online: 26 january 2004

24 january 2004 saturday afternoon

13:15 Outdoor cafe, sunny day, north wind, snow forecast for 2 or 3 days hence. Lots of people enjoying the chance to be outdoors in winter. Hundreds of young men slogging through the mud in the annual cross-country race... some sweating, none look happy.

I remember cross-country running 55 years ago and once winning a race - the only time I did - yes it was exhausting but there was a hidden pleasure in getting through the bodily pain to a 'second wind' which enabled me to suddenly run faster than I remembered doing before. (I'd eaten some pure glucose before the race.) But now it seems to me a masochistic or mistaken activity.

Looking round to locate a small bird singing I notice that the tree above me is already in bud - and I imagine its negative reaction to the snow that is expected - as the edge of a still-existing polar ice age moves south during the next few days.

Eventually a small boy showed me the bird, a robin, singing behind a bush that was hiding it from me.

As I wrote that I noticed an insect, 2 or 3 millimetres long, and with a cylindrical body and hair-like legs, eating crumbs on the white plate before me... And now it's running all over the plate until it settles on a particular crumb... But suddenly it's vanished - I didn't see it go - I was looking at these letters as I inscribed them. I prefer watching the movements of the insect to those of the cross-country runners... But this whole scene is miraculous: the people, house, the garden, the sound of talking, the runners, the insect, the wind, the sky, the possibility of any of this happening here on this handheld computer and on the internet, in the universe, and in and as our thoughts...

...but the clouds are gathering - it's time to be gone.

what's new


digital diary archive

© 2002, 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