Who runs this site?

Photography: Jorge Royan, Argentina

Photography: Jorge Royan, Argentina

My name is Hariod Brawn and I maintain this site as well as being the author of the articles appearing here. You’ll have to forgive me if the site presentation isn’t yet very slick – that sort of thing isn’t a strong point. If you can tolerate it for a while, it’ll hopefully improve in time as I learn the ropes.

Glastonbury – strangeness and charm. Oh, and a rather big performing arts festival too

I live alone on the ancient waterland of the Somerset levels. Glastonbury is my local town, though contrary to the norm hereabouts, I’m not a pagan and know nothing about magic or the occult. Such folk as do, seem very pleasant though, and add to the unique and engaging feel of the place.

I’m very ordinary, I gravitate to ordinariness, am comfortable with ordinariness, and have always been that way inclined. As a contrast to my own mundanity, I sometimes enjoy spending time with truly creative people – artists and musicians in particular, but left-field thinkers and the odd contrarian too.

I’m taking it pretty easy these days – it’s time to reflect, write a little and drink some sherry

I’ve long since retired now, but in the past had various businesses which operated on the peripheries of the popular music industry. From my mid-thirties I stepped back and worked part time only. Though not wealthy, I’d retired at 51, having felt enough of the harsh edges of commerce.

As to my philosophical outlook, this could perhaps be described as ‘free-floating Buddhistic’. But really, I can’t wholly align with any one school of thought having come to see that belief is at best hopeful and at worst useless. So my own development was influenced more than overtly guided.

The spiritual life? Heaven’s above! Though is it truthfully? You know I’m really not so sure

I’m not into spiritual or esoteric stuff as such. Still, it remains the case that there are profound, practical psychological analyses bound-up within certain belief systems. Advaita Vedanta, Vipassana Buddhism, Zen – it’s all good stuff; but the religious cosmology, who really knows?

Most of my adult life I’ve been deeply engaged in contemplative practices. That’s why I quit working full-time so early – all that navel-gazing takes a lot of time. And I’ve got the bum-calluses to prove it. These are the only visible credentials for my writing, but I won’t share the proof here.

My writing is offered freely, but I’ve a paperback and eBook for any inveterate consumerists

The website isn’t a money-making venture – it’s a loss-making one in those terms. I recently wrote a book called The Sway of Contentedness, also on a not-for-profit basis. Still, I’d like to sell a few copies and eventually recover my costs. That’s the only plug you’ll see here, just ignore it.

Merely being an author and running this site of course grants me no unimpeachable authority in the least. A few things I know of intimately, the rest, if stirring interest, I’m up for learning about. Being ready to stand corrected has been my way of developing, so would commend it to you.

One last thing: The articles I write here are my own particular understandings and are not meant to stand as statements of absolute truth, which in any case, I regard as a flawed concept. Being a relativist is okay by me. So stay open-minded, and be sure to read the disclaimer section of this site.

Let’s kick things off with a good adage: Never believe in another’s truth; be a light to yourself and so live your own

 

302 thoughts on “Who runs this site?

  1. Hariod, this is more a techy/help-desk type of question and can be taken elsewhere if necessary, but I see that you are an Editor/Publisher with Zygal — hah, no surprise — and therefore have some say in this matter.

    I would like to get your book immediately and to do so I’m considering Amazon’s Kindle for PC. Do you have any experience with it? Thoughts? I’m always reluctant with adding apps/programs over and over and over onto my devices, propagating exessively more unwanted ‘face-time’ from instrusive companies on/in my computers/devices while slowly losing more and more system-resources and processing speeds. ‘They’ are never satisfied until one day my laptop/device just spins and spins and spins into oblivion.

    I am perfectly fine with purchasing the paperback version but my impatience, disguised as excitement *wink*, keeps whispering “Kindle… Kindle… Have it today. Hariod would like that best.” Therefore fine sir, if you have a minute or two, what are your opinions on the matter? *smile*

    • Thankyou for your query professor, and it was one which has in the past swirled uncertainly within my own cranial cavity, never to be resolved satisfactorily. In short, I am not keen on electronic readers, nor eBooks obviously, although I do have the Kindle application here on my desktop. It works, causing no undue problems, but I use it only in moments of near desperation. I also have Adobe Reader, and the same applies to that software. Both are free to download and simple to install, as I daresay you know already, or suspect.

      Regrettably, my book has physical distribution in retail outlets here in the U.K. only, and so I have no alternative but to look for coverage elsewhere via an electronic version, the same which itself being available exclusively through Amazon. I am not entirely happy with its digitised appearance, and that is in common with many authors who say just the same as regards their own offerings. The physical book is decent, typeset quite elegantly, with pages both glued and sewn to prevent disintegration after multiple readings, as well as sporting a decently firm cover, itself having a ‘supermatt’ finish making it pleasing to both hand and eye. It can be purchased for shipment abroad by the bookstores in London I recommend on the appropriate page, as well as via the aforementioned retail goliath.

      That said, and with deep humility and abundant gratitude as regards your interest, I am rather uncertain as to whether the subject matter dealt with is within your current sphere of interests professor; although of course it may be, and I must not presume too much. Only yesterday you surprised me with your intimate knowledge of quarks, neutrinos, and other small things beyond the reach of the senses. And then there is your love of, and expertise in, The Beautiful Game, as we call it here in Europe; so I know your fancies are both eclectic and catholic. I would love for you to possess a physical copy, even if for only occasional idle thumbing, though the costs including shipping to Texas would be steep I fear. Either way, you must not feel even the slightest suggestion of obligation or coercion in the matter, and should you choose only to dip your toes into my sporadic short-form offerings here, that would be greatly pleasing for me in any case. You are a most welcome guest.

      This might be typical of the short-form style: https://contentedness.net/2015/03/

      • As always it seems, your willingness to thoroughly answer even my mundane questions speaks volumes of your attentive and wonderfully kind heart Hariod. Thank you.

