A few days ago I slept on the Middlesex bank of the tidal Thames opposite the space once occupied by the supreme Elizabethan Magus, John Dee. I slept deeply and dreamlessly, as far as I remember, interestingly as I was expecting to do otherwise.
Looking ahead to Rio 2016 – I continue to campaign for a new 50km Olympic marathon single sculling race, non processional.
In the morning a friendly black labrador appeared as I took photos of the weeping willow tree in the gap in the Mortlake wall with a view from the river of Mortlake Church. There is no blue plaque memorialising John Dee – although the council block on the other side of Morlake High Street is John Dee House.
Now in Hammersmith wondering at the ways in which a great yogi takes the illnessess of others into their bodies the way Sri Yuteswar did in Kashmir, losing half his body weight in the process. I’m re-reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi in a copy lovingly saved from a dunking in the Regent’s Canal following an illegal busking session in Hackney’s London Fields and a jam with Weston Gavin and Boxcar Joe on harmonica. The jam took place on the wonderful bookshop barge with solar-powered PA. My kind of place and my kind of people – and how miraculous that it should have been Autobiography of a Yogi knocked in by an apologetic browser – one of my desert island books for sure.
Weston hails from Greenwich Village and reminds me of that sublime Zen poet-actor of the American screen Harry Dean Stanton in Paris Texas. American roots music – from the country blues to Gospel is wrung from his very soul – and he’s a marvelously engaging technician too – and full of wisecracking wisdom and history. Generous music. Weston Gavin and Boxcar Joe have a residency coming up at the Alley Cat, Denmark Street, Soho on 29th August.
leaving my mark in Woolwich near the ferry
Welcoming Michael from street Eats in Hammersmith: www.street-eats.co.uk
photo below is the cafe on the once notorious Bog Island – where the River Lea meets the Thames
added 23 August, the following message was delivered by hand this morning to Poplar Rowing Club on the Isle of Dogs. I wrote it at Paul’s Kiosk next to the Greenwich foot-tunnel. Spur of the moment – on the back of a postcard of my painting ‘Election Day’.
From https://nickwardscenarios.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/election-day/: In the autumn of 2008 I started doing ‘coffee’ paintings: I’d pour the dregs of the Arabian gound coffee and paint into and around the result, often in semi-darkness. That was how ‘Election Day’ came about. Intention sublimated by process, if you like.