Tag Archives: Rosie Dub

The Patterns That Bind Us

‘. . . I spend a lot of time in my garden, seeing the larger patterns reflected in the smaller patterns that I, in my small way, help to sustain. There are ponds with lilies, and tadpoles which drop their tails, grow legs and eventually emerge as frogs. There are tall ferns in the shadows, arching their fronds across the sky like wings, and trees that drop their leaves in winter, carpeting the ground and protecting it from frosts. There are bulbs that lie dormant through autumn and winter, then in spring, at some mysterious signal, push their way through the hard ground towards the light. There are flowers that bare their heart to the sun each day, following its path, their petals closing each night to embrace the darkness. There are trees whose blossoms become fruit that ripens and weighs down the branches, sending summer scents into the hot, still air. There are bees that lift pollen from the flowers, winds that lift seeds from their source, worms that labour underground, enriching the earth, food scraps that become soil. Everywhere in my garden are the patterns of life. I have only to use all my senses, to watch and listen, smell and touch, to taste, and to intuit. I have only to do this and I know what I need to know.’       Flight, Rosie Dub

It seems to me that there are two types of patterns and we are bound by both for different reasons – to the first because we carry a responsibility and to the second because we are imprisoned by them. The first are the natural, harmonious patterns that are repeated throughout the universe, as seen in the movement of the planets and the cycles of nature. As Omar Ali Shah writes, ‘Everything is cosmologically related to movement in a harmonious, balanced and equilibrated way.’ It is when we stray from these patterns that trouble begins. We have only to look at the world around us. Wherever there is imbalance it is because harmony has been broken. The second type of patterns emerge from this, the ones that form around a sense of isolation created due to our breaking away from equilibrium – fear, hate, violence, arrogance, abuse of self and others . . . rippling outward as conflict within an individual becomes conflict within relationship, becomes conflict within society and conflict between societies. Paradoxically, stories carry within them both sets of patterns. They  explore conflict and chaos but their structure and the journey of their characters hints at something more – a reaching out to the harmonious patterns from which the majority of us have become isolated. Continue reading

The Art of Description – Writing Place and Self

Description-begins-in-theDon’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekhov

Despite the fact that I had always carried the knowledge within me that I would one day become a writer, for many years I also believed that I couldn’t write, or at least that I was incapable of producing any writing of value. Not surprisingly, this caused a deep conflict within me and some confusion. Looking for the reasons behind this fundamental lack of faith in my own ability, I could cite low self-confidence or even low self-worth, and to a certain extent this was true. However, the real reason can be found in the word ‘value’. I believed that I could not produce anything of ‘value’ because I was quick to measure my abilities against those authors I read and often loved in high school. My schooling had given me a clear sense of what was valuable and what wasn’t. Maths and Science were valuable, while Art and English were not. And in English, the subject I was most drawn to, some authors were valuable while others were not. At the time I didn’t question these hierarchical constructions. I revelled in the glorious language of the authors I was studying, and in the process became deeply engaged in exploring the underlying meanings of texts and excited by their philosophical and spiritual explorations. Yet, while enjoying these texts I also came to believe that I was not a good writer because I couldn’t match D H Lawrence’s vocabulary, the intensity of his passion or the richness of his descriptions; Shakespeare’s depth of understanding was beyond me, and while the philosophy of Euripides was tantalisingly wise, I was too young to embrace it. Continue reading