Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

Memory

"I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened."   

        Mark Twain

Autobiography

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Some mischievous ambiguity here :-)
Sunday, 28 July 2019 23:28
Rosy Cole
In view of the above theme, I feel bound to add this: Back in the theater again after too many years. My new play, MONUMENTS open... Read More
Sunday, 28 July 2019 23:57
Stephen Evans
Very kind! ... Read More
Monday, 29 July 2019 01:25
179 Hits
3 Comments

The Butterfly and the Bee

As we all know, I have a low threshold of fascination. Today for example as I have been working on a book, I have also been keeping an eye on my petunias. I have never had petunias before, so perhaps that accounts for some of the fascination.  But really what garnered my attention for the last few hours is two visitors: a butterfly and an bee.

Initially actually I was watching a pail of water. It’s very hot today and I had set out what I hoped would be a makeshift birdbath. As I watched the pail, the water looked still and undisturbed. But the bright sun threw a reflection of the water onto the roof of my porch. In the reflection I could see the water moving, from the wind or maybe convection currents as the water heated in the brutal daylight. The reflection also showed the rippling waves as my gift evaporated. I felt like I  had my own little Plato’s cave, except the reflection was truer than the actual. Though I suspect that was true of Plato's as well. 

But then the butterfly appeared, a large one, likely a swallowtail  (my older brother would know), black wings with blue and gold spots. She (I think) kept flying around the weeds in my little garden. I have weeds in my garden, a lot of them this year. I leave them there because I don’t hurt anything if I don’t have to and they seem to feel the same. Anyway, the butterfly kept landing on one after another of the weeds, continually disappointed I assume, and completely ignorant of the cornucopia of petunias in the hanging basket not five feet overhead. Every once in a while she would float up and I would think—there, now she’s finally got it! But, so far at least, she has not made the leap. Perhaps it was an aesthetic choice and green is her preference. But the purple and pink treasure remained unclaimed. By the butterfly anyway.

The bee came later. A tiny one—though as scarce as bees have become around here I was glad to see any—found the petunias. But instead of gorging on the large full flowers, he instead insisted on trying to make his way into the nearly closed nearly dead blossoms, skipping entirely the glorious siblings. I watched him disappear into the narrow passage, and could see the from the turbulence outside the tunnel how difficult his passage was. I don’t if he made all the way it in, nor what he found when he got there. Maybe he just wanted a challenge. Or maybe the ripened juice is sweeter. Perhaps the bee knew his business better than I.

There are many morals that could be drawn here. But I will leave it to you, and the butterfly, and the bee. My wish is simply this: May you be  fascinated by flowers.

(Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay )

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
This is so beautiful...and profound. A Christian friend said recently that he thought our view of heaven tended to be Platonic and... Read More
Sunday, 21 July 2019 16:53
Stephen Evans
Thank you Rosy!
Sunday, 21 July 2019 18:13
914 Hits
2 Comments

Living Poetry

"There is nothing inorganic... The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by geologists and antiquaries chiefly, but living poetry like the leaves of a tree, which precede flowers and fruit -- not a fossil earth, but a living earth"

Henry David Thoreau

Walden

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
This is so consoling.
Friday, 19 July 2019 22:44
Stephen Evans
More things in heaven and earth...
Saturday, 20 July 2019 03:23
371 Hits
2 Comments

Tree Song

I don’t know why the caged bird sings. But I think I may have finally figured out why the others do.

I take walks every day down a wooded path behind my home. Sometimes so many birds are singing it sounds like a choir. Other times there are only one or two at each turn of the path. Occasionally the songs sound like a dialogue, sometimes a Bach canon. But most often the sounds are clearly ecstatic, a brimming forth of some secret joy.

I believe I have discovered the source of that joy. Each bird is singing about how beautiful its tree is. How delicately shaped each leaf as it twists in the breeze. How the broad canvas of the whole creates ever evolving shadows on the ground. How the Fibonacci architecture of the branches leads right up to the sky.

Birds never sing about what time they have to get to the bird feeder, or whether they need a bath, or the bird next door, or even that tree they saw two weeks ago. They only sing of the beauty in front of them.

Each bird sings in its own language. Birds are very smart; each knows all the languages of all the birds. But when they sing of trees they sing in their own tongue, the one they hold in their heart.

And when they fly to the next tree, birds sing about how beautiful that tree is. And I agree with them.

I have never seen a tree that was not beautiful, from smallest sapling to startling senior. And unique – no tree the same as any other– even the aspen trees (which reproduce by what is called root sprouting and are in a sense one tree) are genetically identical but never quite the same in appearance. I wonder sometimes if  the beauty of trees has something to do with their uniqueness—and if we were more aware of it in humankind, we might see more beauty in each other.

Do the trees listen to the birds? I think so. Do they appreciate the praise? I’m not so sure. The lives of trees seem unconcerned with birds, or squirrels, or humans. They have their own purposes in their long lives.

What beauty do trees sing about?

I doubt we will ever know.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
This is so engaging and so wise and so visionary and so insightful and so celebratory just because... I've been long convinced tha... Read More
Sunday, 09 June 2019 23:20
Stephen Evans
Sometimes I imagine the natural world looks at us and thinks: if only they understood.
Sunday, 09 June 2019 23:43
Rosy Cole
I am absolutely one hundred per cent sure of that! Seriously! Just having a dog thoroughly reveals that. They reach the bottom lin... Read More
Monday, 10 June 2019 12:33
247 Hits
3 Comments

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Latest Blogs

  'Flowers appear on the earth;     the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves     is heard in our land.'  &nb...
"I am grown old and my memory is not as active as it used to be. When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but m...
As we all know, I have a low threshold of fascination. Today for example as I have been working on a book, I have also been keeping an eye on my pet...
We were in Paris this time last year.  I was enjoying the buzz and feeling shortchanged: we don’t have national holidays in England, at least none t...
"There is nothing inorganic... The earth is not a mere fragment of dead history, stratum upon stratum like the leaves of a book, to be studied by ge...

Latest Comments

Rosy Cole Paris, 14 Juillet
08 August 2019
Yes, I feel confident that 'The Government' does not essentially represent the British people. When ...
Stephen Evans Memory
29 July 2019
Very kind!
Rosy Cole Memory
28 July 2019
In view of the above theme, I feel bound to add this:Back in the theater again after too many years....
Rosy Cole Memory
28 July 2019
Some mischievous ambiguity here :-)
Katherine Gregor Paris, 14 Juillet
25 July 2019
I don't blame the Queen or the monarch. They have little say in Government decisions. I hold Her M...