2016 has been … I haven’t yet found the word to sum it up- lets call it ‘eventful’ for the time being.
Apart from the global political and economic events which appear to increase proportionately with the fragmentation and dissipation of ‘the World as we used to know it’- this year was very much a journey on a personal level, which saw me travelling every single month, very much exhausting my carbon footprint for the next decade.
Some of this travel was for professional reasons, most travel however being a logistical reality of living away from one’s family, whose individual members aren’t getting any younger and physically fitter.
Having unknowingly immigrated to the UK 19 years ago (the plan was to do a three year degree and then return home to the continent) it has been rather poigniant how health scares and the passing of my closest family members had to happen in the same year Britain voted to leave the EU.
I wouldn’t go as far as calling it an existential crisis on my behalf-rather I would describe it as an involuntary adventure track through the ever expanding and shape shifting world portrayed and imagined for me by the mainstream-and my very own instincts and values increasingly under threat from the surge of banality and populism that appears to expand at the expense of beauty, ingenuity, care and kindness.
So what initially was just another journey in this years calendar-the family trip to Tiree for the October week-seemed initially just another project of potential stress and upheaval to my mind which really just wanted some time out, or hiding under the duvet, not to be seen for a very long time, and just sleep, sleep, sleep and ideally when waking up finding it’ll all was just a bad dream-which I may add was even before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States…
However stressed and distracted my concious mind may have become this year with all the nonsense fuelled by the worshippers of nihilism, something somewhere in my mind, it’ll have to have been my subconsciousness – was clever enough to book the ferry and the cottage on Tiree regardless to all the other mayhem pushing and pulling plans, energy levels and sanity all over the place.
So the night before we had to pack the car and start on the motorway out of Glasgow, over winding roads alongside Loch Lomond, through hills and valleys to get to Oban for our ferry crossing-I had very much reached the height of ever experienced personal stress levels – magnified by a jet lag from a journey to the ‘temple of simulacra’; Los Angeles, 2 weeks prior to this.
In reality I think I knew how disorientating and challenging this trip to LA would be for me personally and professionally, so Tiree was a bit of an antidote to rebalance myself after LaLaland. I know the effect the Scottish landscape has on me and not long into our car journey, the landscape did it’s thing…colours, shapes, lines, curves, clouds, skies, mountains, water, sea, grass, silhouettes, shadows, shapes, wind, gusts, warmth, salty air, red cheeks, tangled hair, squinting eyes, crashing waves, seagulls croaks, clear night skies, highland cows, many sheep, kites, surfers, croft houses, conversations, hearty food, cups of tea and coffee, walking, hiking, climbing, laughing, shouting, building sand castles, collecting shells, stones, sticks, playing with dogs, children, watching sunset, sunrise, sketching, drawing, inventing games, making new friends, ideas and inspiration, excitement, happyness, freedom;
…feeling and being human…
A rainbow, it was so big and wide I didn’t get it in it’s complete width! Plus there was another on top of it, and I already was up to my ankles in the sea!
Silver light…and the spray of of the waves…
Light and dark, clouds and blue sky, light beams, reflection, motion, lines and patterns…