Photographing in the Western Highlands of Scotland while thinking of John Muir’s legacy and the sanctuary of mountains.
A encounter while on assignment with the oldest inhabitant of a small Irish village.
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.
My head spins and my heart sinks when I read the environmental news every morning. Today's headlines in the second week of 2013 include a new colour added to maps because the heatwave in Australia has gone off the charts, 2012 was the warmest year on record, 11 elephants shot in Kenya by poachers, the Alberta Tar sands is poisoning the water all around it. Just a sampling. We are screwed. The planet is screaming at us and we still aren't listening. It has it's head out the window crying for help, trying to prevent itself from choking on the smoke of a burning building. What do we tell the kids? That we were so selfish, so shortsighted, so greedy, so maladjusted, so evil, so anthropocentric that we just kept calm and carried on? Right now is not the time to be calm and carry on, business as usual. That passed a while ago. Do we tell the kids that we did nothing to stop the destruction by the corporations, did nothing to curb our own desires for objects that don't matter, did nothing to save species being wiped out every day so some guy in Beijing or Manhattan could get it up? To we tell them that we did nothing to stop the poisoning of our only lifeline, the planet that feeds us, that gives us the air and the water the only things that really sustain life, sustain us? When will we take responsibility? Which day of which week? Which day of which year will you get up out of your bed and say 'okay it starts today'? When will you say 'Today'? Today I'm going to make some change, do something, curb back on inane desire for stuff, take a cause onboard, teach my kids what's really important, be a better parent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, daughter, son, be an example, a better example, help someone, stand up for the animals, stand apart from what has gone before so that what comes after is better for everyone and not just you? Which day is the day to stand up for a difference? When will be that day when we rise and really wake up? Let it be today. If there's anything we do today let it be this. On the 9th day of 2013, listen and do something.