Cocooned within Concrete

I was a windscreen tourist today.  On the morning commute I was struck by the clouds as I drove the winding road of the Graig mountain, above Aberdare.   The clouds seem to be stratified in parts with a layer of grey and a layer of lighter blue peaking through.  

I was cocooned within concrete again for most of the day, barely noticing nature.  It was, as I’ve mentioned previously, merely ‘wallpaper‘ for me. Something to be viewed through the screen of my office windows, in the distance, abstracted.

I feel at ease noting the absence of contact with nature and noticing the feelings and thoughts that arise.  As I try to establish a practice to support this nature diary, I am reminded of the advice of Natalie Goldberg in one of her books – perhaps it was ‘Writing Down the Bones’ (1986).  She advises noting meditation… when you practice, when you sit, what arises AND also when you DO NOT practice or sit.  I think what I’m trying to explore here in this Nature Diary is my relationship with nature and with practice.

That’s enough.   Tempus fugit.


Thought Suppression in Rhondda

Azure skies above the Rhondda

Today was such a contrast to yesterday’s grey skies… the sun shone, you could see the azure skies above the Rhondda and Cynon Valley in the sunshine. To my mind the picturesque parts of the Rhondda look better than  Switzerland.  It’s how you notice and appreciate it!

I tried to focus on the shape and contour of the hills and mountains in the valleys from one side of the Rhondda Valley and give my attention to this and not to the man made elements : the patchwork of stone walls and hedges on the Rhondda hillside. 

My attempt at thought suppression was a failure, it merely made them rise more prominently.  This process is described by psychologist Daniel Wegner‘s ironic process theory.  See Wegner et al’s research too 1

Driving over Maerdy mountain in the afternoon, the sunshine was amplified by the dead yellowed grasses on the mountain-top.  The scene was ethereal.  The mountain above Aberdare seemed to glow.  

I went for a short run in the late afternoon.  I noticed the pretty pattern on the pink-tinged clouds above Treherbert mountain.  Making an educated guess, I think they were stratocumulus clouds.