Photographing in the Western Highlands of Scotland while thinking of John Muir’s legacy and the sanctuary of mountains.
I travel roads and discover new places. Deep in the heart of new countries. Deep in the heart of me. Mostly I go lightly hardly noticing a load. Then suddenly one day I feel the weight of my own heart. How can something that is so seemingly light within you become so heavy in an instant? I suppose our hearts weren't meant to be forgotten and occasionally we are to be reminded that they need to be carried. Like the lake that carries the lone tree and the tracks that carry the train.
A train runs west to east
Sun streams through a window, through her
Pooling dappling on a table laden to nourish and care
Outside a river flows forever through the city
Inside two lives, tributaries
Till this point separate
A train runs east to west
Strangers no more but still not there
Cold night becomes warm
Two souls together, hopeful but scared
Night becomes day
What is it for?
A train leaves the station
Brings one back home
A bicycle carries the other, hearts forlorn
On a beach the tide is turning
Where earlier two people shared a day
Now washed ashore like sand
In a mound of shimmering moments.
The wild west. I'm learning why they call it that. It has nothing to do with outlaws or skullduggery although we have plenty of that. No what I'm referring to is the weather. For almost a full week now here on the west coast of Ireland we have been steadily battered by mini hurricane force winds, relentless hailstone showers and rain. Someone somewhere annoyed the wind gods and we are paying for it. The wind howling through air vents, I pull the zipper up on my hoodie, watch the forces of nature through the window and hug myself with a deep sense of gratitude for the refuge to be had indoors. As I write the pelting of hailstones rattles the window for what must be the umpteenth time today and it's not even 11am yet. In a weird way it is soothing. I am glad I have shelter and I think of those who perhaps don't.
When weather shoves you indoors it's like those same forces of nature slam the door behind you and you tackle projects you've put on the long finger for far too long of a long finger. I'm editing a new music video at the moment. I get the same feeling when I edit video as when I write. I wish someone else would do it for me. Someone better. When the budgets aren't there or no personal ghost writer on hand it's left to muggins to get the job done. Somewhere there's a theory that the more you do something the better you get at it but oh the pain the pain. Nor am I exactly convinced that this theory is true. Creative choices to be made of what frame to put where in the timeline and which word from the Oxford or urban dictionary to use in which sentence. When all you want to do is chuck the timeline and the dictionary out the window. I'm exaggerating of course, employing dramatic license but I think some might know what I mean.
There's another saying somewhere that the journey is the destination. This theory is true. I remind myself of this even though the journey is akin to sitting squashed in the front seat beside the driver of a crowded local TATA bus on a Himalayan road. Bollywood music blaring full blast in your ears. Or the west coast of Ireland for that matter. No Bollywood but howling winds can too be an oddly endearing soundtrack to your life. At least for a short while before the sun and the road beckons you out into the world again.
Here's a few screenshots of the upcoming piece.