        I think I shall go with the paperback version and torture myself longer. I doubt that surprises you, as you know a bit more about me. *wink* As to your equally attentive warnings of my reading tastes, should I heed them or any other’s, then I wouldn’t be much of a Bohemian, a Freethinking Humanist, or reincarnate Venetian explorer would I? This world’s beauty and strangeness cannot always be found where we want or expect. The same is true for all its diverse stages and theaters! *gives a most low Elizabethan bow*

        That said, I will gladly accept your kind warnings and shelve them for a later time, sir.

        “And then there is your love of, and expertise in, The Beautiful Game, as we call it here in Europe; so I know your fancies are both eclectic and catholic. I would love for you to possess a physical copy, even if for only occasional idle thumbing, though the costs including shipping to Texas would be steep I fear.”

        What a pleasing, pleasurable reflection of me, and so true. I dare not let my passions of “The Beautiful Game” — as I also endear it — and my fancies of the eclectic and catholic drown you. Perhaps this should be my fair warning to you! *winks with as much moderation as a child in an ice cream shop*

        Now, if it pleases you, I take my fancies onward to the “short-form style” carriage you’ve arranged for me! *in quick step and juvenile leap inside*

      • Why not go and have a tête-à-tête with Foster professor; he will sooth your temporarily troubled brow. In fairness, I did ask of you here, five days ago, whether deletion would pacify the rough one, and you declined my friend. It seems our mutual peace offerings have not been accepted in perfect good grace, although that was never going to happen.

        • That’s a wonderful idea Hariod. Thank you. *large smile*

          Yes, you did indeed offer/warn me to ‘remove’ it, but in all honesty I didn’t feel it necessary then and I still don’t today because I thoroughly understand the context of our exchange and the use of allusion as an art form. We were clearly using allusion and in clever, but needed, expansive ways. I personally enjoy using innuendos, or double-meanings, or parody, etc., because it forces people [or should force people] to think outside the norm/box! That’s how ‘progress’ is made! That is how innovation, ingenuity, and brilliance are spawned!

          No. I will not remove our exchange. Period!
          *whispers under staunch breath and speech* Unless you want me to Hariod. 😉

  2. Well my friend, I sure have put myself in the proverbial hornet’s nest. Dare I say an entire colony of several hornet’s nest? *wink*

    I feel I will be bowing out very soon for my own sanity. I do however, Hariod, wish to continue our dialogue and exchanges. I have and do have the utmost respect for your language-style. *smiles*

    • Very kind words professor, and deeply appreciated. I have of this very evening attempted to mollify the situation abroad, to no real avail – Mission Impossible? – save for perhaps making a small contribution in what appears to be something of a collective endeavor to ensure that matters are lain to rest. It sounds as though you have had good news on two fronts very recently, and I am very pleased for you on both counts. I will see you at your place ere too long, and perhaps here also when next I post some ramblings.

      [This message will self destruct in ten seconds.]

  3. Hello Hariod,

    Okay, so I read your ‘Contentedness’ piece and came here to check out your ‘About’. Firstly, you are far from ordinary, but then I tend to believe that those who consider themselves ordinary are actually extraordinary. Anyway, I wanted to stop by to thank you for liking one of my comments on another blog. It’s a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to reading more of your work. ~ Steph

    • Hello Steph,

      It is most kind of you to introduce yourself in this way, and I greatly appreciate your engagement and interest. Now, I obviously paid attention to the comment of yours that I ‘liked’, though for the life of me cannot recall noting your avatar and hence have no idea where the comment was or even what it was. Never mind! Your kind and generous words are a great encouragement to me, and I truly appreciate them.

      May I ask, when you say that you read my ‘Contentedness’ piece, did you mean my latest offering? I only post once a month here by the way, and this would always be something like a four minute read – around 800 words. Please do feel very welcome to offer a thought of any kind in response, even if you might disagree with me (which some certainly do at times), as I always hope to learn from readers’ own experiences and broaden my understandings that way.

      With much gratitude,

      Hariod.

      • Hello again Hariod, sorry for the confusion on my ‘liking’ of your piece. I got so excited when I read it I immediately went over to your ‘About’ instead of paying attention. I see now that it is an introduction to your blog.

        • Oh, well I think we are equally confused in fact Steph! Anyway, if you had wondered what you might have let yourself in for, here is my latest offering, which shall be my last until mid-April: http://wp.me/p4wkZJ-e1 Thankyou once again, and I hope to learn more about you in due course from your own writing. In the meantime, all best wishes, Hariod.

  4. Well Glastonbury eh? Next you will be telling me you live in a caravan. Still, we have being Brits in common – I presume you are a Brit, even if you aren’t common! Ordinary? Nah, you are anything but ordinary and you should never embrace it. As to your final comment – that’s most interesting and rather something to live by. Up the revolution!

    • A caravan? A caravan?! How terribly bourgeois! No, actually, I live in a yurt if you must know. *looks all superior and stuffs a vegan sausage straight in her gob*

      Yes, I am English – I wonder if the term ‘Brit’ shall soon become a relic of post-EU disintegration? – and was born in Norfolk. In other words, ich bin ein Norfolkian – be careful how you say that Looney Bitch.

      • Heavens, you do make me chuckle. l love a lively mind. Point of Order (another one): I am not a herbivore, although I rather like sun dried tomatoes! If we leave the EU – then shall we be Great Britain again? Up the Revolution! Born in Norfolk? Sorry about that. That’s a bit ‘BS’ but I promise not to hold it against you. Yurt? I once went to Cornwall in a camper van.

        • Would you dare give me a clue as to what line of business you are in Looney Bitch? Draw me one of those dot pictures and I’ll see if I can piece them together – or just tell me straight, obviously.

