“The trigram Tui, the Joyous, whose attribute is gladness, is above; Chên, the Arousing, which has the attribute of movement, is below.
And it’s true. I complain about not being able to afford a home in Scotland but I secretly love being on the move.
I secretly love the long drive to Lochinver and the cold dampness aboard when I get there, the effort to keep warm with clothes and wood – finding, carrying, sawing, splitting; the burning the least of it.
I secretly love the aching tiredness of travel, the echoing ache for a home which means I don’t have one yet, which means I’m still on the land road or sea road, still plying my way through the waves of our lives, still live to the ebb and flow.
I even secretly love the slow quease that sweeps over me at sea because it means I’m out on it, because I’m not at home, because I’m only at home, here, in movement.”
I wrote that sometime during the winter of 2018 and came across it in a computer file a couple of days ago. Today I did the I Ching again, and again: joy in movement. But what movement? I’m here now, in my own home, the first home I have ever owned, and although I still travel, with my persistent brain injury I get about much less than before. Yet the movement doesn’t stop, it’s simply more focused. My back and arms ache from digging and chainsawing and swinging my new axe. And I still have a slow seasick-like quease though now it’s from the movement of my mind rather than the ocean waves, as I struggle to shake off the lingering effects of my concussion. But I’m still glad and maybe that’s more focused too. After all, no situation can become favourable until one is able to adapt to it and does not wear himself out with mistaken resistance.
So I pause and watch the chaffinches and goldfinches as they mob my feeders, and the thrush and dunnocks as they pick about on the ground, and the wee wren as it dots about the pile of unsawed branches; and I listen to the wind prowling round the caravan and to the river churning down to the sea. It’s almost incredible, all this incessant noise and action, and all I can hope for is that it never stops; never stops at all.
Lochinver, Assynt, Scotland
8th March 2022