Oxleas Woods

You can always find me there walking in slow motion… waterlogged in irascible compassion, a drowsiness throughout the frame: nowhere to go, no object of desire. The veins filled a moment, voluptuary beating, an image took my breath away. We are alone, and there is no fulfilment to desire, only it can be stunned and dulled while something else in us takes wing, feels better, turns if possible to affection, with relief. Lead in all the limbs. It is absurd this sense of immobility, one’s life essentially a standing still obscured by frantic motion. Standing still and slowly one’s body changes, matures and decays, and all around are similar slow events. And at times weighed on by a sense of it, knowledge, mesmerised by the stasis, uninformed wonder ending in extinction — how this recurrent sensation of truth parodies our imaging of a journey.

Despairing of truth and glory I am inclined to give myself over to the compensations of the passing moment, but this lifelong urge to be elsewhere — no matter how innate, how conditioned — is not so easily thrown off. So I find my satisfaction looking up, among these trees, we are at one, how solid and lively we are, a whole world around us, whole worlds belonging to us, different scenes we have lived among.  We all hold each other together, the presence caught for ever on shiny colour paper stops us floating off into space;  soothing, that jagged discomfort of existence is almost lulled away. This sense of surrender, of helpless passivity, a Pagan state of mind harmonises with my erratic journey over dim terrain in fog, maybe lost after all, or constantly re-crossing our tracks; at best, a spiral.

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