          • I think its quite obvious isn’t it? Clues everywhere – Mr. Wu and the Panamanian blog? My website. Heavens you can even google my name. Yes, I can tell you, but what’s the fun in that? I love a man to beg.

              • Oh, Mr Wu is just a legend. I could write so many blogs about his mis-English – is that a phrase; probably not! Like the time he told me his student had been stung by a wallaby. When I said, “Mr Wu I didn’t know you kept kangaroos in your garden”, he looked at me and said, “No, wallaby. You know – zum zum”, and he flapped his arms. Obviously he meant a wasp and you had to be there. 🙂

                Anyway, what else? Oh yes, what industry am I in? Because of course I am a Captain of Industry and have little time to contemplate my navel, and because of my tender age will have to carry on working until I am at least 95. I am not a vegetarian. I drive a Gaz Guzzler. I only used yurts for the “‘ats and ‘eels” bash, and I have just eaten 3 Jammie Dodgers.

                • I see, you thought he’d been stung by a kangaroo – the obvious inference, and one I should doubtless have arrived at myself under similar circumstances. And you single-handedly are destroying the planet are you? Very well, I suppose I shall just have to go down with you. *brushes aside the Jammie Dodger crumbs and prepares for battle*

  5. Dennis Muchmore. Apparently he did something with the Small Faces and then went to be a teacher. Now he has left me to go on a world tour – well, as far as Billericay, but far enough.

    P.S. You are far too much of a clever wordsmith for me, but at least I am finding out about the correct usage of sentences, syntax, and everything in between. I am never going to use ellipses again, and humbly crave moderation of my comments. Be assured I am off to work now and wont be able to comment again… for a while. [Oops, they slipped in there for effect!]

    P.P.S. Do people such as like what you are never rise before mid-day?

    • So, Dennis is not much any more then, to you? The only Dennis I ever knew was a very large lawnmower, which, as far as I mow, never encroached upon Rod’s turf.

      P.S. The ellipsis is, in my view, a very fine thing. Still, as with any very fine thing, then overuse amounts to abuse. I am sure you know exactly what I mean. Rather than as a method of conveying, shall we say, ‘Pinter-esque’ pauses for sound dramaturgical effect, they, in their disturbingly increasing overuse, forfeit clarity for clunkiness in the apparent stream-of-consciousness style which results therefrom.

      P.P.S. People such as like what I am (to borrow your adopted ‘Sussex’ style), tend to the nocturnal, awaken in the day’s first crepuscular indications so as to enubilate the mundanity of the daily round, to wit, the dreary treadmill of wage-earning, domestic chores and the like. I usually retire at around 3.30 a.m. having communed with others in different time zones, whilst there being subjected to that which I seek to avoid.

  6. From the bits I’ve read here and there about Glastonbury, I imagine it’s a very interesting place to live whatever one’s beliefs. Incidentally, I smiled when you apologized for the site presentation. It looks very clear and nicely laid out to me.

    • Thankyou Bun, for your interest and kind words. I initially had visions of making the site a lot prettier, but rather lost interest, thinking that if readers can see what I write clearly enough in the typography, then that is all that matters. It becomes rather like wearing old shoes as a preference, if you know what I mean?

      • I like the appearance of your site, but I do understand your point about old shoes. As it happens, the shoes I tend to wear are rather old. It can take a long time for a new pair to become comfortable, so I prefer to stick to ones that have got used to my feet. (It always seems that way round to me rather than vice versa, for some reason.)

        • I think you are right, Bun, and good leather shoes seem to have some adaptive intelligence all of their own, beyond the capacity of the, albeit vital, foot. We seem to have a foot theme running here, which is a first for me, as is receiving two consecutive comments from a reader, neither of which exhibited a single typo or error in punctuation – the reason I moderate all comments, you understand. Hope to see you again some time, Bun, and maybe we can look further into this whole does-the-foot-fit-the-shoe-or-is-it-the-other-way-around theme.

    • Yes, a by-product of Zen psychology in my own case, perhaps. Terribly unfashionable, of course, in an age in which we’re all supposed to be certain about life’s events. I tend to leave that to the politicians; they always know what they’re doing. 😉

  7. Dear Hariod, I like your contemplate-fullness. Is this similar to mindfulness? I am going to try to absorb more tonight. I really enjoy reading things such as this and feel I can learn a lot – seriously. There is oddles of info here on your site.

    • Dear LB, thankyou for your kind words of encouragement, which I truly appreciate and fully accept the sincerity of. I try not to use the words ‘mindfulness’ and ‘meditation’ as they come loaded with preconceptions for most of us, and their prolific use in popular culture has led to many interpretations of what these terms may mean. One reason I reject ‘mindfulness’, as a generic term for any psychological state, is that I also advocate its opposite – mind emptiness; which means just resting in a pure, objectless awareness. ‘Meditation’ tends to connote thinking, or if not that, then particular forms of practice, or perhaps unhelpful cultural imagery. So, your neologism of ‘contemplate-fullness’ would seem a far preferable expression. Thankyou, dear lady, for your interest and kindness.

      • I can subscribe to that. When I get home, sometimes I like to sit on the sofa and watch an hour of Housewives of Beverly Hills. Now you will take this as a sarcastic remark but, dear Hariod, I can assure you it isn’t and is in line with your suggestion of “mind emptiness”. Although it is fair to say I do covet the shoes they wear… the rest just sinks in and is absorbed into my empty mind. A bit like brain washing. Afterwards, I remember nothing!

        • Hahaha! Yes, well not exactly what I was meaning, but near enough for now. I do know what you mean though, and although I’m something of a TV snob I’m afraid – i.e. I do not possess one – I can well appreciate the value of allowing the busy mind to rest or numb within this least of all challenging distractions. And yes again, brain-washing gets a bad rap on the whole, what with its religious or quasi-religious connotations; but washing the mind clean of its accumulated flotsam and jetsam is quite a healthy thing to practice, in my book. Do you find the TV helps you to get your head out of the office, so to speak?

