online: 15 may 2003

7 may 2003 this is not work

15:50 'Aussie Jen' summer '88. How many people must have wondered about the inscription on this seat - celebrating life instead of death! Aussie Jen - did she sleep out here that summer with her lover and was it he or she who thought of putting a seat in memory of their time together? What an idea!

But perhaps I'm misreading the inscription?*

As I passed pond three I saw the first swimmers I've seen this summer - and on the grass I saw the first sun bathers, nearly naked. Reminds me of my childhood in the 1930s, the time when sun bathing and nudism, hiking and healthy diets became fashionable - along with fascism, communism, paid holidays, autobahns, mass-produced cars and the garden city.The old world was defeated - the Great War and the slump and the Roaring Twenties had cleared the way for a new world - though now we may think that it never happened but instead became another war, or a series of wars.

Aussie Jen and your lover where are you?... and thank you for making your good moment persist, in public memory. (If that is what it was?)

Kenwood meadow: a Red Admiral... and a circle of Iris shoots growing wild... and then two more butterflies - they were moving too quickly to identify but I could see that their wings were of dark brown, dark purple, and perhaps red...

Today is a holiday for me (as is every day perhaps) and I'm glad to be recording these little happenings while millions of others are imprisoned by industrial work and its invented goals and limitations - presented as necessity but actually the consequence of economic choice. There didn't have to be so many of us**.

After tea and a nut tart at the outdoor cafe I continue walking and hear a single call of a cuckoo. Is it possible in early May?

I'm sitting to write this beneath an ancient tree with a deeply ridged, partly spiral bark. It's thick and twisty branches resemble oak, its leaves remind me of a chestnut but there are not the flowers that I see on other chestnuts. What is it?... but I don't really want to know - the name of a thing pertains to the people who named it, not to the thing itself... How did people feel when all things were without names... if at such a time there were any people?

*Is it possible that Aussie Jen died, that summer, and that the people who knew her devised this cheerful inscription in her memory? If so, my apologies to them.

**It is difficult to believe that full time work is not essential for survival, only for growth. But I believe it is so - growth (in population and in material wealth) is a human choice, not a law of nature. We have the power to change our minds.

what's new


digital diary archive

© 2003 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