Showing posts from July, 2010

A rumour of whales.

Midwinter seems to be a time for ritual or regularity. A time for family or feasting. A time to shut out the mid-winter chills. This has to make sense. Autumn’s abundance is long gone and the warmth and longer days of spring are still distant. Drawing your family and friends around you, to remake the bonds of kith and kin, makes perfect sense as we approach what must have been the toughest time of year. The dread of winter cold and the fear of spring famine have been left behind for most of us. Agriculture, technology and oil have pushed these wolves away from our doors. Although we may have lost the reason, the rituals of midwinter still survive. Some have become misplaced by the twist of geography. Christmas, an appropriated mid-winter feast transplanted out of season, is twice removed from its origin. And now mid-winter lies bare, and may pass unnoticed. So we invent our own rituals to replace those that have been lost. For me mid-winter brings not the abundance of gifts and decorat


The sun is low and pink clouds lie scattered across the sky. Artfully arranged throw cushions, curtains of light, the signature furniture of an ending day. But this display does not last, the earth turns and within minutes the light has failed and colour is being stripped from the world. Only the highest clouds hold their colour, for a few moments more, for the last minutes of the day. As the light fails we enter a world of texture and edge. Where white and black and the eight zones between are all the information we have. In the end even this will be stripped back to just a few tones and little else, but for now, there is more to help guide me home. It is a time that is not really night and not really day, dusk, a time for change. It’s time for the day workers to pack up their gear and head for home. The night shift, with furtive rustles and twitching whiskers makes ready for the long hours ahead. As I walk away from the bright lights of the office into the darkness of a growing eveni