Saturday, 5 February 2011

Megalithic Monday: The Meaning of Place II

We are of the earth. Our survival as individuals and as a species has always been dependent on our relationship with the earth and our understanding of its systems. The modern world, the wer-eld or the Age Of Man, conspires to prevent us from acknowledging this reality but even the most urbanised, techno-dependent townie – those people who measure their adventures by the distance they travel from coffee-shops and wi-fi – could not fail to be aware of the power of these places: not some vague, occult-supernatural power but real, physical power expressed by the land itself. We need to become aware why the land is shaped the way it, why the winds blow in the directions they do and by what means the rivers flow. The awareness of these phenomena and the subtle physical and metaphysical influences they exert on flora and fauna is at the heart of what the modern world calls Animism. To grasp these subtle mysteries we need to build our awareness, exercising it like a muscle, shaping and polish it like an axe-head until we can push beyond our own immediate bubble and understand the songs that are being sung all around us. As I turned to leave The Cockpit the sun was descending behind the hills, the clouds ran before the wind like burning black deer. The light became horizontal and it grew colder still as the pale sun was finally lost. In this moment was the opening of awareness, the clarity in which it was possible to understand the meaning of place on this cold, windy moor.

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