The road ahead, tulips and compass rose

Each week I send an email to people on my Wagga Wagga Road Runners distribution list, partly to forward results from the previous weekend and partly to keep list members aware of races going on in Scotland. This week, I alerted people to the Sri Chimnoy Self Transcendence 50K and 100K and also to the Sri Chimnoy statement at the top of their website “There is only one perfect road/And that road is ahead of you, always ahead of you”. It’s one of these interesting/ambiguous sentences that is open to different interpretations e.g. humanist or religious. So, is there such a thing as a perfect road? Or does it mean that we should always keep going and persevere (in what ever we do) in the hope of finding the perfect road. My own interpretation is that we should always look forward. Never look back and never go back (especially to a former workplace) has always been my motto.

I took some photos of tulips which my wife bought last week – see photos 1 and 2 – and today, in my poetry calendar, there is a poem by Grace Schulman entitled Celebration and it contains the phrase “.. tulips, white cups inscribed by licks of flame”. I’ve said before on this blog that I have a penchant for close up photography and that these close-ups often show an abstract image. The insides of the tulips can appear to be something completely different from what they are e.g. in photo 2, what does the 3 pronged white feature remind you of? An animal’s skull, perhaps? And the weird pollen topped structures – skyscrapers? There are certainly “licks of flame” in the first photo.

I’m reading Don Dellilo’s 1980s novel The Names which is set in Greece, in and near Athens. It features American ex-pats working in Greece and in the Middle East and is often a reflection of how Americans view other countries and how these countries see the USA. Although published in the 1980s, it still feels very relevant today. At the end of one chapter, De Lillo writes about Athens as a city which brings in people from elsewhere in the world and these people have different backgrounds e.g. escaping terror, seeking a better standard of life or gaining employment in the city. Athens absorbs these people and their histories and is “A compass rose of memory”. On reading this, I had to look up the words compass rose, as it was new to me. Was it a type of rose and an analogy to the multipetalled flower reflecting the backgrounds of Athens’ citizens, for example. I was wrong. A compass rose is a compass designed in the shape of a rose and dates back to the 13th century. You live and learn as you make your way on the road ahead of you.

Tulips  with bursting centre

Tulips with bursting centre

Tulip with intriguing centre

Tulip with intriguing centre


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One Response to “The road ahead, tulips and compass rose”

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