Nearness of Distance

I’ve been studying pretty much 9 till 5 today, and my personal statement has finally been drafted! Now I’m off to read a bit more of a book I bought in Salisbury in summer: The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic World by Andy Merrifield

Page 69: …what’s closest to hand is easy to miss, easy to overlook, and often hardest to grasp. Meditative thinking asks that we let ourselves go, engage in what “at first sight does not go together at all.” So we ponder, we wait, we meditate on what’s there, we grope for openness, for a clearing, for light, an expanse in the distance, on the horizon somewhere. We see close up but we reach out toward this horizon. Meditative thinking draws us into the distance while we stay put, while we stay near. It brings these two realms together, is a sort of nearness of distance – a “coming-into-the-nearness of distance”, Heidegger calls it. Finding the “nearness of distance” boils down to finding our path to Being, to full awareness, to releasing ourselves.

Weary of city life and a job that has battered him, Andy embarks on a slow pilgrimage, taking himself into the Auvergne in central France, travelling through tranquil surroundings with his one companion Gribouille – his donkey – and marvels at how he finally begins to notice and find meaning in the larger mysteries of existence. A lovely read. Extract from the blurb:

The Wisdom of Donkeys reminds us that observing, being mindful, and being present in the moment are essential to a fulfilled life. It teaches us that enlightenment is all around us if we only take the time to seek it.

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