online: 2 june 2004
modified: 29 may, 2, 3 june 2004

28 may 2004 death and stillness

20:03 Vale of Health. Walked through this village of one-time retreat from infectious disease and later a residence of D H Lawrence and Rabindranath Tagore - in the 1920s. There are plaques to their memory. And there is a seat in memory of a Norah Lawrence - was she any relation?

I'm sitting close to the pond within 10 metres of 2 Canada Geese who are standing still near to a newly hatched gosling which is sitting on the ground.

Earlier this week I saw a pair of geese with I think 6 goslings moving in pond 2. Later there were only 4 and I watched them moving to pond 3 to escape the aggressive attention of some swans. This evening I could not see any of the geese and goslings, perhaps they were hiding.

A woman came close to stop her dog approaching the gosling in this Vale of Health pond. She told me that originally there were 5 goslings here and 'it's the pike that get them'.

Then I saw the spreading ripples in the smooth surface of the water where a bird had dived to catch fish. I counted the seconds up to about 10 when something - it looked like two creatures locked together - surfaced for less than a second and dived immediately, starting another set of ripples. This time I counted up to 40 seconds but nothing surfaced.

The trees are so still and so is the water. The houses too, and the cloud layer, and the radio mast. I can see a few ducks moving and I can feel some mosquitos moving near and on my face. I find it difficult to imagine that this still scene, on a planet, is itself moving (relative to the moon, the sun, or any other point in space) at immense velocities... How surprising is stillness, yet we imagine it as the norm.

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