It’s enough to put me off saving the World,

Such bickering and postulating amongst them and us

Dispiculating between somnambulant terminologies

Defining the piecrust while the earth turns to dust.

“All life entails violence” said Mahatma K Gandhi[i],

And while I appreciate the necessity in our nature to conflict,

And the hardships and extremes that this world often employs

To willfully move from one point of stasis to another unknown  –

(to evolve and to adapt from form to form) –

I still wonder if there is a better way to relate within.

francesca talking at the table (pward 2013) francesca talking at the table (pward 2013)

Too often do I become drawn into and distracted by the politics of corporate and institutional self-interest that permeates our culture, the ethos that undermines our quest for an energetic emergent harmony, in the hope that working alongside others may multiply the power for justice and good sense that I pray we all desire, only to find a desire dissipated and frustrated by strategies of mistrust and the insecurities of difference. Thank goodness for phenomenology[ii] is all I can say – a philosophy that observes how the whole ‘truth’ may only be truly perceived by a totality of difference and individuality.

“The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude…” George Orwell

And so I return to my familiarly insular position, comfortable in the knowledge that I can never totally detach myself from the world, happy to make my own carefully determined excursions when I see fit, to add to the milieu with integrity and joy when the world summons me forth or when I am hungry and in need – my only task, to let others know that I am here, what my individuality may provide when the time is right and to develop my skills for the benefit of all.

I would like to believe, and quite often do hope, that my minimal actions and interventions may in some way contribute to the miracle of this existence both for myself and my fellow beings, that my words and images and movements mingle well with the dynamic of well-meaning. But rather I would celebrate the honour and privilege it is to exist at all – to breathe and to feel, to sense the changes and appreciate the simple acts of love about us all and to respond responsibly when I can.

dad and chilli, peppercombe (p ward 2008) dad and chilli, peppercombe (p ward 2008)

I recall my father’s passing, his sadness in knowing that he would no longer see the ocean, the waves breaking beneath the big wide sky, hear children playing or the wind in the trees or the songs of birds, the sun and moon rising and setting, the stars above, the rich scent of earth held in his hands. He did not profess to be a spiritual or religious person or to have any particular politics, other than common sense and a deep respect for all life.

the space between 2 stones, westward ho! (pward 2013) the space between 2 pebbles, westward ho! (pward 2013)

To be alive in this world is a gift that should never be undervalued.

Wherever and whenever and however I chose to give thanks may it be with openness and integrity.

However humble and mundane my actions in this world from moment to moment and day to day

May I never forget the fragility and the power,

the wind and sun and rain and all about

the soil beneath my feet, the foundation of all our lives


I will tread gently

I will speak softly

I will act with kindness

(for there is already more than enough violence and greed in the world)

I will use only what I need

and I will be thankful

P Ward 2013

[i] from Alastair McIntosh, Soil and Soul (London; Aurum Press, 2004)

[ii] Phenomenology is a philosophy explored in the 20th Century by such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Martin Heidegger. From an artistic and creative perspective it offers a means of expression and interpretation through the (sometimes random) juxtaposition of disparate opinions and visions. The philosophy does not offer one Truth but the validity of all chosen or perceived positions. To my mind it offers an important contribution to any ecologically inspired political or spiritual intentions through its genuinely egalitarian ethos.


3 Comments on “a-POLITIC”

  1. Does one ‘talk at the table’ or is one ‘talking whilst sitting at the table’? Like your post Pete.

  2. souldoula says:

    I guess much depends on what one means by “politics”. What most people think of as politics these days is just cynical theater that serves the propagation of the rapacious cultural machine that is basically anti-nature and anti-life. Best to abandon all that, as you say. It’s the only way to make space to begin to imagine what life-affirming politics might look like. Someday.

    • pw130524 says:

      thanks for your comment.

      while i agree to a certain extent with the importance of ‘life-affirming’ politics (or the ‘politics’ of empowerment), for me ‘politics’ still refers to our interaction with each other as people – which i know cannot be detached from our relationship with nature but that may be identified as quite a unique dynamic – how we negotiate the power struggles both large and small we experience everyday, between friends and family, and between society, multinational corporations and governments. i personally get worried that too much focus upon the ‘spiritual’, in whatever form (as stated on your own website) can be a little like burying one’s head in the sand when all around bombs are going off!? i am fascinated by the dynamic that can be maintained between the inner journey and the outer one – how the inner one affects and supports our actions in the world – how the spiritual becomes ‘political’, how our personal acts of empowerment, our creative interventions, can empower others and influence the world – this ‘interference’ is also our right as humans.

      thanks again for your thoughts and the further thoughts they have promoted 🙂

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