just one day later…


There was a sombre mood around yesterday. Whatever your perspective, whatever your vote, it seemed to me the nation was reflective. A realisation dawning. Not so much of the implications, because those are still unclear. Instead, a realisation that something significant has happened. Something historic. Some were sad, some shocked, some pleased, but many seemed quiet, reflective.

And so it should be. Reflection is an important human activity. It’s the process by which we recreate our experience and mull it over. We exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about our fundamental human nature, purpose and essence. We explore our emotions, our thinking, our actions, our options… and from this reflection of our experience comes deep fundamental learning. Wisdom and awareness.

Taking time to reflect is important. The learning crucial. The time to be with and assimilate our thoughts and feelings vital. The Ancient Greeks, like many wise ancient civilisations, valued reflection as a form of contemplation by which our personal truth could be found.

It disappoints me that some seek to act immediately. Seemingly unable to internalise and reflect, instead they hit out, they strike forward, they speak out their emotions and thoughts in an antagonistic, blaming manner. They rush to take sides, to point fingers, to exert power, to make claims, to advise, to draw attention to themselves.

Maybe if some of our politicians, media and activists were able to reflect, to pause, to be still, they might find their own truth, rather than live a life constrained by rhetoric, by sides, by division, by debate, by ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, by blame.

Let’s pause people.

pause thoughtfully


On the bus the other day, we stopped briefly outside a car dealership on Park Lane. Applied to the window were various graphics declaring “Coming soon… The Mini Gentleman’s Collection”

Now I’m fairly average. Around six foot. Not tall, but not, I deem, a mini gentleman, so I assume this forthcoming collection isn’t for me?

I jest of course. Presumably the marketing refers to a new collection for men who drive the aforementioned motor car?

My point being, the pause matters, emphasis counts and, in this case, punctuation is crucial.

There is a fabulous book, by Lynne Truss, called “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. Its purpose being to highlight the change in meaning that comes from incorrectly applied punctuation. I once sat in a hospital and observed a sign, directing me down the corridor to “Receptionist’s”. I wondered for a moment what possession of the said receptionist I might find should I follow the arrow? I have also driven past a pub, which had clearly invested in the metre high, six metre plasticised banner on its lawn, advising I should “Come in and meet are new management”. I didn’t, needless to say.

This isn’t of course just about punctuation; the omission of a crucial comma or full-stop, the addition of a spurious apostrophe. Our propensity to write so much these days in email and in text, means we increase the likelihood of misunderstanding and miscommunication because, as the reader, we can infer a tone, a meaning from the sender, which might be unintended. Non verbal signals we could spot in a face to face communication are lost and as a result meanings can be misinterpreted.

So, to all ‘mini gentlemen’, I apologise for raising your hopes and expectations.

Maybe next time the dealership will pause thoughtfully?
Maybe we all should?


like antimatter…


When do you pause?

I suspect you pause all the time. Mostly just for a second. To draw breath. To find your words. Distracted. Maybe you pause between listening and speaking? Maybe between speaking and listening? Maybe you pause to reflect? Maybe you pause before beginning? Maybe when your attention moves? Maybe you never pause? Maybe you just never notice your pause?

I wonder if in fact it’s all about the pause?

Maybe the pause is the important part? Everything else is just there to fill the gaps between the pauses.

Like antimatter perhaps?

What if we were to notice, honour, embrace the unseen pause?



the move for movement

movement change reflection now
Water seldom stands still.

Part of the endless water cycle. Rain, snow, hail and other precipitation falls. It runs from mountain to valley, it seeps into the ground, it pours into rivers. Driven by gravity, it is drawn down towards the earth. Providing a life source for plants, humans and other species. Then, from the land, the oceans and seas, evaporation and condensation draw the water up again, high into the atmosphere where the cycle begins again.

Water in many forms, with many uses. Always moving, always transforming, always serving.

As human beings we too seem drawn to movement. To move away from a past or present truth or to move towards a future one. Drawn too to transformation. Drawn to experiment. To change our state. To experience change. To work towards something. To grow our usefulness. To breathe life into something, someone. To find a new place. To simply find a place.

The inevitability of movement.

Yet water pauses too. Beads of water hesitate in the arms of the leaf, pause as a dew droplet on a blade of grass, hang in the air in a foggy breath, rest for a moment in the rock pool. Socialise with friends in the puddle, the lake.

Water reflects the beauty of now. The glassy eye of the water bead displaying its surroundings in a full panorama. The puddle reflecting passers by, life in action.

As human beings we would do well to mimic this behaviour too. To pause in the moment of now. Life comes in these moments of rest, these moments of reflection, these moments of connection with each other and the world we live in. For in one sense this is our purpose.

The cycle of movement will continue, relentlessly. It will happen whether we seek it or not. Just like the water cycle, it will complete. But like the water droplet, we would do well to pause, to reflect the light around us. Ours and that of others.