Monday afternoon, 7th January 2013, Midwinter

Walking the ridge path and thinking of Richard Jefferies and the cavern: 'twelve thousand years since the Caveman stood at the mouth of his cavern and gazed out at the night and the stars. He looked again and saw the sun rise beyond the sea. He reposed in the noontide heat under the shade of the trees, he closed his eyes and looked into himself. He was face to face with the earth, the sun, the night; face to face with himself. There was nothing between; no wall of written tradition; no built up system of culture - his naked mind was confronted by naked earth. He made three idea-discoveries, wresting them from the unknown; the existence of his soul, immortality, the deity. Now, today, as I write, I stand in exactly the same position as the Caveman. Written tradition, systems of culture, modes of thought, have for me no existence. If ever they took any hold of my mind it must have been very slight; they have long ago been erased' (from The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies, 1883). I often feel close to this sense of being rubbed out, erased. It would be easy to succumb.

Garry Fabian Miller, January 2013