Category: #Silenti

Sails in a upstairs window

There are sails in an upstairs window Whose cloth never tasted the spray Of an ocean long lost in memory And a happier, faraway day ➰ She sailed in his heart to the sunset Where the end of their world fell from sight At ninety degrees to his life-line. And down to a watery night ➰ He waits now, his captain’s badge polished His … Read More Sails in a upstairs window

Winter wanderings with camera (2) Water: form and flow

It flows, seemingly singular… until something intrudes. Then, instead of resisting, it parts at the level of molecules, and recombines on the other side. The bank is the end of one world and the beginning of another; a place of soft contrasts, where organic forms reach the limit of their existence, and begin to dissolve. The water embraces them all. Its force and flow, … Read More Winter wanderings with camera (2) Water: form and flow

The City and the Stars (9-end) : the most peaceful place in the world

The conclusion of the Silent Eye’s extended workshop to Orkney. A visit to the neighbouring island of Rousay. A sad disappointment and a wonderful surprise. (1500 words, a twelve-minute read) (Above: a modern reconstruction of a Neolithic farmer felling a tree with a hand-made stone axe) For our final day, we were off to the Island of Rousay.. I’ve written, elsewhere, about what it’s … Read More The City and the Stars (9-end) : the most peaceful place in the world

The City and the Stars (8) : Longships

The traditional picture of the Vikings – looting, marauding, raping invaders – may not be entirely true of their time on Orkney, though they did rule this gentle archipelago with an iron fist for five hundred years… (1300 words, a ten-minute read) (Above: the glory of St Magnus (Viking) Cathedral, Kirkwall) History can be complex. Patterns of events that fit in one situation may … Read More The City and the Stars (8) : Longships

Winter wanderings with camera (1) mood and meaning

Winter… Most, but not all, of the colours are gone. What remains is a harder edge of the spectrum, where contrast is to be hunted rather than assumed. And texture and shade take on a different level of purpose; to stand in for the vividness of summer’s colour, to beckon our eye to look deeper. The sky is the photographer’s winter friend, donating half … Read More Winter wanderings with camera (1) mood and meaning

The City and the Stars (7) : the Standing Stones of Stenness

The Standing Stones of Stenness are reduced in importance compared with their former status. But 5,000 years ago, they were the stone circle for the Ness of Brodgar spiritual city. Only later, in the period culminating in the deliberate act of self-destruction of the Ness of Brodgar structures, were these stones eclipsed as the ‘guide to the heavens’… (1300 words, a twelve-minute read) The … Read More The City and the Stars (7) : the Standing Stones of Stenness

The City and the Stars (6) : the twice-chosen

To build something so sophisticated, so designed, as the Maeshowe Chambered ‘tomb’, would have required enormous dedication from the people of Orkney. Seen alongside the emerging splendour of the Ness of Brodgar ‘spiritual city’, you get a flavour of the total commitment of these ancient people to their task… (1500 words, a ten-minute read) (Above: The long passageway that leads into and out of … Read More The City and the Stars (6) : the twice-chosen

Mellow moods for Autumn (9) end of season

As autumn gives way to winter, different aspects of nature create new opportunities for photography… (300 words. A three-minute read) (Above: the shores of Lake Windermere – a winter favourite to come) Photographically, I prefer the UK Met Office’s guidance on the dates for the beginning of each season. In this convention, winter’s start is the first day of December, so this will be … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (9) end of season

The City and the Stars (5) : ‘Structure 10’ Pyramid

The more the Orkney archeologists uncover, the more it is certain that the settlement on the Ness of Brodgar was the hub of a dynamically influential and spiritual society, 5000 years ago… For example, what’s this pyramid…. yes, that’s right, pyramid? (1700 words, a fifteen-minute read) (Above: Illustration of Structure 10 by Kenny Arne Lang Antonsen and Jimmy John Antonsen) That can’t be right, … Read More The City and the Stars (5) : ‘Structure 10’ Pyramid

The City and the Stars (4) : The Ring of Brodgar

You look at the landscape around you… This magnificent place, where the natural features are as spectacular as the Neolithic discoveries, lies between two lochs surrounded by a natural amphitheatre. You are encircled on all sides by the hills and the monuments that make up the heart of Orkney’s Neolithic World Heritage Site. Welcome to the Ring of Brodgar, in the valley of the … Read More The City and the Stars (4) : The Ring of Brodgar

Mellow moods for Autumn (8) the Levens Estate

When the leaves have all but gone, nature still has one or two colourful surprises left. (220 words. A two-minute read) Rivers are beautiful at any time of year. This one, the River Kent, flows through Levens Park on its final mile to the sea, joining three other rivers in its outfall into the north end of Morecambe Bay Levens Park is the ancestral … Read More Mellow moods for Autumn (8) the Levens Estate

The City and the Stars (3) : The City on the Ness

A ten-minute journey from Stromness, on Orkney, lies an ‘isthmus’ which recent excavations have shown to contain one of the richest archeological concentrations in the world… It is nothing less than an ancient spiritual city, lost to time until the early years of this century. (1200 words, a ten-minute read) An ‘isthmus’ is defined as ‘a narrow strip of land with sea on either … Read More The City and the Stars (3) : The City on the Ness

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