August Bank holiday Monday 2005: A warm breezy start to the day – if a little foggy, makes me want to be out and about, must be all the walking I’ve been doing. One of the strange pain side affects of walking is the pain that I get in the tendons of my arms (the anti-depressant has another use in helping night time tendon pain). Sometimes pain or illnesses can reveal how the body works, in this case the swinging arms do help the stride; when my arms are very bad I have to wear a top with appropriate pockets, preferably pouchy ones. But that does unbalance the body and it is difficult to walk for long periods of time – and I now have visions of me toppling over cliff edges like a skittle! I was walking on the mountainside here once with John and Sam – who was about fourteen. It was snowy and damp, Sam had new shoes that he had bought for some trek somewhere but he didn’t want to mess them up, and hopped and minced between rocks, I took the piss, he sulked, I said take your hands out of your pockets, the ground is too rough, he sulked more and didn’t remove his hands from said pockets and yes the topple occurred and no he couldn’t save himself, his dignity though was more hurt than his physical body. He wanted to go back we said OK but we would still be walking a bit. Poor lad had trembling lips and was outraged that we still wanted to walk on this dirty wet ground and wouldn't take him straight home, I had to keep facing the wind so has not to giggle – how unsympathetic I was! What are boots for if not to get muddy and wet?
Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines is a book to read if the whole notion of walking, of movement through space and time feels comfortable, right, necessary even. He seems to have influenced the studies of Morris Berman. It is full of quotes that he has collected as well as his journeying through Australia and wonderful digressions to places all around the world. Well I liked it anyway and read it over a year: first half during a rainy stay in my favourite youth hostel in N. Wales May 2004, and the second half when I returned this June.
'solvitur ambulando: it is solved by walking'
'if I were asked ''What is the big brain for?'', I would be tempted to say, ''For singing our way through the wilderness''.'
'above all, do not lose your desire to walk: everyday I walk myself into a state of well being.' Søren Kiekegaard
I find myself remembering, recalling again and some more, Ian lying, smoke drenched on the rough grass of the estuary, knees raised, eyes closed, right hand fingers curled and in his left hand the crow wing feather, which he then passes to his right hand and plays with it into and through the air above his body, after having lost it briefly. I realise how little we had stopped, except to eat and sleep: the top of Carn Ffoi, briefly in a beech, then on a beach, as the fireworks danced and played. I think Ian needed some stillness; I need some now, which is probably why I keep recalling him on the sandy grass.
(the wood still smoking in the afternoon on the estuary, you are determined that it will flame again: collecting small remains of wood, carefully pushing in dead hogweed hollows. The wind blows, drops, twists, turns, lifts smoke wraps around you, pouring over you.. Flames. To think of being with you by the fire and sitting laughing in front of the fireworks makes my heart beat harder, with a hundred butterflies releasing from it. A new friend?
Sitting next to you, after the long breakfast expedition, I could smell fresh sweat and wood smoke as you traced a journey with your fingers that you would then take with your bicycle. The map in refolding was opened up and seemed to want to cover you, envelope you, like I did at that moment)
It was so damp on Monday morning, soft wet wrap around rain and dripping trees as I scampered about in a mediaeval dress in Llandudoch wondering why I was there, but the clouds moved and I managed to find the last half pint of Llandudoch apple cider at the end of the afternoon.
The first morning of September, the birch trees are losing their leaves the fragrance in the air is changing. This evening high above the house a host of house martins chattered a while on their why through to the south. Earlier a small bunch of swallows was mobbing a peregrine. Think the peregrine has been around a week or so killing pigeons around the garden and fields. Yesterday in Newport I swam in still, full in tide water at Parrog by the old lifeboat house. Much quieter there now.
2nd Sept: Another blue sky september morning with heavy dew. May and September produce some wondrous mornings but I enjoy the silence of September just the robin singing his winter song in snippets and maybe a raven or crow in the distance. The sweet peas and dahlias catch the early morning sun up in the garden, hot colours against the cool dewy grass. There's so much air between me and the long stretch of the hills. And the dog snorting in the long wet over/undergrowth and the air, after the scent of last night's fox/badger/dog trails
I'm going to Newport later, hope to swim, the sea is usually good for swimming or perhaps a quick dip, til late October, but it feels that although it was warmer earlier it isn't particularly warm now, but still lovely. An evening walk by the estuary at this time of the year usually results in seeing hundreds of martins and swallows feeding up on the start of their migration.
Wed: I want to do little. I want to walk and walk. I want to turn old clothes into new. I want to paint. I want to be held. I want to love and be loved in an intimate relationship. I want to love and share in with all the others. I want to move/dance in private, in public. I want to go north for all four seasons. I want to visit Tedi. I want to continue visiting Menorca. I want to be in the world. I want to live the life that I believe in.
No symbolism unless I choose it.
Wittgenstein: Tell them I’ve had a wonderful life.
You can’t think decently if you don’t want to hurt yourself
When it’s nasty then it’s most important.
6th Sept: I awake to the sound of robin and CHIFF CHAFF! He is singing again now later in the morning. It’s not as if we’ve not had warmish sunny mornings recently. So why today? It really makes it feel like mid summer again, just as I was enjoying the septermberishness.