online: 28 may 2005
modified: 28 may 2005

27 may 2005 not what it seems

21:15 Dusk, on a seat by the Vale of Health pond. Today, in the first heatwave of summer, the air temperature reached 28 or 30C - too hot for me so i did some simple activities indoors below 25C (which is my limit). I brought a picnic to eat in the cooler evening air - a sandwich, half a banana and fruit juice - i like the simplicity of that.

I look about and see that there is not a cloud in the pale blue sky. A man in a white shirt speaks a greeting as he walks swiftly by. Minute insects are biting my face and hands and legs. Some street lights on the path to the Vale come on automatically. Two large rabbits have been eating grass within 5 to 15 metres all the time I've been here - and now it is almost too dark to see what i'm writing.

On the way back at pond 1 - writing on paper by touch more than vision

This late evening moment is so peaceful despite the sound of a diesel generator that is powering the caravans of the funfair behind me.

The few people here seem to be lingering in near darkness to look at lights reflected in the water.

The grasses silhouetted against the water are quite still - and so are my thoughts. I'm content for the moment to observe and not move or aspire to anything difficult.

A man and a women sit on the grass by the water. He jumps up to hang briefly from an overhanging willow... and now he sits beside her again.

I hear flapping sounds from behind a tree at the edge of the pond - is it a swan or a duck that is bathing in the near darkness?

All the things that make up this scene, or any scene, are quite largely inferred, composed by experience. I learnt that from perceptual experiments as well as through the theory of Immanuel Kant that i am presently reading. This marvel (whatever is before us) is not what it seems - but it is not anything else, either (though those last words attempt the unsayable...).

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