Thursday, 3 March 2011

Off Island

Image Above: Looking from the Island to Iona
Location: Isle of Erraid, Mull, Scotland

Off Island

There seems little point in ignoring the pull of the tide after all I am mostly water separated by membrane, a bubble wrap of cells hung on an unfortunate frame. Below me the Mersey basin is filling under a roar of water that tugs at the navigation buoys while the sandbanks slip beneath the waves like the long arching backs of whales. So I have made it far from the island and feel the disconnection keenly. Each movement here seems to fold up my memories and sense of the island like a piece of origami until I am left with something I could slip into my pocket.

As the tidal race subsides the roar begins to dissipate and the buoys relax against their chains like scrap yard dogs in the warmth of the afternoon sun. Although far from the island I am still within the reach of the sea but the separation of promenade, railings and green baizes of grassland are too much for me to out imagine, if I could only touch or wade in water.

There are no gaps here, the world has been improved, the paving slabs, back garden walls, street corners and factory roofs all meet up as individual visions in a collective consciousness. Even the river has been corseted its spine a little distorted by the contact. I suppose it is pointless to rail against it all, yesterday I realised that the green spaces in the shopping complex’s car park were the result of Astroturf rather than grass. I know I lack the faith to live here, I would have to believe in ready meals, fashion, television, pvc fascias and all the voices that tell me this is a reality. More importantly I lack the stories that could make it all work, so this is not my place, the stories I tell are of another place, they are no better or worse, just different.

Image above right: Doll’s House, Sudley House, Liverpool

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