          • The office is always in my head – ideas, thoughts, solutions all float in and out. I like the excitement of that. New paths to take. The best bit is that I can choose which of them to take. I walk or cycle to and from work to de-stress, although in truth I am not stressed and so I travel that way to work to look around – admire the view, speak to people and think to myself without interruption. It seems to work.

            • I know the feeling; I used to own and run businesses in the past, and they were invariably all-consuming, both time and energy-wise. I developed a distaste for the harsh edges of the commercial world long ago though, and stepped out of it altogether. I missed some aspects of it initially, such as the constant contact with creative people, but in the end it was not the right course for me as my life unfolded in other quieter, more introspective ways – à chacun son gout!

                • Just to let you know I am out of commission for the next week, due to a family get-together up in Buckinghamshire. Thankyou for your other messages, which I have absorbed and appreciate.

    • I love alpacas and Morgan’s photos are a joy. I must admit, my head is buzzing a bit, if not actually spinning around, after reading comments following Hariod’s “Who Runs …” [Ignore the …] It’s as though I’ve been on a party line eavesdropping. But I really feel the comments and resulting conversations are sometimes more enlightening than the post itself. Please note that if you do not re-check a comment, spell check will have changed Hariod to Hairdo! Good, I checked. Now I need to empty my mind a bit. Thank you both . . . Clare. [Ignore the …]

      • Hi Clare, are you talking to Looney Bitch or me; I’m unsure? You do realise that if you insist upon abusing ellipses here you’re going to give me a nervous breakdown, don’t you? And if you think these comments are a nightmare, then you should check them out on my last post [ http://wp.me/p4wkZJ-e1 ] and in particular those of the formidably tenacious Dr. Garcia.

        All best wishes, Hairdo.

        • Dear Hairdo and Clare (don’t you dare moderate it H!),

          What a super Menage a Trois this could turn out to be. 🙂 I think Clare might have been speaking to the two of us and she is correct. What a wonderful description of our social intercourse. I read it again and it’s spot on. Meanwhile, I am still waiting for your new blog.

          Re: Discussion with Michael on reincarnation:

          I am such a believer I even went to be regressed. I was convinced I was Jewish. Turns out I was married to a Nazi collaborator. Now, am I bonkers or what?

          P.S. – Clare do respond in any medium you wish.

          • Dear Looney Bitch,

            If you think the social intercourse you and I have is weird, you should have seen Clare and I at it the other day over at her place. The worrying thing is, that when I look for a common denominator in it all, the only one I can find is me.

            As regards your curiously alleged former life as the spouse of a Nazi collaborator, then that of itself would be insufficient to warrant any unfortunate rebirth. And let’s face it, it is all too easy to unsuspectingly marry an idiot.

            You will appreciate that this doesn’t address your question though.

            Warmest regards,

            Hairdo.

          • I really like the menage a trois idea. [Please note that spell-check turned this lovely phrase into menage a trots!] Hariod (corrected as ‘Haired’ by the checker) seems to think I am purposely driving him a bit crazy with my new nicknames for him and of course … I will continue to follow along and now that I’ve had the chance to read his discourse with the persistent Dr. Garcia, following his other conversations will be a breeze. [As I am quite a simple person, there is no way I’ll add a comment on that post.]

            • Clare, I don’t think you are simple in any way. Interesting and fun, certainly. Simple, never, and as females, we should never not be complicated. [H – sorry about the double negatives.] I love Hairdo best of all. That was your ‘crowning glory’! I have to say, I didn’t understand a word, which is a shame as I have lots of questions to pose to these two learned gentlemen!

              • Yes, I think I might just read Hariod’s posts and skip the comments. Although, it was nice to meet you on his site. But I do try to keep things simple and would love to live more of a minimalist life. It’s a bit complicated just trying to become simple.

                  • A little of both, perhaps. I really do hope I can get to a minimalist existence. I’m finding clutter to be more and more unsettling. Do you have a post on this? I’m still working up to the present and sometimes need to stop after reading, wait awhile and read again. Thanks, Hariod. I’ll visit soon.

                    • I suppose it’s just about character types, isn’t it, Clare? There’s nothing inherently virtuous about either simplicity or complexity, though to differing dispositions, there may be a clear preference towards one or the other, and it may be conducive to one’s emotional weal to follow that preference. All that’s important is not to get neurotic about it, quite obviously, though that is a pitfall some succumb to. I think we’re possibly alike, in that clutter in the physical environment somehow gets mirrored in the mental space – is that what you’re finding these days, may I ask?

                    • Yes, it is the way I’ve been feeling for a while. It’s exacerbated by the fact I have had chronic lyme disease for over 30 years and it sometimes makes my brain function a bit slowly (along with the nominal aphasia). One of the effects of lyme flares in many people is brain fog, and I become quite frustrated when I have a spell of this. So, the less clutter, the better for me to maneuver my way through everything needed to be done.

                    • Ah, I had no idea of course, about the Lyme’s Disease or Nominal Aphasia. Without wishing to make light of the latter, then my being ‘Hairdo’ and ‘Haired’ – both of which I must again stress I found most amusing – is almost to be applauded for the close proximity to my, in any case, very odd name. What do you find works, if anything, Clare, in helping clear the brain fog induced by the Lyme’s Disease?

                    • For now there is no cure. The aggressive cells, much like those in cancer, always find a way to come back, so remissions don’t last. But there is a modicum of control with antibiotics and it’s most effective when two are used in conjunction. But that can be quite detrimental to the digestive system. I try to make sure I am mindful of where I place things, so I don’t end up searching everywhere for keys, phone, shoes, books, etc. Sleep also helps. I’m a great napper!

                      So, now you see why I need to keep the spell check on and why it frustrates me when it changes words that are perfectly fine, like ‘Hariod’. I try to watch the screen, but sometimes things get by me when I type and push ‘send’ too fast.

