online: 3 august 2005
modified: 3 august 2005

2 august 2005 our collective presence

19:55 Viaduct seat. I'm conscious of this being the physical site of an early heath diary that i wrote on paper before this digital diary began (it can now to be read on pages 324-7 of the internet and everyone)...

And here i am, about 10 years later, sitting in the same place and again noting who and what goes by...

Two men go past, followed by two women wearing Islamic head scarves. Each one smiles and says hello. (I saw no sign of fear or nervousness after the suicide bombing.)

Then comes an oldish man running in running clothes accompanied by a young woman who is also doing that... they are followed by two very small dogs.

A man with a professional-looking camera is photographing wild flowers. He uses a flash which seems to me out of place in this semi-wilderness - until i remember my wish to mix electronics and forest. I think they might complement each other - different kinds of complexity.

As i wrote that a man walked by swinging a lightweight walking stick in the manner of long ago. He's not using it for stability, or for support, but perhaps to hold back vegetation should he choose to walk through undergrowth, or even to defend himself... but the way he swings it as he walks is a kind of masculine puppet dance, or swagger.

As i wrote that 10 to 20 more people went past but i'm not going to describe all of them. Many people cross the viaduct.

I remember a summer morning at about 8 am when i spoke here with a pilot from Air India who was practicing strokes with a golf club. He told me he was retiring soon and intended to buy some land - i think for farming. That was about 10 years ago but i remember him vividly.

And now i'm looking at a mosquito that i accidentally killed when i brushed it off my sleeve. Other mosquitos are also exploring my clothes but not yet my skin... but then i felt one on my face.

Later: looking at the dead mosquito through a magnifier, i'm astonished that there can be a complete brain and nervous system in such a small and slender anatomy. I suppose its weight is about a millionth of ours, or less.

Here we are, the inhabitants of the planet on which we live in such variety and number - in consciousness and ignorance... it is a pleasure to record these fragments of our vast collective presence.

From here i can see a church spire above the trees, like a needle pointing to an invisible heaven. That too is a presence.

Earlier this evening i met George (the man with a squeaky bicycle) who spoke to me a few days ago. Today he introduced me to his brother. He thought it astonishing that we should meet again but i think the chance of our doing so is quite high.

A tall woman asked me the way to the gigantic table and chair. She and her tall husband are from Kosova. (Yes, people are tall in Kosova, she said)... They live in Britain now. His work is to lay wooden floors... They speak Albanian at home and the children are bilingual... As we talked the children showed us wild plants that stick to your clothes... We talked of many things.

(these pages are designed to be read with the window set to two-thirds of the screen width)

what's new



daffodil email newsletter

© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 john chris jones

You may transmit this text to anyone for any non-commercial purpose if you include the copyright line and this notice and if you respect the copyright of quotations.

If you wish to reproduce any of this text commercially please send a copyright permission request to jcj at