bees on the Artichokes are a fine example of a blog falling, unexpectedly into my head and then into the blog world.

Pandemic Pondering #119

The Saturday newspaper runs a Wordplay section every week. One part is a quiz to guess the meaning of unusual words. I don’t catch it every week and it doesn’t always spark my inner word- nerd. This week, though, a lovely word popped up.Shikantaza is one of those words, a firework of a word; it could go off in any direction. Street Food, the art of folding tree branches into mysterious shapes, a high fashion garment, the possibilities are endless.What it is, though, is Zen Meditation involving sitting and thinking. I do a lot of sitting and thinking , often adopting other positions too. Already I’m anxious to find the word for Zen Meditation while leaning on a wall. Thinking is one of my favourite activities. I also like to meditate which is the opposite of thinking.I’m not particularly good at static meditation, intrusive thoughts are the fuel of Ponderings why would I want to banish them?I’m more inclined to meditate when doing onerous tasks or when doing something that is regular and repetitive.
This morning I did a very familiar walk that, recently, has been very conducive to a snippet of meditation and sometimes if a bench can be found some Shikantaza.

Today there were loads of people about, quiet contemplation, of any sort, was not possible.It was very easy though to concentrate on the buzz of busy bees on spiky plants and feel wistful about the quieter days of lockdown.

Busy bees are buzzing in these next three pictures but unlike this singular chap above they did not stop to pose.

Too many humans, and not enough busy bees, I suspect, are a major part of the problem expressed on this embellished piece of slate, found later in my day.I found this pebble hiding on the edge of a field, while walking again, Another thing to contemplate. The message is compelling after such a pretty walk this morning.

It’s also been a day of thinking; time to sit down and turn it into Shikantaza.