                      I haven’t let Lyme stop me from doing what I want. Some people find it totally debilitating. I spoke with a young woman at church on Sunday who had received a trial inoculation (no longer in use) years ago and ended up bedridden for 8 months. If a person has any form of heart trouble, it can result in severe complications and death.

                      Here in New England it is now an epidemic, because it wasn’t diagnosed or treated seriously when it was first discovered in the 70’s in a group of school children from Lyme, Connecticut (which is not far from where I live in RI). There is a researcher at Johns Hopkins who discovered the aggressive Lyme spirochetes that keep returning to attack the immune system, so there’s hope for a cure in the future.

                    • So sorry to be slow in coming back to you, Clare; I’ve been rather inundated with things to do around here and with responses to make on my latest post for a couple of days. We’re running out of space here, but do please feel free to begin a new thread so that the words aren’t all scrunched up.

                      I looked the condition up and can see that you’re in a really high-risk area, Clare: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease#/media/File:Lyme_Disease_Risk_Map.gif

                      I used to live on North Dartmoor and ticks are fairly widespread there in the low moor woodlands and grasslands. I used to check my Border Collie every day, but thankfully she only ever seemed to get ticks around the back of her head and neck region, and only ever one or two at a time, so identifying them and teasing them out was straightforward. I never got any ticks embedded in myself whilst living there, but have had a couple out on the North Cornwall coast oddly enough, where ticks are in fact less prevalent than on the inland moors. It would seem that Lyme Disease is on the rise, and that global warming may possibly be a factor, is that correct?

                      So glad you’re managing the Lyme well, Clare, and that it’s not proving too limiting a factor in your life. You seem to have such a lovely disposition, if I may say so, and so appear to handle what is clearly a chronic and challenging condition exceptionally well. It is all too easy, and very understandable, to become narrowly self-concerned with one’s woes, and I so admire those such as yourself who have the inner strength to bear their burdens stoically and with a smile.

                      Once again, do please begin a new thread below if you feel moved to continue, and in closing may I say what a pleasure it is to have met you.

                      Hariod

                    • Hariod, the pleasure is all mine. I never feel that anyone has to answer or comment, but I love it when I do have a conversation with other bloggers. I’m in and out of the house all day and try to check a few times to see if anyone has visited. It’s the only way to keep up after I’ve published a post. But you have so many followers and comments and you really do spend quality time with each of them.

                      I am reading each of your posts from the beginning (sometime 2 or 3 times) and am learning much from them. I hesitate to become part of a conversation in progress, as I am new to your blog. But I eventually will take part, although, perhaps not with the 2 Doctors!

                      And I believe the weather plays a large part in the spread of Lyme Disease. Now, there are other tick-born diseases in addition to Lyme that are of a more serious nature, only proving it should have been taken seriously from the beginning.

  8. I am just back from Kernow and sadly had no time for visits to Zennor, but two host tutors told me about it. They also mentioned the pub and the stunning walk from there to St Ives. I shall do it next time I visit. The mermaid chair was a cause for much debate. They found it slightly pagan, which to me was very intriguing as Wesley was alive and well and running most of Cornwall by then. Quite a mix. I didn’t get my magical fix at Pandoras Inn near Mylor, sadly. I went there for work and also to chase away some demons. I think I got rid of them. The weather on Sunday morning was wild and exciting, and our room overlooked Falmouth Harbour/Bay, so we could see the waves crashing over the beach onto the road. Spectacular. Oh, I have digressed. Sorry. So, no magic this time but lots of new information to absorb. Went to see a cracking home in Grampound Road – a converted store full of curved walls and carved wood. They were both vegans, but didn’t want it to colour my thoughts on them. Nice people.

    I wont do mindfulness or contemplation with you any more. I shall merely leave you to unravel my brain, such as it is. Some of the guests in the hotel were from the Somerset Gardening Club, and their coach company was Avalon Coaches from Glastonbury, so naturally I thought of you! Cheers. 🙂

    • Yes, that walk between Zennor and St. Ives is utterly exquisite – possibly the finest in Cornwall, dependent upon one’s fancy. The mermaid’s chair dates from the 1400’s, I think, but the setting of St. Senara’s Church there just next to The Tinners Arms is gorgeous, and the village has a tremendous, timeless feel to it. The pub may have become slightly gentrified in recent years, as has much of Cornwall as you know – ‘Kernow’? I have such fond memories of the county though, and a piece of my heart shall always be down there on West Penwith. Are you considering moving down there then, or perhaps buying a holiday home?

      • No holiday home, although at one time when I was very sad I wanted to buy a cottage in Falmouth and cycle around, and read and write, and fade away. My heart is in Africa – I want to live there soon for the winters and become a swallow.

  9. P.S. I know I said a ‘coach group’ but I don’t want you to think I stayed at the Holiday Inn or a Travel Lodge. The coach group were all rather grand and it would appear no one was “BS” at all – save for me, probably!

    • How kind, and yes, it has been a while since I’ve prattled here. I am still getting incoming from my last post, and in particular one very long, convoluted exchange that I would like to put to bed before inviting more of the same on a new post. As it happens though, I have been ailing with a nasty chest infection for week or so, and which is taking its time to mend. You too have been quiet, it seems, unless the ruddy WP Reader is once again playing up. Is all well with you, my dear?

      • Sorry to hear you have been unwell. Lots of Vit C (at least 2000 grams) and a bit of Zinc. Vitamin C is the cure for all – in strong enough doses of course. I have, in fact, two offerings to post, but it’s been a busy time at work and when I get back I feel too tired to edit (and you know how my blogs need editing), so they are in draft until I get some time. I am going to check out the exchanges; it’s above my head, but I really enjoy reading them, so thank you.

