• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 04


It is a warm enough morning for her to practice outside today.

Taking her gaze upwards, she is reminded of a beautiful Van Gogh painting she saw once in Paris, or was it Spain? Maybe it was in London. She can’t recall exactly where, and anyway, that part of the memory is not so important after all.

The terrace has a dark chestnut stained pergola that in the summer months she used to cover with sailcloth to provide respite from summer sun, but now the grapevine has claimed it for its own, weaving in and out of the timbers. She put the sailcloth away somewhere or other, now it sits in the back of her mind, along with other memories.

The grapevine is a maze of gnarly grey scrawny fingers at the moment, they look like witches fingers, and are without bud as far as she can see, (well, it is only February after all) and she’s not certain it will flourish again after the two metres of snow that fell suddenly, and from nowhere, last month.

Her husband has a postcard of the Van Gogh somewhere. She thinks it was a cherry, or perhaps an apple tree, with pink blossom set against the bluest of sky, quite Japanese in a way, and quite beautiful. It may not even been a Van Gogh, she muses.

Sometimes one in-breath can seem to last for ever.



She folds forward, inwards. The muscles of the back of her legs grumble their objection. She is used to their whining. She tends to ignore them and simply wait. They usually surrender before her will does.

Taking her gaze inwards and she hears the name Hokusai. She is counting her breath for her mantra, and Hokusai departs.

She is taking her thoughts inwards, where she is nothing but everything. In this moment she can be neither the past nor the future.

Her Guru was a man of few words, not in English anyway. He would say: ‘practice’ is all, and so, all has become ‘practice.’