Wednesday, 29 October 2014

October 29th 2014 - Before dawn

I woke well before dawn today, before 5am if truth were to be told. It had been raining hard during the night. The rhythmic drip drip drip from the broken gutter above the bedroom window (which after 4 years I've yet to replace) always a tell-tale sound before even an eye is opened. I lay on top of the bed looking at an unseen ceiling, total darkness filled the room. Drip drip drip went the rain released from the gutter, my mind had focussed on this sound, returning to sleep would be nigh impossible. Something stirred in me like episodes of  unstructured but interconnected whirlpools; ideas, emotions, thoughts all collided with the physical sensory ink-dark environment my body now lay within. I got up.
Being English of course the first thing I did was to make a nice cup of tea, before switching all the lights off in the house, ventured onto the seating area in the garden.
There is a window, a moment, after heavy rain and especially in darkness when I am consumed by a sensory overload. Something stirs in me, possibly harking back to primeval DNA and a heightened sense of the environment. I find it fascinating that I can, should that I had the skills, trace DNA and carbon back through time. I had ancestors living and breathing as Neolithic people walked the earth. Who was my ancestor when Jesus preached? The Battle of Hastings happened, my great great times 20 grandfather would have been breathing too, who was he? Since childhood I've longed to know more about my ancestors. Not their names, or facts, but what made them human beings and how much of them is now lodged within me. There is a direct link, yet that link is as broken as the gutter attached to my home. I know it's there, I just can't reach it.
Steam rose from my mug of tea. I knew this as energy saving streetlights in the lane behind the house, timed to come on at 5am had begun to glow. Steam rising like an ochre ghost into the still air. Otherwise I sat in absolute darkness. No wind, the temperature mild my skin bristling to the morning air; a steady drip of exhausted raindrops, having succumbed to gravitational pull, falling from overhead trees. I listened, while watching the lights turn from the faintest blood orange to their resplendent sulphurous aura. Watching that glow increase without any real thought, my attention was drawn to a blackbird as it tik tik tik'd in the hedge across the lane, soon to be joined by a second in an adjacent garden. I sat, eyes slowly adjusting to the change in illumination grappling with the blackness of the day in a battle the rising sun in a couple of hours time would ultimately win.
Silence. I listened to my heartbeat, the sound my body made drinking my tea, all the while listening to that occasional tik tik tik in an otherwise silent world. Silence and the ability to envelope oneself in silence is important. I allows processes deep within our soul to become heightened. Today however that silence was rudely and abruptly broken by the staccato shrill of a robin on the wall. His modesty is put to one side while he exclaims his territorial possession. "I am here, I'm awake, this is my territory, enter at your peril". I could see his silhouette on the wall, tail cocked as he bobbed about whilst producing a cascade of liquid refreshment.  A crow 'cawwed' in the field, a pheasant too. A wren began it's powerful chattering. The world was waking, and I was privileged to be part of that process, my presence is but a heartbeat in a lifetime of process.

My eyes adjusted, my attention became drawn to raindrops on the washing line. Like linear glow worms, or sparkling diamonds, their ability to cling on to a thin wire fascinated me. The resulting photographs seem, much like my thoughts today,  to represent a connection between places. Like a fibre optic cable this humble washing line has become an instillation. It's utilitarian use far exceeded as it carried my creative thoughts along in a linear manner. I could, and should, have fetched a tripod. Do this properly Andrew or not at all, was a mantra drilled into me by my parents. Today however was about being slapdash. About being spontaneous. A handheld camera to captured the moment. That heartbeat moment, joy at being in dark surroundings, and alive with the illuminocity of life. Clarity was not important, creativity was.

And so I experimented - 10 second exposures and hurling the camera around like a madman. I like these images. They represent my way of thinking. Sort of chaotic, sort of structured, but always unfocussed. I respond to the moment well, not for me the process of endless planning.

It is almost light now as I write this. Passing moments, that is what these images actually represent. A brief part of my day, a part of the day that is no more. Outside before the world really began to wake up I let my inner senses, my inner mind take over my thoughts and this is what it made me do. It pleases me.

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