Outer Hebrides: Transient Spaces

When we were on holiday, I was experimenting with writing in nature–or writing with nature. The ebb and flow of the ocean, having to relent to the power of the water, made me contemplate the ever changing nature of our environment but also our selves. I thought what if we just relent, let go, let go of pain, fear, guild, shame? Let the waves wash them away? Wash away hate. Wash away your sorrow.

I tried to write down the themes that often burden survivors of trauma.
Verlustangst = fear of loosing, usually a loved one
Unzulänglichkeit = the feeling of inadequacy
Pain
Shame
Sorrow
Fear

Then set up a time lapse of the incoming tide washing away the writing in the sand. Wash away the pain. Wash away the sorrow. Wash away the shame.

Outer Hebrides: Go with the flow

Again this one does not quite fit yet.

drying wet-suits and a grill in the foreground looking over an ocean bay

Discarded wet suits
Drying in the breeze
A sad looking bag of charcoal
Crunched up
Holding the potential for one more BBQ

But not here
Not now
Not on this holiday
ANYMORE

Sadness creeps up
The simple life
Of our ever-so-slightly moving abode
Will soon be packed away
For another summer

August has just begun
But for us the summer is over
100s of emails looming
I have 48 hours leeway
And mentally push
Against the tidal amplitude of work-life

I love my work
But the constant pressure
Like currents in the sea
I have rowed against
Had become too much

I hope my learning
Will last and like my kayak
I will only put the paddle into the water to steer into the right direction
Occasionally
And not dispense all my energy rowing against the swell

I won’t fight
Against the tide
Anymore


Outer Hebrides: Relenting (first draft)

Not yet happy with this one so bear with me

The kayak moves in rhythm with the waves
We are far out of the bay
As we paused to sort the fishing lines
The swell became stronger
Pushing us out even further

I do not like this
I do not like relenting control of my kayak

Letting go

However, control is an illusion
The water pushes me on steadily
I can steer a little
Keep direction
But when a rogue wave hits
I have to let go
I have to relent
Otherwise the kayak topples over

We can but put some safe-guards in place
Life jackets, wet suits, throw ropes
Emergency whistle, knife
But life has its own mind
And often our direction changes
Without much choice
So there is nothing left
But to let the water carry you
Where ever it seems fit

Outer Hebrides: Signs of Tenderness

I am people-watching

Grandparents
A boy wrapped in a thick towel
After an hour paying in freezing water

A young couple
Cuddling closely
Refusing to declare defeat against the evening’s chill

Two women
Like sisters
Spending time mostly in silence
With beers
Each a tent on their own

Little girl
Carrying sibbling piggyback down the sandy dunes
Siblings legs are too short

Elderly man
Alone cannot get his tend set up
Younger man walking over
Helping

There is hope
Always hope
Where love is
No matter what love looks like

Outer Hebrides: Connected

Long exposure shot of clouds moving over the bay

My thoughts are scattered here
Like the cloud cover
Dark grey
Anthracite
Patches of blue

Like the landscape
Screefields
Bald patches of rock
On otherwise green hills

Like the crosswinds
Pushing my kayak
Changing onslaught of waves
It’s hard to keep direction

I can’t find a story
Only snapshots
Of temporary manifestations
Whose inherent truth
Is as fleeting as the ever changing sky

But I know
Just know
Somewhere
Within
Outwith
Everything is connected

Outer Hebrides: Empty 2

Bare rock faces
moss, lychen, heather, hard grass stalks
glacial lakes, loch, lochans

The sky never ending
Meeting the waters of the Atlantic
In a distance hard to estimate

Desolate
Our first reaction
The landscape
Violated
Forced into shape
By layers of ice

Slow death
Creating new life

We see eagles, dolphins, seals
Wildflowers
Insects
Birds

Not so empty after all
Sheep are bleating


Outer Hebrides: Empty

Wide skies
Wide horizons

An eagle hovers
Empty your mind let your thoughts move through

Normally I struggle
But
Here
I can’t hold on
To a thought
To a worry
To a contemplation

Clouds move over
Every changing
Like my relentless thoughts usually do

Occasionally the clouds become stuck
Hovering over the valley between the mountains
Like the thoughts I should let go
Eventually the wind moves them on

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