standing still

jul-20 | #ettrick #philiphaugh #selkirk
#midsummer #earlymorning #artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingasartisticpractice

“Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.”

Minor White | 1908-1976


rhythm of walking

jul-20 | #ettrick #philiphaugh #selkirk #multipleexposure
#midsummer #lateevening #artistswhowalk #artistswhowander #walkingasartisticpractice

“The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it. A new thought often seems like a feature of the landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were travelling rather than making.”

Wanderlust, A History of Walking | Rebecca Solnit



jun-20 | #alleanforest #strathtummel #perthshire
mid-summer, early-afternoon, solstice

Exploring the ruined ring fort that served as a homestead and lookout point for a family of Picts who lived here more than a thousand years ago, on the day before archeologists announce the discovery of a neolithic circle of deep shafts near Stonehenge. Constructed 4,500 years ago, they describe the find as a ‘masterpiece of engineering’ and that it provides evidence that these ancient peoples had ‘developed a way to count’.

Surely we are ready to rethink our assessment of how these incredible structures were actually built and of the people who created them? There is some hope in the words of Dr Richard Bates, St Andrew’s University who acknowledged: “Yet again, the use of a multidisciplinary effort with remote sensing and careful sampling is giving us an insight to the past that shows an even more complex society than we could ever imagine. Clearly sophisticated practices demonstrate that the people were so in tune with natural events to an extent that we can barely conceive in the modern world we live in today.”

When you stand within the structure created at Allean – which is situated on surely the most perfect plateau on the whole of Strathtummel – how could anyone think these people didn’t know exactly what they were doing when they chose to make their home here?



apr-20 | #corbielinn #philiphaugh #selkirk
mid-spring, early-morning, staying safe, remembering to breathe

On the day
when the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.

And when your eyes 
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the curach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O’Donahue, Anam Cara


the inner citadel

dec-19 | #corbenic #poetrypath #dunkeld #perthshire
mid-winter, late-afternoon, walking the path

“eventually all of us
should adventure
down into ourselves
when the living and loving
has quietened
we should take the journey
into the dark interior
down, down, down
past Aladdin’s cave
and the vivid stars
to find the core
the inner citadel
it is always there, in everyone

Margaret Gillies Brown, Of Rowans and Pearl, Argyll Publishing 2000


september seasons

sep-19 | #longphilipburn #corbielynn #philiphaugh
mid-autumn, early-afternoon, first signs of seasonal change

“September has come, it is hers
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fireplace.
So I give her this month and the next
Though the whole of my year should be hers who has rendered already
So many of its days intolerable or perplexed
But so many more so happy.
Who has left a scent on my life, and left my walls
Dancing over and over with her shadow
Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
And all of London littered with remembered kisses.”

Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


time to wake up

sep-19 | #gretathunberg #climatestrike #fridaysforfuture
mid-autumn, early-afternoon #lochfreuchie #glenquaich #weneedtosavethis #now

“Please save your praise. We don’t want it. Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it because it doesn’t lead to anything.

“I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is. In fact I have many dreams. But this is the year 2019. This is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up. This is the moment in history when we need to be wide awake. And yes, we need dreams, we can not live without dreams. But there’s a time and place for everything. And dreams can not stand in the way of telling it like it is. And yet, wherever I go I seem to be surrounded by fairytales. Business leaders, elected officials all across the political spectrum spending their time making up and telling bedtime stories that soothe us, that make us go back to sleep. These are ‘feel-good’ stories about how we are going to fix everything. How wonderful everything is going to be when we have ‘solved’ everything. But the problem we are facing is not that we lack the ability to dream, or to imagine a better world. The problem now is that we need to wake up.”

US Congressional Hearing – Voices Leading the Next Generation on the Global Climate Crisis | Greta Thunberg


another option

sep-19 | #inmygarden #foxfield #selkirk
early-autumn, early-evening, grown from seed, poppies in full flower

“Women have another option. They can aspire to be wise, not merely nice; to be competent, not merely helpful; to be strong, not merely graceful; to be ambitious for themselves, not merely for themselves in relation to men and children. They can let themselves age naturally and without embarrassment, actively protesting and disobeying the conventions that stem from this society’s double standard about aging. Instead of being girls, girls as long as possible, who then age humiliatingly into middle-aged women, they can become women much earlier – and remain active adults, enjoying the long, erotic career of which women are capable, far longer. Women should allow their faces to show the lives they have lived. Women should tell the truth.”

The Double Standard of Ageing | Susan Sontag


your wild and precious life

aug-19 | #inmygarden #foxfield #selkirk
early-autumn, early-evening, love-in-a-mist grown from seed, in full flower

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

The Summer Day | Mary Oliver



the delicate air of twilight

aug-19 | #onmywalk #erochty #perthshire
early-autumn, late-afternoon, visiting the extraordinarily evocative and atmospheric #donaldsdam in a hidden corner of the #highlands

“When I cross again the bridge that is really the steers’ fence, the wind has thinned to the delicate air of twilight; it crumples the water’s skin. I watch the running sheets of light raised on the creek’s surface. The sight has the appeal of the purely passive, like the racing of light under clouds on a field, the beautiful dream at the moment of being dreamed. The breeze is the merest puff, but you yourself sail headlong and breathless under the gale force of the spirit.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek | Annie Dillard




the clarity of water

july-19 | #longphilipburn #corbielynn #philiphaugh #selkirk #fairypool
mid-summer, mid-afternoon, continuing to play with a wide aperture and a fast shutter speed

“The clear water was at our knees, then at our thighs. How clear it was only this walking into it could reveal. To look through it was to discover its own properties. What we saw under the water had a sharper clarity than what we saw through air. We waded on into the brightness, and the width of the water increased, as it always does when one is on or in it, so that the loch no longer seemed narrow, but the far side was a long way off. Then I looked down; and at my feet there opened a gulf of brightness so profound that the mind stopped. We were standing on the edge of a shelf that ran some yards into the loch before plunging down to the pit that is the true bottom. And through that inordinate clearness we saw to the depth of the pit. So limpid was it that every stone was clear.

“I motioned to my companion, who was a step behind, and she came, and glanced as I had down the submerged precipice. Then we looked into each other’s eyes, and again into the pit. There was nothing that seemed worth saying. My spirit was as naked as my body. It was one of the most defenceless moments of my life.”

The Living Mountain | Nan Shepherd


i go to the water

july-19 | #longphilipburn #philiphaugh #selkirk #fairypool
mid-summer, midday, playing with a wide aperture and a fast shutter speed

“If the day is fine, any walk will do; it all looks good. Water in particular looks its best, reflecting blue sky in the flat, and chopping it into gravelled shallows and white chute and foam in the riffles. On a dark day, or a hazy one, everything’s washed out and lacklustre but the water. It carries its own lights. I set out for the railroad tracks, for the hill the flocks fly over, for the woods where the white mare lives. But I go to the water.”

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek | Annie Dillard