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?




Filed under 2012, celebration, New Mexico, Scotland, The Now

8 responses to “Image/feeling

  1. Goodness, at this particular moment I could only stay here with your memories. To see what you saw and feel what you felt. I’ve no desire to leave these fragments…

  2. Oh Helen, the black and white of the trees is magical. I’d have that on my wall in a heartbeat. But the image of your fragile, laden human in tartan is as powerful in my mind’s eye as your photographs. You are something, you are.

  3. Thank you – I was going to stay away longer, but the images started to gather and jumble. This is one way of laying them out.

  4. CJ

    You conjurer you. I was under your spell with the first image. Accumulative images become a kind of reading when you display them, as magical as your prose.

  5. The transparent quality of these images, a dark room after your eyes have adjusted, the fog, the flame, and the ash knowing that if you stir it with a stick you will find orange embers just below the grey powder surface…really beautiful.

  6. And for me…in this moment, it is enough to read your words…I didn’t need the pictures. Thank you, Helen.

  7. Lovely, intimate, warm. A real rush for the senses.

  8. Pingback: The Autumn People – clcouch123

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