07 August 2015

Fixtures In The Landscape

Have you ever gone someplace--particularly a place very different from the one in which you were born, raised or lived--and felt as if the people there were always there, as if they were part of the land, sea, wind, stones or sky--or as if they were forms of the very light in which you were seeing them?  

I hope that I don't seem to be dehumanizing or merely trivializing him, but this fisherman, when I first looked at him, seemed to be part of the rocks and concrete slabs on the beach:

Perhaps he looked that way because I'd pedaled against the wind all the way from my apartment to Point Lookout before I saw him.  I wasn't tired:  I've been feeling really good on my bikes--especially Arielle, my Mercian Audax, which I rode today--lately.  If anything, I was feeling pretty giddy.  For some reason (or perhaps no reason), I've often felt that way while and after riding.

Somehow I felt that man will be there again the next time I ride to Point Lookout, along with all of those slabs and stones, and the tides, whether they're in or out--and, oh, yes, the Point Lookout Orca.  

I assured Arielle that she didn't have to become part of the rocks, or part of any art installation.  All I wanted was for her to take me back--with the wind at my back, all the way to my apartment.  After you're giddy, you get to exhale.


  1. The people do often seem appropriate to the landscape and I have often been disappointed to return to a place years later to find that the people had changed and the interaction which they had once had and was gone had actually changed the place beyond recognition...

    It could be that cyclists are more sensitive to the environments which they travel through, landscape is not just a blur to us where we are part of it, right down to the beetle I missed by two inches yesterday...

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  3. Coline--It took me a long time to get out of the habit of returning to places in the hope of replicating experiences, or simply sensations. Most of the time, it's not possible, for the reasons you describe.

    I think you're also right about our sensitivity to the environments through which we pedal. I simply cannot imagine going to someplace where I've never been before and seeing it only through the windows of a car or tour bus.