        • Thankyou for the tip; I have heard before that vitamin C and zinc are the antidote to the common cold and the like. This seems more like laryngitis, though the advice still very much holds good I suspect. I wasn’t meaning to point you in the direction of those lengthy exchanges with Dr. Garcia, but you are of course very welcome to read and engage if you feel moved to do so – no need for so-called ‘expert opinions’, so feel free if the mood takes you. In any event, thankyou for your interest here; I truly appreciate it. H ❤

            • Not at all, the questions are all entirely pertinent to the issue, and no one of us is any more or less qualified to write on the subject. It was a shame that both Michael and I replied, because obviously that was overkill, but we had no plan for who should respond to whom in the comments, and we rather overlapped in our eagerness to please. It seems that Michael felt a little chastised by the apparent tone of your comment to him, but it wasn’t clear to me as to whether you had intended it as such. What’s the score?

  10. Dear Hariod,

    I have just spent the better part of two hours wandering through your blog, infused with such a sense of peace and gratitude for the good fortune of having found this place that I now feel compelled to express it, with all the power that two words could hope to contain: thank you.

    In trying to curb my all-too-childish urge to compare and complain about my own website, which seems so meagre in contrast – you see, I’ve just failed. 😉 Instead I will use this as an opportunity to be bolstered in my aspiration toward better content. Yours is proof of what calm, collected composition can bring in burnishing one’s thoughts to their utmost clarity. A lesson if ever there was one.

    Yours, with warm regards and profound recognition, truly,

    Tom White.

    • Dear Tom,

      I am so very grateful to you for your generous and appreciative words; together they form the warmest and most encouraging introduction that any reader has made here in the two years since the site’s inception. Thankyou.

      Writing in short-form has not been without its challenges for me, and at times can frustrate in that one must limit the length of articles or risk readers disappearing altogether. So, blog writing, for me just here, seems to be a case of honing things down whilst sustaining interest and providing the basis for some further discussion or elaboration below the line and within the comments section.

      On any such further discussion, then I always welcome being challenged on the ideas I put forward, so if you chance upon any subject matter that you can add to, or point out deficiencies in what I have offered, then do always please feel very free to step forward.

      Thankyou once again for such a delightful and supportive message.

      With all best wishes,

      Hariod.

    • Tom, I agree with the sentiments in your opening paragraph – couldn’t have put it better if I tried – and the second para! If Hariod did not exist, it would be necessary to invent such a person. Rarely do we witness such a phenomenon: wit, intelligence, humour. On most blogs you’ll get one, maybe two, of these qualities, but rarely all three.

        • I wouldn’t call my twinsets ‘ethereal’; but I have twice driven over a ley line in recent months and the engine management light has come on in my car. I took it down to Toyota in Taunton and they had no explanation after reading the error codes. This incident occurred twice, as I say, and at the exact same spot, give or take 50 yards. What are the chances of that happening? There are plenty of egocentric types here in Glastonbury, but they remain well-intentioned nonetheless. I’d rather be amongst them than grasping, nouveau riche strivers, wouldn’t you? That said, I actually live a couple of miles outside the town and barely ever see a soul.

          • That’s fascinating regarding your car. More enlightening is the fact that you have one. Is that not a conflict of interest? Of course, the Glastonbury type are kindly souls and as you say, well intentioned, if not sometimes misguided. I spoke in jest. Your swipe regarding grasping strivers – should I take note? 🙂

            • You’re surprised I have a car – why’s that? What ‘conflict of interest’ is there in me owning and driving a car? I do tread very lightly in the world, and agree with that principle, though it would be impractical for me to rely on public transport, living, as I do, in a rural area twixt towns. Also, my granddaughters are down in South Devon and I need access to them more readily than public transport permits. The ‘swipe’ regarding ‘nouveau riche strivers’ was directed at the tendency to gentrification, and also to that area of South Bucks where I hail from and still visit regularly as I have family there. I find it rather depressing being amongst people who devote themselves to material gain and elevating their supposed social status. I tend to be far more comfortable amongst creative people, even though I’m not one myself. No swipe at you and your lovely Mercedes though – I’ve had enough of them myself in my time. 🙂

    • Hi Marina, and thankyou for your initial interest in my site. I obviously have no idea if what I write about here will be of interest to you, but you should know that I only post once every 7 weeks or so – just eight times a year, in other words – and each post is about a four-minute read of around 800 words. To give you a flavour, here is my latest post: http://wp.me/p4wkZJ-ek

      In gratitude and with all best wishes, Hariod.

  11. Hello dear Hariod,

    How have you been? I get the sense it’s time to reach out to you and that you’ve been withdrawn of late. I could be wrong (I have no real means of following your activity) but nevertheless I hope you’re well. If you’re not too busy please drop me a line, I would love to hear from you.

    Warm regards,

    Tom.

    • Hello there Tom – what a lovely message! I was wondering the very same about yourself a couple of weeks ago, and whether you had quit blogging. I’ve received no notifications from your site for a long time. I only post here once every 6 or 8 weeks, and spend most of my available blogging time interacting and reading on others’ sites. It’s the right balance for me, I’ve come to find, and means I don’t inflict my own meanderings on subscribers too onerously. My last post [ http://wp.me/p4wkZJ-ek ] seemed to go down reasonably well, even though it touched on politics and economics obliquely, which is a rarity for me here. So, what’s happening, am I experiencing yet another WordPress foul-up on the notification front or have you indeed taken a rest? All the very best, Hariod.

      • No wordpress foul-up, but indeed a legitimate dry-spell. Life is happening a little more loudly around me – a recent addition of two dogs to the family! And philosophically, I’m kind of against an intellectual wall. Huh, that makes me think of a few verses of one of my favourite poems “Pangur Ban”:

        ‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
        Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
        ‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I,
        All my little wisdom try.

