Outer Hebrides: Washed Away

Long evenings on the beach created an unfamiliar amount of time for introspection, breathing, watching, and then watching some more. The sky, the water, the sand, the animals. At some point the Gospel song ‘Oh Happy Day’ became stuck in my head. Mainly the phrase ‘he washed my sins away’. Exploring issues around trauma, there are some things we have been working with themes, phrases that seem to be taken on by the survivors: such as shame, guilt, worthlessness. In some workings phrases such as: ‘this is not my shame to carry’, ‘I am worth it’, ‘I belong’ became significant. So I tried to remember the main themes and words from this and wrote them in the sand on the beach, and let the ocean wash them away.

Incidentally while I was exploring these issues, the alienating parent called and insisted that the kid needs to be brought home immediately for a life and death medical appointment (literally: you are putting his life at risk). When trying to suggest that surely such an emergency would mean we should bring kid into closest hospital that was refuted. A flight was booked and the alienator flew all the way up to the Outer Hebrides to pick up kid for what turned out to be a routine follow up appointment after a course of antibiotics. Which a) could have waited until the end of holidays or b) could have easily been done at the medical centre, which was literally 10 minutes from the camp-ground. Sharing-agreements here in the UK mean the doctor would have had access to all records and also could have easily consulted with family doctor. Interestingly the alienator called once they had boarded the plane on the way back from holiday, so they were sure they could run through the whole ‘I am the hero’ scenario, and the plane did not have delays and would hamper the narrative. So after being convenient childminders for a week the poor kid was torn away from his dad to play their part in the story of ‘How I save my son from a made-up drama’.

It was on our last evening together, everyone was really sad and we tried to squeeze in as much of the favourite activities as we could. When walking along the beach, we found this heart made of shells. For me this was a sign: love always wins. And I made the little drama installation to ritually wash away the drama for our second week of holiday, the kid had to miss out on.

The other words and film snippets will follow over the next couple of days.

Outer Hebrides: Go with the flow

Again this one does not quite fit yet.

drying wet-suits and a grill in the foreground looking over an ocean bay

Discarded wet suits
Drying in the breeze
A sad looking bag of charcoal
Crunched up
Holding the potential for one more BBQ

But not here
Not now
Not on this holiday
ANYMORE

Sadness creeps up
The simple life
Of our ever-so-slightly moving abode
Will soon be packed away
For another summer

August has just begun
But for us the summer is over
100s of emails looming
I have 48 hours leeway
And mentally push
Against the tidal amplitude of work-life

I love my work
But the constant pressure
Like currents in the sea
I have rowed against
Had become too much

I hope my learning
Will last and like my kayak
I will only put the paddle into the water to steer into the right direction
Occasionally
And not dispense all my energy rowing against the swell

I won’t fight
Against the tide
Anymore


Outer Hebrides: Relenting (first draft)

The kayak moves in rhythm with the waves
We are far out of the bay
As we paused to sort the fishing lines
The swell became stronger
Pushing us out even further

I do not like this
I do not like relenting control of my kayak

Letting go

However, control is an illusion
The water pushes me on steadily
I can steer a little
Keep direction
But when a rogue wave hits
I have to let go
I have to relent
Otherwise the kayak topples over

We can but put some safe-guards in place
Life jackets, wet suits, throw ropes
Emergency whistle, knife
But life has its own mind
And often our direction changes
Without much choice
So there is nothing left
But to let the water carry you
Where ever it seems fit

Outer Hebrides: Signs of Tenderness

I am people-watching

Grandparents
A boy wrapped in a thick towel
After an hour paying in freezing water

A young couple
Cuddling closely
Refusing to declare defeat against the evening’s chill

Two women
Like sisters
Spending time mostly in silence
With beers
Each a tent on their own

Little girl
Carrying sibbling piggyback down the sandy dunes
Siblings legs are too short

Elderly man
Alone cannot get his tend set up
Younger man walking over
Helping

There is hope
Always hope
Where love is
No matter what love looks like

Outer Hebrides: Connected

Long exposure shot of clouds moving over the bay

My thoughts are scattered here
Like the cloud cover
Dark grey
Anthracite
Patches of blue

Like the landscape
Screefields
Bald patches of rock
On otherwise green hills

Like the crosswinds
Pushing my kayak
Changing onslaught of waves
It’s hard to keep direction

I can’t find a story
Only snapshots
Of temporary manifestations
Whose inherent truth
Is as fleeting as the ever changing sky

But I know
Just know
Somewhere
Within
Outwith
Everything is connected

Outer Hebrides: Empty 2

Bare rock faces
moss, lychen, heather, hard grass stalks
glacial lakes, loch, lochans

The sky never ending
Meeting the waters of the Atlantic
In a distance hard to estimate

Desolate
Our first reaction
The landscape
Violated
Forced into shape
By layers of ice

Slow death
Creating new life

We see eagles, dolphins, seals
Wildflowers
Insects
Birds

Not so empty after all
Sheep are bleating


Outer Hebrides: Gale Force 10

Balranald Campground–North Uist

The weather is merciless
Our tent howls and tries to take off like a chained dragon
The noise of the storm is incredible
A rock concert of sorts

Naughty by nature

Everything moves

Even the athletic swifts have no chance and sit exhausted on a fencepost

The guiding lines vibrate with tension
Or maybe they are shivering in the relentless rain?

Our name sign is tagged into a wooden pool
the place number long gone

36

Thousands of wild flowers dance in rhythm of the gusts

A seagull is blown past the tent
She barely manages to stabilise

Summer in Scotland

I wear my woolly hat
And socks mum knitted for me
As I take in deep breaths of salty air
And listen to the deafening production

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: