online: 2 september 2009
modified: 19, 20 august, 2 september 2009

19 august 2009 gathering blackberries and connective thoughts

wooded valley

...after gathering a bottle-full of sweet blackberries (the ones that come off the branch at the slightest pull, of a few grams only)... as i walked more slowly than usual... this late summer evening... and now here i am on the seat overlooking a wooded valley where i've often sat to write... again the pale blue sky of the north, cloudless and still... on a day, a new moment, of long-sought continuity that took some time to reappear...

...while writing in the dusk on this well-lit screen i look at a wall of tall trees at the foot of a steep slope of grassland worn away at its crest by a footpath... half-visible figures walk by as i sit at a distance from the path and listen to voices in the wood below and to the sound of whisper-jet engines easing a passenger aircraft back to the airport... in the considerable safety and care of many persons... from designers and regulators to air traffic controllers to pilots and cabin crew... whose organised presence over many years and moments combine to create a new reality... beyond the conception of the individual inventors who risked the first leaps into flight without these collective and connective essentials of a complete if imperfect air transport system...

...and with that improvised statement of co-reality and co-morality i look up from the screen to a view in dusklight that is almost darkness... in which a bat flies zig-zag past as it reminds us that our attempts at flight did not succeed until we ceased to copy feathers and wings as propulsive agents... and yet in acceleration and maneuverability the bat and the bird and the flying insect are far beyond the stiff and restricted movements of metallic aircraft as we know them so far...

at a bus stop
as i walked back in near darkness... avoiding brambles and other half-visible obstacles... and imagined social dangers of a city forest at night... i realised in secret thought how many lives i cared well for in those years of attempting the new within organisations and in the inherited form of nuclear family life... i.e. our five children and scores of students and design researchers and other such persons... in whose remembered presence i feel encouraged though now attempting something else


...for that is the question of this moment... poised as we are at the end of an era and only half-grasping what is before us... in these our human presences and connected thoughts...

for comfortable line length set the window to about two-thirds of the screen width


© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 john chris jones

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