Written for TEDxExeter 2013 “Living the Questions”: Trying not to define myself by my job or any roles, the labels the world would like to slap on me, or any of my mind, emotions or body in isolation from the rest.
Today is the feast day of St John of the Cross, Spanish mystic and poet. Here’s an English version of his poem “Tras de un amoroso lance”, which beautifully captures a number of types of hope.
The Parkology group is posting (mostly) daily during Advent, focusing on ‘What gives you hope?’ Here is what I posted for #Advent 3.
Counterpoint choir has just released a new CD of music as ancient and deep as time itself: the most beautiful expressions of the joys and sorrows of the Christmas narrative and Incarnation.
The Women Bishops Measure was lost in the House of Laity, by six votes. It might not be a rejection of women bishops, just the enabling legislation, but it sure feels like a rejection to me.
The Great Britain Family Names website allows you to find out where your surname comes from, and how many people share it. Bryden isn’t that common, but what interests me is the geographical spread.
Blog Action Day falls within Congo Week, and “The Power of We” is beautifully exemplified by the Congo Calling campaign.
Clare Bryden. Peril of eating all the pie. Review of “The Price of Inequality” by Joseph E. Stiglitz. Church Times, 12 October 2012.
Clare Bryden studies an analysis of the economic crisis.
“The progress of any writer is marked by those moments when she manages to outwit her own inner police system which tells her what is permissible, what is possible, what is ‘her’.” — Adapted
Brueggemann: “the yearning for land is always a serious historical enterprise concerned with historical power and belonging. Such a dimension is clearly played upon by the suburban and exurban real estate ads that appeal to that rapacious hunger.”
There’s a rowan tree planted beside the bus stop on Grecian Way, and this autumn it’s laden with bright red berries.
In honour of Silent Spring, I spent two hours wandering around my neighbourhood and listening. Listening not just for birds, but for everything, including all those sounds we usually tune out.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In its honour, I am spending a couple of hours walking around my neighbourhood listening for bird song. In the meantime, here are three short posts I wrote a year and a half ago, reflecting on the book.
Today was the first time ever, at least for years, that I’ve seen another deliberate blackberrier in Ludwell Valley Park.
It was late afternoon when I walked down to Ludwell Valley Park to pick blackberries. I’d just started, around a kink in the hedge and mostly hidden from the gate, when I heard lads’ voices.
A response to Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost and the BBC programme A History of Art in Three Colours, Blue.
The house martins were gathering and sporting on the wing, prior to departure for warmer climes, and Mark Lane from Wilderness Guide kindly popped over to see what plants we could find in Woodwater Lane in September.
Malbork Castle in Poland, built in the mediaeval period by the Teutonic Knights, is the largest castle in the world by surface area, and the largest brick building in Europe. I visited with a friend in 1992.
During 2009/10 I worked as a consultant on the Shrinking the Footprint campaign in the Diocese of Exeter, and the following year lived in the eco-monastery at Mucknell Abbey.
I cycled to the dog-walkers’ field above Ludwell Valley Park. I found blackberries. I picked blackberries. I cycled home. I made blackberry water ice.
A response to Phil Smith Mythogeography: a Guide to Walking Sideways.
Sometimes the mystery and the not-knowing are more satisfying and enjoyable than solution.
I’ve always had a problem with buses. Mythogeography tells me to get on a random bus, and see where it takes me for a set number of stops. But I’m able to end up here there and everywhere, even when I’m just trying to get home.
I was away from Exeter for a couple of weeks, and when I returned (though I returned) I remained absent. It was several days before I remembered it was ‘high summer’ and there was free fruit to be had in Ludwell Valley Park and along the suburban margins.
Much of the stone used to build St Loyes Chapel looks as though it came from Heavitree Quarry, but there were many other types of stone there.
Clare Bryden. It’s the equality, stupid. Church Times, 30 July 2012.
Measures of wealth and poverty are complex and subtle; but there is one simple factor, argues Clare Bryden.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that… Clare is brilliant
When did the Heavitree quarries stop being worked? The old maps provide some evidence.
Maybe I just wanted to be a mythogeographer when I grew up.
Seeing the stone in St Loyes Chapel made me want to walk back up Quarry Lane and look for evidence of the quarry.
It’s a pleasant little segment in Rifford Road, set in a garden surrounded with metal railings. There is a bus-stop in front, and it is very ease to miss St Loyes Chapel altogether if you don’t know it is there.