        I’m a bit like you though, reading and interacting elsewhere. I confess I’m also going through a bit of a ‘hate’ phase in my love-hate relationship that I have with my blog. I’m kind of itching to just wipe the whole thing (un-publish, not definitively erase!), and either start over, or change tack completely. In the meantime I created another blog with a new nom de plume [won’t point to it here, as nothing’s up yet] where I’m practicing that change of tack I just mentioned. We’ll see what comes of it. If I like it well enough I’ll be sure to flag you down. 🙂

        Well, I hope we can stay in touch; I’ll come back here if I’m at a loss as to how to reach you.

        All the best,

        Tom.

        • Two dogs, eh? Pups from one of your own or is this a new adventure entirely? I still very much miss my Border Collie Nellie, who died a couple of years ago. It’s not really on for me to have a dog now though, as although I have plenty of space here, I’m going to be too old to give one the life it would deserve over the next 12-16 years – I’m in my early sixties now.

          As for blogs and so on, then I find with my own little pieces here that blending anecdotes from my own life with putting forward some sketch of an idea works quite well and invites interaction. I think people can easily get a bit bored with dryly philosophical stuff, so giving it some relation to what are hopefully interesting digressions of an anecdotal nature balances it out. I also find it more stimulating to write that way, actually Tom.

          You’ve gotten me curious as to what direction you may be taking with your new blog, so please do drop me a line when you’re ready to go public – either here or offline in an email. You’ll see my address in your dashboard against any comments I’ve left at your place in the past.

          With all best wishes and, once again, many thanks for making contact,

          Hariod.

          • Oh Hariod! I’m sorry I forgot to reply! Yes, the two dogs are a new adventure. One’s just over eight months old now, and the other is nearly two years old. They play together well, but the rough-and-tumble horsing around can get a little impressive sometimes, and generally it starts-up around 11:30 p.m. just as we’re preparing for bed!

            I’m sorry to hear about Nellie. Companions, especially those who’ve been with us for years (I had a cat called Charlie who lived 18 years), are a more painful loss than we ever expect and yet, at the sight of an adorable puppy or kitten, somehow we stupidly forget all that and just melt. You say you’re too old but sixty is not that old. Still, I respect your wisdom because even if you decided to get one and planned to give it to your family ‘after you’re gone’, the transition isn’t always a successful one.

            As to the blog, I thank you for the insight into how you work. My other blog is still in the egg for the time being. Right now though, I’ve just been too busy to write – well, I write all the time, but writing with the aim of putting it online is a different task entirely. I’ve also not the foggiest idea of what I’m going to do with it or what I’m going for: Will it be a monthly thing? More of a one-way monologue, or shaped so as to elicit conversations? I don’t know. I’m waiting for inspiration, I suppose. But I will seek-out your email address and write to you when it’s ready.

            Well, I’m at work and really should sign-off so I wish you a glorious Autumn weekend and hope to speak with you soon!

            Warm regards, Tom.

            • Thanks Tom; it’s lovely to hear from you. It sounds as if you’ve got your hands full there with those two! You’ll find my email address in your dashboard next to any comments I’ve left on your site – every commenter’s address is automatically included at the receiving site along with any submitted comment. With all best wishes, Hariod.

  12. Hello Hariod. You’ve clicked ‘Like’ on many of my comments in other people’s blogs but I’ve never seen you comment on any of my own posts and this makes me curious about you. I’ve tried to read many of your posts but my health issues mean I’m frequently not up to it – my post ‘Grabbing the Moments’ explains that, you can find it under the ‘Me’ category – and I do wish I were.

    • Thanks for visiting Val, and thankyou also for attempting to decipher some of my (admittedly) oblique offerings. Most of my blogging time is spent on others’ sites and I always like to read the below-the-line conversations amongst readers – hence my ‘likes’ of several of your comments. I shall pop over and read the post you reference to get a clearer picture of your situation. With all best wishes, Hariod.

      • Thanks. I didn’t get a notification for your reply. I rarely do for own-domain blogs but I don’t know if it’s just me or others who have this problem, so I popped along to see if you had.

        • The WordPress notifications seem rather unreliable at times, Val, and the only surefire way to know whether others have responded and/or posted seems to be checking both the notifications area on the dashboard as well as receiving emails and viewing the WP Reader. Still, WordPress is actually more reliable than Flickr, which is notoriously poor at sending notifications in my experience.

          • Well, I got this one, anyway! When I get really few notifications, I subscribe to email, but the email account I use for WordPress.com communications is one I use for that alone, so I don’t visit it every day. Bookmarks are my main standby. Yes, Flickr is hopeless. I recently deleted an account there. Will make another some time, as I miss some people there, but am having a rest from the site for a while.

  13. With reference to your adage, I have a question: If we all have our own truths, what/who are we to believe? Does that mean to some extent that it is okay to live a lie, if that is your truth? And if you believe you are speaking your truth does that make ‘lying’ a type of truth? I’d be interested to know your (truthful) thoughts, Hariod.

    • Hello Marie,

      I made that remark not with respect to objective truths about the world – what is factual as against the counterfactual – but in the sense of our interpretative mechanisms. This site, as you now know, is largely about our inner life, our emotional life, if you will, and concerns over how our minds respond to their own, particularised historical conditioning and environment, and also by genetically inherited conditioning. You and I may sit and watch the same film and yet your ‘truth’ about the film is quite different to mine, for example. Or, if I dislike parties and you do not, then they are each our own truths, whilst neither can be considered objectively correct or incorrect – they’re inner truths and with us each being true to ourselves.

      In that sense, each of us inhabits our own paradigm of truth, that being a set of dispositions and filters which operate as we engage in the world. What this means is we each of us have our unique parameters that act as a kind of ‘intentional state’ when interacting with the world and society. That intentionality or directedness isn’t a fixed thing, but morphs with whatever situation we face, and may loosely be described as volitional tendencies and character traits. If we attempt to live our lives as if in another’s skin, and with another’s set of character traits, then in some sense we’re living a lie in that we’re not being true to ourselves; we’re rejecting ourselves and our innate nature. Of course, in our maturing phase we do this a lot, most noticeably as teenagers, who often feel awkwardly self-conscious or inadequate in their attempts to identify themselves, often with other groups or idealised individuals.

