On winter evenings after school, a mile to walk home from the bus stop, the lane was often pitch dark, and I groped along the hedge. On clear nights the stars came out one by one like songs until the heavens were ablaze.
I wondered, in about 1964:
“If I were to reach for you,
a million light years of night, as spider’s sunlit string at dawn;
if I broke earth’s cloudy cloak and fled from home …
beyond thought, hope, beyond time,
abandoning spinning self contained sphere … beyond ALL …
“will you some where begin to swell
to a tiny ball of fire?
And if I should go –
(fire burned out in aeons past) –
From The Reckless Fruit, 1960s
In later years it seemed to me that because the whole night sky is a splendour, there is nothing in all the universe but light, the depth and density packed together of the photons which are stars.
My blog is an archival therapy. Behind the process, an ancient Dame prompts the nuances. She arranges them with clarity in the astral temple; every writer/artist has to keep mum down here on earth, with his or her nuances. We are each nourished by our roots in the tapestry, whether we grumble, forget or exalt them. Though I live in London’s light-pollutant, which screens out my awareness of the starry sky at night, an interior sensitivity compensates. Nuances are the nous of life. Buried galactic stars illumine the ground, as they do the sky. It is the same materia.
A propos, here is the link to a video: Carl Sagan describes the galactic DNA within our white blood cells. I found it on moma-fauna’s beautiful blog “Pray to the Moon”: a miracle each day, give it time.
Persons are treasures.
I went to the community ground across the road for an hour yesterday, to transfer some earth from bags to boxes with spade and wheelbarrow, and to begin sorting out long sturdy stems from the cuttings pile: the image of earth, gardens and digging is powerful just now, with ancestral nitrates and tribal tapestry. And I just have to go along with this. My muse plans without a break, this post for my father’s tribe. I want to deliver the Beauty, in spades each day. Please bear with me – this is a garden and it is spring. In the context of Families, my next watershed tale – “House Life” may sit well. A hidden story grows through it all. As a Long Thought, she completes herself to the open end. Then another Long Thought takes the baton. They are runners, like wild buttercup.
My father and I are both Capricorns, with the Moon in Cancer. Here now are some of his people. I have not done all the drawings yet. Soon I will, and will add them. The Adamses came originally from Scotland, and my paternal grandfather married Lily Basche the daughter of a piano maker from Bohemia – the Petrof piano firm. Fred Adams was a Freemason, master of his lodge, and Lily was a devout Roman Catholic: theirs was an interesting marriage.
But a couple of generations further back, a female Yule line married into the Adamses. Fred Adams said, “My mother was a Yule”. The Yules were originally London merchants and rather wild, but their graveyard is in Bradford, north Devon where John Carslake Duncan Yule was Rector for 40 years. When Rector Yule’s younger brother died, he took the widow and all her children into the household. Our link is to one of the deceased younger brother’s daughters – Commander Yule’s grand-daughter.
(Before he knew anything of the Yules, my father moved house in 1985 to the next-door parish!)
Rector John Carslake Yule’s father, Commander John Yule had served on Nelson’s ship. The rumour went around that Lord Nelson was unusually fond of him, and awarded him privileges for life: John moved west and married a Dorset Carslake; their son the Vicar was given the Bradford living, and the family prospered under Queen Victoria’s patronage. Commander Yule was either a natural favourite, or … the jury remains out ! Be that as it may, Nelson on his column soaring above the pigeons, and planted under the dome of St Pauls’, played a benevolent theme among my Victorian ancestors.
My strongest influence from my father’s family however, is my great-aunt Appelonia Basche, his mother’s sister. Her fiance went down in the Titanic, so she never married. She was a student of Emil Sauer – a pupil of Liszt – but her concert career was cut short during the Great War, because of her “Germanic” name. Lonie was a wonderful musician, and became an inspiring teacher – fierce, emotional and childlike. When I was 12 or so, she strictly forbade me from trying to play Brahms. She was very tall, with a deep voice, and enormously long hands and feet. She died in 1973, two weeks after her 90th birthday, after a long struggle with dementia over knitting-patterns for her many great-nephews and -nieces’ birthdays. She had promised herself a nip of scotch at 90, and she just made it.
