I love the way that, through the always inter-referential human gaze, the patterns in nature recur and echo one another in the most surprising places. Like the tiger-stripes of the iris (tiger in a mauve bonnet?). Like looking at Marja-Leena's photos of wet sand and seeing the dripping hide of an elephant.
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I am staggering in my life lately, as I often do, feeling overwhelmed physically by exhaustion and mentally by my sense of inadequacy and failure. This is not an uncommon feeling, I think - the way a lot of us live in a Western city in 2010 must make many people feel this way, and the figures for mental illness and other clearly stress-related illness show that many are worse affected than I am. There are a few things that help: keep breathing, just the next breath; keep trying to hear and see other people clearly and treat them with kindness (this can feel like an extra pressure, but, as well as helping not to push up other people's stress levels, it actually helps me too by adding warmth and calm to the surrounding atmosphere instead of more tension); keep looking not just inside myself but at what's around me, the weirdness and wonder of people, of the vestigial natural world surviving in the city, of everything; keep trying to articulate my perceptions and feelings, capture something of what I see. Simple things. Hard to do when feeling like a floundering fish.