jusummerhayes

Just this.

Owley, nr South Brent, Devon
Owley, nr South Brent, Devon
“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
Simone Weil

Good morning.

It's quiet — very quiet.

And right now, I'm alone in my office.

Today is Brian's funeral. 

He will be buried in Totnes next to his first wife, Anneta. Before the burial, there will be a church service at Ditpford for the family — subject, of course, to the usual Covid19 restrictions.

I've been to hundreds of funerals. Do you remember? I used to work for Brian and Tim (his son) in the family funeral business, so that part of it, the formality, I'm quite used to. 

But — of course — burying your father-in-law, one I was very close to, will be very different. 

I know everyone will have their own memories of Brian and my wife's family have gone out of their way to remember him with lots of photographs and, I suspect, a few artefacts, but I'm going to say a silent prayer for him and remember him for all he meant to me over the years. 

And, I know, he'll continue to influence me in many different ways — most of all his love for his children and all that he did for them.

God bless you, Brian ❤️.


If I'm honest, I wasn't sure if I was going to say anything today. 

But I'm here, thankfully. 

It's become and is my daily ritual — a journal of sorts. 

Yes, that's it. A journal. Something to look over (or others) when I'm older to see what was happening at that instant, even if it looks and often is quite repetitive.

As to the rubric, it's not meant to lay claim to any new ground. 

But then again, you might have missed it; namely, the very ground of our divination.

Just this.

This moment. After all, it will never come again. 

So what?

So what indeed.

The thing is, we're so busy, so tuned in to 'doing' that we miss it. Only when (and if) we're arrested by something do we stop, breathe and pause. 

Of course, if meditation or mindfulness is your thing then you're honing a practise of noticing — and that's wonderful — but the truth is, my truth, that life is our greatest meditation.

We don't need a practice — not really.

All we need do is:

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
— Mary Oliver

Think about it.

To pay attention to this moment should be very easy. But how much have you already missed in reading this post by dint of your mind or feelings being somewhere else? 

I'm serious.

It's almost like we can't help ourselves.

But imagine if you were to able to bring your full attention to each moment — even the crappy ones. Perhaps life (as it's been for me) wouldn't have felt so flat, so shorn of emotion save that old friend, Black Dog.

The truth is, you don't me to remind you of this. You know this. You do. But it's fleeting and we can't seem to hold that level of attention.

For me though, it cuts across so many areas of my life and, if nothing else, Brian's passing has reminded for the nth time to take nothing for granted be that this moment, this day, this year because one day I won't be here to enjoy it in all its glory.

Much love ❤️, Ju


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