I dwell on proximity: an autumnal morning, a soft Severn sun

Since I moved to Newnham on Severn eleven years ago I have come to love the river, not least because it is the first thing I see in the morning. Every day, I open my bedroom window and take a peek at the weather by looking down the street. Since the arrival of Theo the cat, last year, I also now find myself being greeted by a plaintive meow. My days start with seeing the river – the first conversation I have is with a cat. The sounds I hear, before I get out of bed to look out of the window come from birds, either in the form of a dawn chorus, or the cawing of flocks of jackdaws, gathering on rooftops.

This is my first photo today – I have thousands like this, capturing every weather and mood of the morning. And, sometimes, middle of the night snowfalls.


This picture has a religiosity about it, with it’s warm halo of sunlight hovering above the river. I worship that river. Hidden below that light fog will be an almost-dry riverbed, preparing for another day of ebb and flow. It lurks in silence, bracing itself. And I lurk in my bedroom, reflecting on how lucky I am to live so close to it.

Proximity: nearness in space, time, or relationship.


  • to live or stay as a permanent resident
  • reside; to live or continue in a given condition or state: to dwell in happiness
  • to linger over, emphasise, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing
  • to dwell on a particular point in an argument.

I dwell on proximity

I dwell on the river

I ponder in thought, speech and writing

I add images to my pondering process

I most definitely linger

I consider the other side of the river, which at this moment I cannot see. But I know it is there. It’s reliable, dependable. I trust it to be there. Apparently if I dream about crossing a river it means: Making great changes. If you are in the water to cross, it means meeting a lot of emotions in the process of change. So not being able to cross the river shows a barrier in your external or internal life that prevents progress or personal growth – such as the ability to love or be creative in some way.

I cross the river, so these words are reassuring. They make me safe in the knowledge that I am not preventing my personal growth or ability to love or be creative. It’s a great relief to know that.

All these thoughts make me smile this morning – the arrival of the autumn light, the coolness of the air, the fact that I shall be meeting people on the other side of the river this weekend in Purton. On ‘the other side’. I do wonder whether my immersion in this thinking about the other side is a form of distraction from the more unnerving ‘other side’ issues that are happening in the world today. I used to listen to Radio 4 in the morning, but the bleakness of the news now makes me switch it off quite promptly, once it has done it’s job of waking me up.

I prefer to listen to the world in proximity, to dwell upon that.

Details about the exhibition are here. Tomorrow please join me on a walk, meet at 10am opposite St Johns Church, and we can talk together about these river musings, and more.

Then come and eat cake!



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