      So, your question about ‘living a lie’ isn’t the essential terrain I’m talking about, Marie, but without knowing specifically what you mean by your use of the phrase then it’s hard to comment or ponder too much upon it. That said, I am a pragmatist, and there may be situations in which we guard against pernicious effects and resultants by ‘living a lie’. Our minds are entirely capable of clinging to ideas that our deeper selves know, or sense, are untruths, or are perhaps our own constructs and not objective realities.

      Religion is a good example of this, and we can see how many find a much needed emotional solace within their beliefs whilst remaining far from certain as to the existence of their gods or religious cosmological realms. To such a one, that objective truth – the fact of the case as against the held belief – is subordinated or relegated in importance because the daily lived experience is enhanced, and emotional succour is found, regardless of the objective truths which they subtly intuit are not accessible to them. The proselytising religious person (to maintain the example in responding to your further question), may believe they are speaking the truth on the level of their own examined consciousness (i.e. what they permit to themselves), yet may also be suppressing a persistent inner intuition that, in point of fact, they don’t really know what they claim to know and believe. For that reason, they cling sequaciously to their groups so as to maintain a bulwark against their religious doubting. I suppose we might say that spiritual maturity comes when the person is ready to face and accept their doubts in full consciousness, from there perhaps adopting a pragmatic stance to continue regardless – given the boon that their religion brings to them.

      Abstracting the whole thing philosophically, we might say their lying is their truth, so it all gets incredibly complicated, doesn’t it? For that reason, then I normally avoid using terms like ‘truth’ and ‘reality’, because with the inner world, their opposites can coexist alongside them. If I have a visual hallucination and mistake a grey plastic bag on the opposite riverbank for a heron, then my ‘truth’ is of there being a heron over there, and in any case the hallucination itself is a real phenomenon. Ten seconds later I may realise that my truth has completely changed in recognising the plastic bag; so objective truth and reality never changed, but my inner truths and realities did.

      Apologies for the delay in responding, Marie – I have been rather busy of late.

      All best wishes,

      Hariod.

      • Thank you, Hariod, for explaining this. And no need for apologies, I guessed that you were busy with other things. I find what you have said fascinating. Just before I finish, then what I meant by living a lie was simply this: The denial of truth.

        For example, someone confronts another person regarding events that very clearly happened, and both know it has happened; yet the perpetrator says “no it never happened, that person is making it up and they have mental health issues for saying what they say.” Is the person who is lying, telling their truth because as far as they are concerned they did not do it? And clearly the other person, who is the victim, is also telling the truth. Whose truth is more true? That is simply what I meant by living a lie.

        As you so rightly say, interpretive mechanisms are different to facts. And I realise now that that is what you meant, and not that telling a lie becomes a truth if you believe it so.

        All best wishes to you.

        Marie

        • Hi Marie,

          It seems quite clear that if both parties knew that events took place, and assuming that by those same events an identical conception of them was held by both – in other words, the events were not subjectively interpreted differently – then the perpetrator is lying. They may be lying also in respect to the other party, if that other party is not in fact suffering mental health issues. Now, if the perpetrator did not know that those same events had taken place, and due perhaps to some clinical condition of memory or psychosis, then they are not morally accountable for the apparent lie, yet remain accountable (under law) for the perpetration of this deed in the case of it being a criminal offence. It seems that by “living a lie”, then you mean being conscious that one is doing so, and that there is an implicit moral transgression as a result, which itself may be a source of remorse, or, in the case of the psychopath, not. That would be my take on it. Still, am I responding to your point along the right tracks, Marie? I may be misunderstanding you.

          All best wishes to you, too.

          Hariod

          • Hi Hariod,

            I had not expected another comment on this, so am very appreciative of the way in which you have taken the time to consider this further.

            You are, without a doubt, responding to my point exactly as I would have wished, and have even gone further in making additional points and introducing new angles which I had not yet thought about. This is demonstrated in your allusion to psychopathic behaviour and how a psychopath would see their ‘truth’.

            Neither of us can truly know what goes on in the mind of the psychopath, but in my own experience, they know that they are lying when they know the full circumstances of what took place, and choose to deny the truth, because they do not want to accept responsibility for what they have done.

            In my own case, the psychopath wanted to convince others that I was mentally unstable to support his ‘truth’; that person also wanted to convince me, too, that events had not happened that way. And depending on how strong you are as an individual, in some cases you can begin to wonder if your ‘truth’ is actually ‘true’.

            I am, in this instance, referring to historical abuse, when a number of years has passed, and truth then becomes something which is based on memory, and as we all know memories can sometimes be just that: a recollection of events which over time can bear little or no resemblance to what has actually happened.

            I think your adage for me made me think very carefully about truth and fact. But as you say, interpretive truth and fact are very different bedfellows – well, I said that, not you, I am paraphrasing.

            Have you had legal training Hariod? You sound like a barrister – this is a compliment by the way.

            It is such a joy talking to you, whether we are talking about ageing or more serious matters.

            Very best wishes,

            Marie.

  14. What an absolutely glorious post – a gifted writer with a beautiful soul is a gift for the rest of us, and thank you for sharing such amazing photos as well; they are among the most fascinating I’ve ever seen, so evocative and beautiful. You are definitely a very, very intriguing person and I am honoured by our connection. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Thankyou very much indeed for your kindly generous introduction, Truly. I’m so glad you appreciate the photographs, which I take great care to select, and am grateful to the many artists who grant permission for me to use them. I only post here once every couple of months, but do please feel free to comment with whatever shade of positive or negative seems appropriate to you. With gratitude and all best wishes, Hariod.

Ask Hariod a question or leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s