I once saw a middle aged man try to impose his ideas on a young woman. She was religious, he was political. She wanted to marry and have children and he said it was the responsibility of the State to look after children, not the family. He said that because he didn’t like her religious values. He watched her for a reaction but she stayed silent. I don’t like religion but that wasn’t the point. She was loving with children and will make a very good mother. I doubt his abilities as a father. I doubt the ability of the State in any such matter. It was a ludicrous thing to say.

He was impossible to deal with because the extent of his ignorance was matched by the embedded character of his convictions. He liked to lecture people, he liked the pub at lunch time, and the two were related. He had deranged pub talk views which were baby like, and wanted you to be a baby too with a mythical State to provide. He applauded recent politics in Greece when we see the country entering meltdown. We owe billions and we’re going to start spending what we haven’t got. That only makes infantile sense, detached from adult reality.

Like cheap wallpaper, so called politics disguises the lack of awareness of such people where there’s always someone else to blame. Everything is “politicised” including the care of children which makes me think of 1984, Brave New World, Cat’s Cradle, Never Let Me Go, The Matrix, and King Lear’s lack of awareness concerning filial love which initiates the tragedy in Shakespeare’s play. I’ve no time for either politics or religion yet they lie at the heart of society. In both cases I see tribalism, unsubstantiated faith, contrary facts, a history of violence, skewed ideas, shallow intellect, and unacceptable attitudes towards unbelievers. The young woman was however very kind whereas he was not. He admitted he was not compassionate, which was becoming apparent alongside other parts of his character.

In the film version of 1984 there’s one scene with colour, light, sunshine and beauty in a moment of trees and hills. The rest of the film is dreary and grey. You can argue the heart of EM Forster’s Room With A View is when George, on holiday in Italy, shouts across the countryside Beauty! Joy! Love! as he climbs a tree. Italy is a symbol for social and sensual relief from Edwardian constrictions. The room with a view is also symbolic. George is a wonderful character, connected with his feelings and desire for love when all around him are not.

There’s a huge interest in walking which fits into above such matters. Nature counters the daily grind and dumb beliefs. We don’t need a weather man to tell us which way the wind is blowing says Bob Dylan. We need even less those people who lie about wind direction. We need to feel the accuracy of experience to affirm identity, not erode it with factory-like jobs where people are institutionalised, distorted, and demand others are the same. The best for me is wild camping for successive days in the Pyrenees, Wales, or Lake District. In Scotland I usually prefer valley camping and day walks. I don’t however do that as much as I’d like, largely because of weather.

Here at Mersey Vale Nature Park you can’t pretend you’re immersed in nature. If you want that you drive to Wales, the Lake District, or Peak District.. When you’re here, you see the city-nature dialectic with all its ramifications. I am not a number. I walk the grass freely. Above me I see pylons, number like, architectural, speaking of physics and the city and cage-like oppressions. Society is perennially uncomfortable if you question those cages.


Mersey Vale Nature Park: Path

Thursday June 4, 2015