JANUARY 07, 2019 by Stephen McLaren
Reflections 3


‘as I grew older . . .

As I grew older, I came to realise that everything that is a part of life is inevitable to it . .I could not be borne high upon the crest of ecstasy and joy unless I also knew the dreadful depths of the great waves of life.  I could not be irradiated by such love without being swept by the shadow of despair.

The rich teeming earth from which all beauty comes is fed with decay; Out of the sweat and labour of men grows the corn.  We are born to die; if death were not, life would not be either.  Pain and weakness and evil, as well as strength and passions and health are part of the pattern of life, and as I grew up, I learned that that life is richer and fuller and finer, the more you can understand, not only in brain and intellect, but in your very being that you must accept it all, without bitterness, the agony; without complacency, the joy.

Helen Thomas

Thinkin an Daein

Atween the blink o the ee an the harn (brain), atween the seein an the thinkin, time an space whummelt in the swee.  Dykes rise, fields, end-rigs nae pleuched syne, rummel intae the lift.  Gowd-lickit cloods an bleck staunan aiks, awe the gap atween seein an thinkin.

Thinkin an daein that word micht come speiritin oot o thon gap, speirin at the yird an awe its cronies.

Wir ain word biggit that wi maun tak it an yokein it, let it flee as the finger lifts an the air flees oot the taem chaunter.  Chaumer pipes for dauncin an war ains for bleedin, auld words for speakin an new ains for readin.  There’s the chink atween thinkin an daein.

Harvey Holton


From solitude comes the joy of re-discovery of ourselves.  For years, when we have lived for someone else, we have been governed to some extent by our partner’s wishes and needs and now, because we are alone, we are free to continue our journey through life.  Open to every approach others may make, with no insult to the memory of our dear departed, but realising that a new adventure has emerged because they are no longer.  So look for the joys yet to come and create them from our untapped resources.

Leslie Scrase


‘What does it mean . . .

A taxi driver once had Bertrand Russell in his cab . . he being the most famous philosopher of his day.  Seizing the opportunity, the Cabbie asked him “So what’s it all about ?” 

No answer was forthcoming which is no surprise, for is the ‘meaning of life’ not the most  profound and elusive mystery of them all, unanswerable by even the greatest of minds ?  So is there no answer to be had ?  Perhaps we can progress to an answer by considering what makes life worth living . . the winning of a personal struggle . .  the Jupiter symphony . .  the infinite variety in nature . . the works of Goya or Cezanne . . that seafood restaurant . . that abiding friendship . . a special child’s face . . the love of and from another . . eliminating suffering . . nurturing a well founded child ?

Surely a huge variety there, complicated by the very unpredictable nature of it all . . but we can come to a basic answer, perhaps too simplistic and surely missing much  . . but perhaps only so because we expect something much more elaborate . . . but here goes . . .

The only sense that we can make of the idea that life has meaning is that there are some reasons to live, rather than to die, and those reasons are to be found in the living of life itself Julian Baggini

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