Friday, 30 May 2008
Having recently returned from the screaming wild archipelagos, I was teaching a friend one on one, the basic approaches to the art of hand rolling & sculling braces in the local harbour, once a thriving trawler port. As the tide receded we packed up for the day & wandered around in the basin. Relics of the past sometimes appear from the depths with delight.
I did remark on the thought of scraping the skin on frame or the composite along the tip of this anchor & the hazards of learning to roll in a post-industrial setting. You wouldn't want to clank your head off this either while inverted. Sometimes it seems we live as veneer to the past, stroked & admiring of our own shine & presence, we layer away from the wood, the bones, that support the skin of the creatures we become. It's great how artifacts occasionally pop their heads up, wink at today, then slink quietly back beneath the shifting sands for a year.

Tentative first steps - H & new Avocet.

A few hours later & we were going through assist hand rolls, working toward fingertip assists for confidence. The class is growing, & I'm enjoying the responsibility as much as the joy of passing on technique & confidence.
Before returning to Skye, I'll take them into Dublin - the Dubh Linn, where I
zen-up with my own rolls peacefully & alone. An inland venue overlooking the seas, akin to a swimming pool on an ocean liner, which often further helps in refining their own work - as it does mine. It's the colour of dark tea, almost black, blinding to the eyes, simple... yet, wide as an ocean & as deep as it is. I've never swum to the bottom in one breath...
It's one of three lochan, on two islands, I'm in the process of petitioning the Crofters Commission over & for, setting up qajaq shelters & wooden jetties to aid in & support Greenlandic rolling classes. The lochans could also be viably stocked for community fish supplies. At the time of writing this, they are dormant pools, save for the presence of visiting geese & rolling classes...
The ghost of man whispered: We once
quietly trained پښتو here on the Outer machair turf & gniessian edges, to attack our own interests, when needs were just that.... & leaving unwilling yawns & nul benefits to those who were....left standing, I laid down my knife & picked up a stick.
Sands shift ;)

The Dubh Linn

posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 12:03:00 |

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