". . . the readiness to receive is all. Without that what can be given?" — A summer cycle ride with Bugbee and Beethoven

The Raleigh Superbe in Babraham Park
Today I took the Raleigh Superbe out for a spin up to Wandlebury, along the Roman Road,  down to Babraham (where I stopped at the George Inn for a pint of shandy) and then back through the park to Stapleford, Magog Down and then home.

I had two particular things on my mind as I set off. The first was my ongoing encounter with the thought of Henry Bugbee and I knew I wanted to spend a little while on my back in the shade re-reading certain sections of the Inward Morning. The second was to try out a new (for me) combination of "film" (Uchitel) and "lens" (Watts) on my Hipstmatic setup. I'd just read an article in National Geographic by John Stanmeyer called "The Timeless Sands of Saudi Arabia" in which he had used this particular combination to great effect. Most of the photos below were taken using that combination but the colour ones were taken using the "C-Type Plate" film with the "John" lens.

When I stopped in the shade of the woods in Babraham Park for my sandwiches and flask of tea my copy of the Inward Morning fell out of my saddlebag and opened at the following passage:

"Last night the humidity kept dropping, the air is cooling, and a full moon rose. At mid-morning the day is still clear and fresh as it might be in the High Sierras. The effect of this day, and of Beethoven's Opus 135, to which I have just listened, is to make me conscious that the readiness to receive is all. Without that what can be given?" (Henry Bugbee: The Inward Morning, Saturday, July 25).

I had my mp3 player buried in the bottom of my bag and and on it I have the Medici Quartet's recordings of Beethoven's late quartets — although I almost never listen to music out on a walk/ride, following this chance reminder, it proved impossible not to listen to this short and quite beautiful quartet while I ate my lunch.


Bugee is surely right in saying that "the readiness to receive is all. Without that what can be given?" The whole day, and particularly this moment felt like a gift given — I was ready to receive and I gave thanks.

Along the Roman Road
Along the Roman Road
Along the Roman Road
Along the Roman Road
A pint of shandy and a bike at the George Inn, Babraham
Bridge over the River Granta in Babraham
Babraham Church
Babraham Church
Babraham Hall
Babraham Hall
Wayside flowers in Babraham Park 
The River Granta
Barn on the bridle path to Stapleford
On Magog Down 
Post a Comment

Popular Posts