Once upon a time I saw a very old OS map of Exeter in the Treasures of the British Library exhibition. Now through the miracle of Google, I know that it was the Drawing for the first edition Ordnance Survey map of Exeter. 1801 Maps OSD 40.(3).
In Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment, there is no way of knowing the state of the system without opening the box. Hence to the outside observer the cat is both living and dead, smeared out in equal parts.
I spent a day immured in the office at the computer, feeling wintry-cold while it rained and rained. By night-time, I was completely frowstie at being stuck indoors. As the rain had pretty much dried up, I decided on some mythogeography. Going for walks at odd times, like 10.30pm, follows mythogeographical principles, after all.
I found this marvellous book from 1892 in the Westcountry Studies Library, now Devon Archives and Local Studies.
As a birthday treat, I promised myself a walk down Woodwater Lane, from home to water to wood to home again. A satisfying experimentation in exploring the present day.
“Keep buggering on”
Yesterday, cycling down a section of Woodwater Lane, I noticed a corn cockle in the bank. It struck me that I have cycled down the lane many a time, walked down it occasionally, picked blackberries at that time of year, but I have never really paid attention to it.
It was a happy accident that the house I bought when I moved to Exeter is very close to Ludwell Valley Park. It is my slice of countryside in the city, where I can wander down enclosed lanes, through fields of nodding purple grasses.
I find writing a blog slightly weird. Well, not so much writing it, as thinking about who’s reading it. Something strikes me, I write a post and publish it. I’m just writing about stuff that interests me. It’s weird to think that this might interest other people as well.
I’ve been watching some of the highlights of the Euro2012 football tournament. The online clips, at least on the BBC website, all start with the flowery Euro2012 logo and a burst of five notes ba-da-ba-bup-ba.
Clare Bryden. A fresh way to share good ideas. Church Times, Issue 7786, 8 June 2012.
TED talks are spreading in influence. The Church can learn from them, says Clare Bryden.
This week I am happy because “my” house martins have returned. It happened on Tuesday. As I was sitting at my desk, suddenly there was a rush of gurgling and chuckling, and I looked out of my window to see madcap aerobatics.
My post responding to Andy Robertson’s TEDxExeter talk was cut off. Here’s what I can remember of the rest.
At TEDxExeter the talk I found the most difficult was Andy Robertson about “Sustainable Perspectives on Video Games”. But for that reason, it was the talk I thought I most had to re-watch and engage with.
Narnia is by no means a fairy fantasy land. CS Lewis’ stories include powerful myth, in the sense of narrative telling a deeper truth. Totnes is the cradle of the Transition movement, another powerful story.
“We need to be able to see the cause of our problems in the landscapes of our lives”, because “it’s pictures that helps stories come alive”.
Last night, I heard Ben Bradshaw, MP for Exeter, speak about “The Church and Civil Partnerships”. He prefaced his talk with some science. But people don’t believe what they believe because of the science.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Ten challenges, which if you accomplish them, would help make Exeter a more sustainable city.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Volunteer your time to help some-one else get online and discover the web.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the woman who points out how the strong woman stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the woman who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who … Read moreTheodore Roosevelt
Clare Bryden. Review of “Sharing Possessions” by L.T.Johnson. Modern Believing, Volume 53:2, April 2012.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: “Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer”, and here are some tips…
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Crowd-funding targeted at community energy.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Crowd-funding, or the ‘big society’ in action.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Signing up to lending and borrowing within a local network.
On the day that the government lost its Feed-In Tariff appeal in the Court of Appeal, the guys from Sungift Solar started to install PVs on my house.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Neighbourhood sharing networks, enabling lending and borrowing of everyday objects, skills and spaces.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Why not share your journey to TEDxExeter, and share your hopes for the day on the way there, and what most uplifted you on the way back?
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Another website that connects people who have a desire to act.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: More and more websites are being developed that are enabling people to share and work together. And the best are bringing people together in real life too.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Exeter’s history is threaded through with interconnections, from local to international.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: There are some great community growing projects in and around Exeter.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: Connecting people who want to grow food but have no land with people who have land to share.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: How Local Exchange Trading Schemes can help you simplify your lifestyle, while connecting with your neighbours and local community.
Written for TEDxExeter 2012 on “Sustainability and Our Interconnected World”: More and more websites are being developed that are enabling people to connect with each other. And the best are bringing people together in real life too.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing … Read moreThomas Merton