I’ve noticed that people have their teachers’ spiritual physiognomy. Like flesh and blood, the transmission of a teaching marks and moulds the subtle body, down its own generations. I have tried to sketch that central-european resonance I see in the faces of Auntie Lonie, her teacher Sauer, and his teacher Liszt. (this is a 2nd link)
In this family portrait, the philosophical “DNA” interests me. It drew like to like, across the genetic lattice, touching the physical life-streams, birth and death, for its sustenance, to blend the rivers (Daat-Tifareth-Yesod) at various levels. Picking up the photos or drawings I have here, I follow one thread through the tapestry; but of course, many fascinating characters are left out, such as my father’s three sisters, the teacher, the dancer and the prison visitor; or the Bohemian Basche piano makers. There is only scope here to show a very few “slides”. My father’s family, though mostly quite musical, were robust, down to earth citizens: a texture which supports the arts. But Fred Adams tried to stop my father from playing the fiddle. He said “one musician in this family is quite enough.” So Peter as a boy, “practiced” with two pieces of wood, like the young Haydn. After the war, he became a farmer, one of the few pioneers returning to organic ways.
But an even stronger influence, forcing all my windows to remain open since 11 years old, is my father’s teacher, J.Krishnamurti. See my other posts in the Krishnamurti & the Coastal Path category – with more to come.
This has turned out to be more a portrait of my father, than of his family … tentatively so.
What are these three huge Human Landscape posts for? What made me want to be a Kabbalist – or the roots of any spiritual “mould” or tradition? The map is revealed precisely!
The Adams Basche Yules group had solid earthly roots, stable psyche – with a dash of English eccentrics, and a firm ethical base. This framework – the equivalent of a mature working lifestyle in the Jewish tradition – qualified me to continue my study of Kabbalah and Vedanta with clarity, depth and safety. It is the “soul law”.
My father rebelled against the urban desk conventions. He went back to the land, with his violin, his ecology and his love of poetry, and learned about sheep, cattle and fruit. He loved land management. I am stunned at a glorious mixture in my childhood, of the tough spiritual quest with the geologies of Scotland, Yorkshire, Cornwall, Surrey, Somerset and Devon. What landscape! What a gift!
The esoteric method seeks out its student. I “think” I am the seeker, but I’m on the hook which is baited with life; I receive. I am the seed in the ground it sprouts through. My passion for it could have gone ANYWHERE – it was so eccentric, open and willing. I could have joined a cult. But I was gated and protected by a mysterious ethical restraint – there must be no personal inflation. It must work only for the good. This was reinforced by the difficult Krishnamurti influence in my teens.
The restraint is the formative one of Saturn. It comes from the shape of previous lifetimes, it gravitated to a Capricorn birth with a Capricorn parent. The flow is unbroken. Additionally, the intellect refused to go to university and learn other peoples’ thoughts. Everything had to be planted in life-experience, and tried and tested. I did not want answers. I already knew them. I wanted the open Life of the quest, and to become a better human being. Or IT wanted to; for the transpersonal works through the personal. The alchemical image is a lily in a flowerpot, standing in a garden.
I wanted to make and love the garden, the way my father loved his farms. He never owned land. He was Her servant, and sower of seed. He got the sack a few times. He hoped that what he began in those fields, would survive.
Capricorn asks perennially: How does Spirit work out in the earth plane? How can the ageless Wisdom be applied? What is practical? How can I Self remember, and live more accurately? more kindly? Music and all the other training is preparatory, step by step, in learning to walk. My artistic gift was carried over from the Renaissance apprenticeship 500 years ago – a deep, ongoing focus. It is my key to the Great Work. It no longer needs fame and fortune, it grew out of all those. It only needs to be kept exercised for the “as above, so below” – the LENS.
To love God daily, hourly, consciously, in the NOW? Peter my parent, is a passionate atheist. He became so, after the War. Thus I was never constrained by belief in God, but explored the science of God: the cosmic DNA or connectivity, the atom as the galaxy, the seed in the ground, the yeast in the loaf, the ferment in the grape, the lamb in the ewe.
How to be in The Work? to live as a Kabbalist? to wake up right now? What is the essence? The Work awakes to where life shines here, beyond my mind’s clogged pore. When dull and stuck and dispirited and repetitive and stressed – try to step off the engine into … the inner stars, here and now the Tree, an utterly new and timeless way of planning things.
Shared Sight: Shebbear
Walking the lane
past a familiar oaken discourse in the field,
I have your frameless window.
Sixteen years you lived here!
I have your sky turning wind to shape each tree
and secret mossy dip of hedgerows to the winding lane
which lies along them, like a bootlace.
In a hollow, a slow crease between unbroken waves
of inland sea, lies hid yourself, whose nature
herding wild lambs, fighting red tape
and cherishing the root along the tractor’s tread of time
sowed with love the soul
of England’s fields
and planted stout trees, retiring.
My sight along the road
which ploughs a clustered contour, coloured soils,
holds yours attentively.
Here we behold on veined leaf
one globe of dew,
From Poems of Eclipse 1999
My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.
This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.
All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/