the beach at east mersea

Groyne posts, silhouetted before the solstice sun
Erosion-felled trees, sun-baked, strewn
A bucketed scavenger after scallops? clams? cockles?
Acrylic arcs of cloud
Memorial benches, plaques glistening
A kestrel hovering, completely still
The occasional cry of a wading bird

boat names: west mersea

I’ve always been rather fascinated by the names people give inanimate things that they care about. Mostly boats, but also homes. I think it’s something to do with my love of short-form writing generally – the idea of imbuing a minimum of words with the maximum… what’s a good word for it? I’m going to borrow from eastern thinking for a moment (surprise!): chi. Or energy? Or feeling? Not sure. But I think you understand.

Think about all the thought and love that goes into boat names: they must be over-charged with the stuff. At the very least they seem worthy of collecting. I’ve been meaning to start for ages, with a view to doing something with them. But I’ve never figured out what. So for now, collecting the names will have to do, or I’ll never start.

So here are some boat names I saw at West Mersea in Essex today:

  • Quiet Air
  • Mersea Guy
  • Seahawk II
  • Fanny’s Prospect
  • Double Trouble
  • Admiral Benbow
  • Ghostbuster
  • Blenheim Rose
  • Two Voices
  • Keehar
  • Omar
  • Centenary
  • Gib’ Sea 262
  • Lahloo
  • Alchera
  • Cloud Nine
  • Mischief
  • Alouette
  • Blue Fox
  • Rosie
  • Lisa Lynne
  • Alderney
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Exposition
  • Brenda Leigh
  • Liberty 23
  • Ignis
  • Chelsea Flower
  • Mersea Native
  • Jolly Don
  • Riis I
  • Jenny Dee

day 56, 57, 58

Two less good, one very good.

Some thoughts are like dinner party guests. You invite them into your sanctum, sit them down, feed them, converse with them. But eventually they’ve worn you out, you’ve had enough of them, and you want them to leave.

Others are like unexpected guests. They might pop in for a cup of tea, but they don’t outstay their welcome. They (hopefully) leave quickly, of their own accord, and you’re glad they popped by.

The first kind are thoughts that keep you awake. The second are thoughts that send you to sleep. The first are thoughts that break your zazen. The second are thoughts that do no harm.

So: fewer dinner parties, more quick cups of tea.

day 51, 52, 53 and 54

Oh dear. Busy and busy-brained. Two days, 30 minutes of “mindful” sitting – as mindful as possible, at least. 45 minutes of group zazen yesterday. Work after was so hectic I have no recollection of how the zazen itself went. 30 minutes of zazen this morning, with some noisy work brain happening. It’s all fine. No judging mind. We keep going.

day 50

Under the hawthorn tree, wrapped in a warm outer layer. Focusing on the breath, but not counting. A spell of thinking, bookended by tranquility. Half way.