Seeing Gairloch




Opening up the bedroom curtains, 'It's raining again' she said. And so it was. Solid grey skies over a gunmetal Loch Ewe, its island just visible but nothing beyond that, no sign today of our ampitheatre of distant hills. Sheep like lightly pencilled statues stood disconsolately around the field. They don't like to move much when it rains, but swallows flashed their insect gathering way across our window view. Like all the rest of our feathered fraternity they seem to care nothing for such irrelevances as a little (or even a lot of) water from above.

I felt sorry for the visitors. They have not seen too much of Wester-Ross' multi-hued loveliness these last weeks. Puts me in mind of the poem I composed to go with my Gairloch Morning pastel painting ...

‘You have to come here,’ I told them.
‘But it’s so cold and wet, they said, isn’t it’?
I said, ‘I want you to see what I’ve been looking at.’.
They said, ‘Well, why don’t you tell us about it?’
‘Right,’ I said, ‘I’ll send you a card.’
So: sitting in a café with a cup of tea,
and a Highland scone I wrote…

‘Dear people - You think you know colour
until you’ve seen an early day
over a cloudless Gairloch.
You think you know about distance
until your eyes have roamed around
the curves and contours of the world
through air so clear, this clean;
noiseless save the shushing of the sea,
the calling of the gulls as if to you and me
.... and then, perspective?…
You know, just what are you and I
within all things, within the ages
and the little new that each day brings?
I swear that you can feel these lands
of time lost Highland clans,
so wild, so free - so lasting is this majesty:’

And so they came, our friends,
and it rained and blew a gale of wind all week.
A different kind of beauty, this, for
Gairloch smiles not, shows not herself
so often, nor will everybody bless,
and they will come again: oh yes.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely poem and very true about the colours.

    Next year you should enter this...

    http://www.jmt.org/wild-writing2010.asp

    ReplyDelete

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