Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Advent, advent calendar, bbc radio, Radio 4
If you can listen to Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra this week, there are some gems:
Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey
Richard Holmes’ The Long Pursuit (which reminded me of the fantastic chapter in Footsteps where he follows RLS and Modestine)
and Babette’s Feast.
Apart from The Box of Delights, what more could you want in the third week of Advent?
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bbc, pilgrimage, Radio 4, something understood, walking, walking and the mind
I caught a few minutes of BBC Radio 4’s Something Understood while I was getting ready first thing this morning. It’s on ‘Walking and the Mind’ and looks well worth a listen if you get a chance. It’ll be on iplayer for a week and is repeated at 11.30 tonight (it’ll be iplayer for me at some point tomorrow – three masses this morning; home communion this afternoon; and a carol service this evening will take their toll).
Here’s the programme description from the BBC website:
John McCarthy explores the effects of walking on the mind – on our creative and spiritual well-being.
We all know that a good walk is physically good for us, but we rarely stop to consider its impact on our mental states. Was Friedrich Nietzsche right when he said, “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”?
Walking, especially walking in countryside, has been important to many creative artists and writers. Beethoven, Erik Satie and Benjamin Britten all used their daily walks for inspiration, as did William Wordsworth as he tramped the paths of the Lake District with his sister Dorothy.
John McCarthy looks at the act of walking as inspiration and also considers its spiritual function. Why do so many people, from a wide variety of religious beliefs, walk to display their devotion and increase their spiritual understanding? Around the world, millions set out each year along the great pilgrimage routes, and often travel on foot.
John McCarthy talks to the British artist Richard Long, whose work often describes walks he has undertaken or imagined. He also talks to Colin Thubron – one of our finest writers about discovery and place – who recently made the arduous journey on foot around Mount Kailash in Tibet, sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bbc radio, Lent, lenten journey, mindfulness, Radio 4, ramblings, walking
walking in mindful silence
try to make some space to walk on your own or in silence with another
try to really see
to feel and smell
you might like to listen to Radio 4’s Ramblings programme on walking silently here
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: kathleen jamie, nature, nature writing, Radio 4, sightlines
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: everything flows, francis spufford, life and fate, novels, Radio 4, the guardian, vasily grossman
BBC Radio 4 are about to embark on a series of programmes about Vasily Grossman, the astonishing twentieth century Russian author who, for me, is on a par with Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.
With any luck, a public much larger than the one that encountered the novel in Robert Chandler’s excellent English translation will soon recognise Life and Fate as all the things critics say it is: one of the great narratives of battle, a moral monument, a witness-report in fiction from the heart of 20th-century darkness, an astonishing act of truth-telling.
I’m looking forward to this and settling down now with my copy of Everything Flows.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: david stewart, gardens, nature, nicholas rudd jones, pathways, Radio 4, richard mabey, something understood, the guardian
Mabey in the Wild is on Radio 4 on Sunday afternoons for the next few weeks. Listen to his history of wild daffodils here.
Something Understood yesterday was on the healing power of gardens. Listen here.
This book is on my Christmas list.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: a good read, Camino de Santiago, footsteps, joyce rupp, meister eckhart, pilgrimage, Radio 4, richard holmes
pilgrimage to the recesses of the heart
I heard this wonderful phrase a night or two ago on the radio programme A Good Read as the contributors discussed Richard Holmes’ book Footsteps. I have found it to be enigmatic and suggestive, and is certainly something that I want to live with for a while, something I want to chew over, to let rest within me, to meditate upon.
Immediately it is making connections with the quotation from Joyce Rupp that I posted a few days ago and the thoughtful responses from Robert and Anna-Marie, reflecting on their experiences of pilgrimage in Spain. The phrase is a wonderful reminder that pilgrimage is not just about the physical challenge of walking a long way (although this can be enough), but that it is an internal journey that is also set before us if we wish. The invitation to explore the recesses of the heart, to journey deeper into the heart and the soul. As with walking, this can be wonderful and it can also be hellishly hard. As Rupp reminds us, we can change for the bad as well as for the good. For myself, I pray for the grace of God and for the help of those around me that the change might be good, and that I might be ready continually to obey Christ’s command “Follow me”, or as Meister Eckhart so wonderfully puts it:
Put on your travelling shoes and jump into the arms of God.