Tag Archives: mountains

Ten Again

It’s strange that even though I’m drawn to experimental art, to people and theories that challenge the status quo, again and again I come back to same things that I loved when I was about ten years old.  I was bewildered as a child, I didn’t know what was going on. I still don’t know.  I loved mountains and history, I loved music and football.  And here I am, decades on, after fancying myself as a rock and roll singer in my twenties, and an avant garde artist in my thirties, I’m back to the child I was, staring at the stars in complete astonishment at being alive.  I’m fortunate, I know, to have enough of what I need not to care about those things, so I am able to spend time just being in awe.

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In Praise of Fog

One thing I love about mountains, and the views from their slopes and summits, is the distance that sparks the imagination.  William Hazlitt said most of it in his essay ‘Why Distant Objects Please’.  I can populate those distant places, a ship out at sea, a far off hill, with whatever I like.  Get closer, and the reality is less alluring.  I feel the same way about most things, about characters or places in books and films, or melodies in music.  I’d prefer them to remain indistinct. I like murk and fog, I like the swirl of mist, and slippery uncertainties.  Even in everyday exchanges, I prefer things left unfinished.  Too much detail is like a lamp that’s far too bright.  There are exceptions, of course, like following instructions for installing a new printer, but even then, I tend to sort those things out by fumbling, trial and error, and by throwing stuff across the room and so on.

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