random thoughts. terry parris

A mind for words

I love quotations. You have only to say the word 'March' to me, and I hear this from my childhood: 'March brings breezes loud and shrill, / Stirs the dancing daffodil.'

Well, I shall discount the breezes to feel the joy of the words 'stirs the dancing daffodil'. Who wouldn't feel the joy in Shakespeare's, 'in the spring-time, the only pretty ringtime'? Another quotation I wholeheartedly agree with is Patmore's, 'Life is not life at all without delight.'

So where does our delight come from in these Trump-ridden days? Do we go along with the doom-laden prophecies in 'Julius Caesar' ('Beware the Ides of March'), or is there a way we can sustain that 'delight'? Dear Reader, I'll tell you my way. It is 'mindfulness', keeping one's mind as much as we can on what we are doing as we are doing it –washing-up, posting a letter, noticing the flowers in bloom... When I see people walking and not looking at the trees or sky, or passers-by staring at their mobiles, I think about what they are missing! The ancient Buddists called it 'Mindfulness', but religious or not, I find that it works. This practice is immensely calming in an apparently chaotic world. Here is my last quotation, from Emile Zola: 'Truth is on the March and nothing can stop it'. But then I always was an optimist!

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