1. A reclining figure. A grainy texture. A view of red sandstone houses, curving downhill.
2. Smirr and mist and threads of trees. A village at the head of a loch, sped by half-witnessed.
3. Blackened branches, gathered from the mesa top. Foiled food slow cooking, steaming.
4. A collapsible nylon room. Clarity on the stones, the bright green leaves.
It’s like this: Low evening light, morning light. Fire, ashes. Desire for a certain place, now far and in the past, or an instance that was understood only later, in pictures. Or a place that was Spring, in a remote desert camping ground. Or a beautiful third-floor flat, long since leased out to others. The one who helped find it, dead too young. It’s the sorrow and the striving, the echo down the corridor to the tiny impossible bathroom, to the living room with the bay windows where the light has room to let itself sprawl, golden, grey, pink, to the bright aquarium with the mouthing goldfish, Shen-Long the weather loach undulating in the current.
It’s the collecting of other people’s photographs of a path or break through a looming green forest, the human figure tiny, laden, fragile, in tartan-patterned flannel and thick walking boots, carrying a metal cup and sleeping bag lashed to their knapsack. It’s the wishing for more than stone, however well-weathered that stone is, for a wild range, at last, rather than muted sickness. For the outdoors, the flimsy, the breath of plants, the movement and rustle of the body passing along the trail, the cooking in ember, the tea over flame. The chik of bats spinning in the gloaming, the wave on the dark loch.
And for you?