Friday, 28 November 2008 Beinn Breac, chasing waterfalls, wild wind grasses, snow flurries & collies. There were kayaks leaving for Canna, a million miles below, pin-dots in the silver slipstream of open seas. It was odd...upsetting. To be up in these reeks & no longer be able to climb as my soul dictates, I looked back down toward the seas & followed kayaks heading out West - E9, E8, V this & that....I started giggling - suddenly I was to far away from the twin important reasons for being, floundering in no mans land. With no kayak to hand below & no face to scale above, I had in an odd moment of clarity - & became that most loathsome beast, a reluctant hillwalker yomping with sangwies, yet without purpose. A twitcher without an anorak.

A Black Mesa of sorts, yet not a bad back garden to have, & go to hell in...overall...
Sometimes, it dawns on you creeping.

Weakness can be a great thing, & strength is nothing when you see through into your true self. The creature you always were. When a man is just born, he is weak & flexible, when he dies, he is hard & insensitive. When a tree is growing, it's tender & pliant, but when it's dry & hard, it dies. Ergo, hardness & strength are death's companions. Pliancy & weakness are expressions of the freshness of being & what has hardened never wins in the journey of discovering its true nature... Weakness embraces the new era - Hardness just causes you to throw lumps of iron at your own head & drag the old era around, like a stone in a net...
Inside the dust ridden sunlit halls of finality & conclusion, the mystic waits & says, you are what you love, not what loves you...

An ataireachd bhuan -A’ sluaisreadh gaineamh na tràgh’d.

Thus, these mountains & unscalable walls that claimed my youth, are no longer an encircling prison of black toothed bastion, more a shelter, a shawl around my shoulders, a mother to run to out of the school gates, a random ghillie kill, a sermon, or a well executed frost proof .338 Lapua acquisition. But that also brings depth of shelter, away from the inane flood of human interference, a tower of fierce insanity providing this silent creature with new perspectives of the road ahead...& peace, for the sea is all around & oil paintings come in many forms, just as they say there are two moons. Sorley, the baying hound screamed, Coin is madaidhean-allaidh from the abyss...& all my empty beer cans are staring at me like little puppies waiting for treats...

Climb well young Jedi. Kayak further. Who can truly number the wild stones & the free seas? What foolish beautiful architecture we pin to the world...

Seobhag fìorghlan na h-ealtainn
posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 04:52:00 | 0 Retorts
Friday, 14 November 2008
Whale Nation by Heathcote Williams. Maybe re-reading for the 10th time would be more accurate. For those of you who have never read it, I would humbly recommend obtaining a copy. My dusty well thumbed version has travelled almost everywhere I have. Obviously not at my feet in the black knife, but I did once photocopy the pages, staple them together with a rivet gun & leave them in a seaward bothy. The pages remained intact & thumbed for a good few years, although they gradually diminished, taking on a creeping role as fire tinder for wet wood. The book itself is beautifully illustrated with wild gardens of photography, Heathcote brings us toward a steady accumulation of grandeur & dreadfulness. Whale Nation is a symphony of written word that cannot, or at least should not, be ignored.

Whale Nation is a hymn to the beauty, intelligence and majesty of the largest mammal on earth. A ‘green classic’ read with natural resonance by its author, it rarely fails to strike a chord in the hearts of those concerned with the abuse of our planet.

To that, I would add the words, epic, beautiful, replete & intelligent, sometimes...deeply angering & upsetting but often inspirational beyond the sublime - from his opening words to his final closure:

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Without killing their own kind.

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Though they allow the resources they use to renew themselves.

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Though they use language to communicate, rather than to eliminate rivals.

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Though they do not broodily guard their patch with bristling security.

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Without trading innocence for the pretension of possessions.

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
Without allowing their population to reach plague proportions.

In the water, whales have become the dominant species,
An extra-terrestrial, who has already landed . . .
A marine intelligentsia, with a knowledge of the deep.

From space, the planet is blue.
From space, the planet is the territory
Not of humans, but of the whale.

posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 18:48:00 | 2 Retorts