surfing the tao

  Day one...    

'if a man traveled through paradise in a dream and received a  flower as proof of his passage. then woke to find this flower in his hands... what then?                                                           jl borges

how can we know the dancer from the dance?         

w. b. yeats


southbank london

'the heaven-tree of stars, hung with humid night blue fruit'.

j. joyce


'every seed is a longing'.                                                        k. gibran


...'the main difference between americans and the english is the desire for intensity. americans say, 'let’s do it now motherfucker, let’s go!' and the english are more like, ‘should we be intense right now, or should we wait til after dinner?’ I think anyone who stays in england long enough gets a little defanged’.                                                      

wayne coyne 

             daniel craig. englishman. portrait by sam taylor wood

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.                                                                                    Psalms 23

'and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth'.     frank o hara

'The goddess of electric guitar players is called Helena. She looks after you when you are trying to learn a new song and if anyone throws a bottle at you when you are going on stage, she reaches out a graceful hand and diverts it to an amplifier. Also, if you have been assiduous in paying tribute to her, she will prevent your guitar strings from breaking and give you a gentle nudge if your solo is starting to bore everyone. She brings comfort to those whose fingers are sore from trying to learn a new chord and if the occasion merits it she will personally get inside your fuzzbox and make it scream and shriek. A lovely goddess Helena'                          

Martin Millar Ruby & The Stone Age Diet

During my space flight, I came to appreciate my profound connection to my home planet and the process of life evolving in our special corner of the universe; and I grasped that I was part of a vast and mysterious dance whose outcome will be determined largely by human values and actions.

As I floated outside Apollo 9, sunlight streaming past me, travelling over the Pacific at 17,000 miles an hour. I realised I was there on behalf of all humanity, that it was my responsibility to communicate this experience to my fellow beings.

By any measure, we are a marvellous cosmic experiment. One, which we are now capable of terminating. Anyone could trigger events that would lead to hundreds of millions of deaths, if not planetary extinction.

Our future, indeed our survival, is closely linked to the idea of our common destiny, and we must act, individually and together out of an appreciation of that grand vision.

Many years ago I was a fighter pilot stationed in the Philippines. Every month or so it would be my turn to stand nuclear alert on an airbase on Taiwan. We would lounge inside the alert shack, waiting for the red phone to ring and hoping it never would.

About once a week each ‘plane would be exchanged for a fresh one. The ground crew would roll a cradle under the nuclear weapon. It would be lowered from the ‘plane, wheeled off to the side and the old ‘plane towed away.

Whenever it was my turn to go through this drill. I would climb on top of the nuclear weapon and lie there, looking up at the stars. My back pressed to the bomb, I would search my soul for the moral basis on which I might decide whether or not to release the bomb if called upon to do so.

I knew I would have very little knowledge of what was going on in the rest of the world in that moment. Was half of it already gone? What about my family? My hometown? I would not know of their fate.

Will mankind’s vision be of our cosmic future be large enough and clear enough to lift us beyond the uncertainties and fears of our human birth? Or will we defer to experts and impersonal systems of authority in the false belief that in them reside greater wisdom and morality?

Rusty Schweickart. Astronaut. 1987.

she'd like to clean her body out with a hoot of laughter Carol Shields - The Stone Dairies

USA water polo team 1966

I met my wife at a friend's wedding. We were in an orchard in the Wye Valley and she came running up to the groom and said, 'Here's your wedding present' and she did a cartwheel. In my book, if a girl does that in an orchard, you marry her.   Ben Miller

photo: Ryan McGinley

'it’s a thing, it’s like a plan, but with more greatness' Dr Who

cartoon by Leunig