online: 14 august 2004
modified: 7 september 2004

14 august 2004 this evening

19:39 Under an oak, among several tall chestnuts and sycamores. A street lamp, on the path to the Vale of Health, is already lit - at first I thought it was the yellow light of the setting sun shining through the trees - but it's too steady for that, it's not moving or fading... So I guess it must be one of the country road lamps that I know exist here, unexpected as they are on a summer evening before dusk amidst apparent wildness.

After sitting here for about 10 minutes, I am beginning to lose busy thoughts and to feel the calm of this place taking over. I think it's not the trees themselves but the spaces between and beneath them that induce calmer thoughts... And the balance of verticals and horizontals - tall tree trunks and broad leaves and the flat ground, grass here, leaf mould there - these combine to reveal a natural balance of forces, a coherence. I'm reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright and his awareness of such things.

Few people come this way this evening. I sit here alone digesting a sandwich and blackberries. The streetlamp continues to emit light as jetplanes fly south towards the point where they turn west to land at Heath Row. The grasses are completely still and the topmost leaves move only a few centimetres in slight wind.

21:35 At the station, 20 minutes to wait - according to the tv screen. While walking back I was attacked, playfully, by a young but quite large dog whose owner could not restrain it, though she tried to. I suppose I was emitting signs of fear though usually dogs let me stroke them. I don't remember a dog attacking me before in 15 years of walking on the heath. I think it's just that this one was too young and frisky to obey the wishes of people.

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