We are in this TOGETHER. There are no line drawn barriers, borders. If you know anything about history, societies have built walls around them but those walls got pulled down. Isolationist societies eventually either get invaded or they implode. We’re in this together. We all breathe the same air. We all depend upon the source of the sun every day. Without the sun we’re done, there is no life on this planet. Without the atmosphere, the food chain, you ain’t going to be complaining about the fact that people aren’t buying music anymore.
Like an early nineteenth-century poet, when I have melancholy moments and feel the world is getting too much for us and that late and soon we lay waste to our powers in getting and spending, I’m forced to pause and reflect upon my experiences with the dead and the hold they exert on our lives.
That may seem a macabre perspective on one’s life, but at a certain point it seems to be the only one we have. Mortality is not kind, and do not let anyone tell you it is. If there is such a thing as wisdom, and I have serious doubts about its presence in my own life, it lies in the acceptance of the human condition and the knowledge that those who have passed on are still with us, out there in the mist, showing us the way, sometimes uttering a word of caution from the shadows, sometimes visiting us in our sleep, as bright as a candle burning inside a basement that has no windows.
James Lee Burke, Robicheaux
To forget the past so easily seems scarcely loyal to oneself. I am so selfishly absorbed in my present self that I have grown not to care a damn about that ever increasing collection of past selves- those dear, dead gentlemen who one after the other have tenanted the temple of this flesh and handed on the torch of my life and personal identity before creeping away silently and modestly to rest.
W.N.P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man
Photograph taken at Beckett Park, Leeds, November 2018.
Sometimes I think I am going mad. I live for days in the mystery and tears of things so that the commonest object, the most familiar face- even my own- become ghostly, unreal, enigmatic. I get into an attitude of almost total scepticism, nescience, solipsism, in a world of dumb, sphinx-like things that cannot explain themselves. The discovery of how I am situated- a sentient being on a globe in space overshadows me. I wish I were just nothing.
W.N.P.Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man
Photograph taken in Mangostfield, Bristol, May 2018.
He thought that the edge of the world was a day’s walk away, there where the cloud-breeding sky touched the horizon. He thought that when he got there he would find a deep pit and he would be able to look down into it and see the world’s secrets.
Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze
Photograph taken in Churwell, Leeds, West Yorkshire, November 2018.