Monday, 19 February 2018

Soothing things

Have been rather busy lately, which is why I haven't been here much. But today I felt in need of a bit of soothing, so instead of looking at emails or the news, I started to look through my photos. And they very quickly began to do the job - with a little help from William Wordsworth and John Masefield.

Here's the first. I took it one day last week, when I went for a walk round the reservoir. It was a beautiful afternoon: bright, cold and very windy. The picture is actually deceptive because it makes the water look calm - in fact, it was turbulent, full of restless energy: so much so that it seemed alive, prowling and predatory. It made me think of that bit from Wordsworth's Prelude - though, as I discovered when I looked it up, he was actually talking about a mountain, not a lake:

..............................................the huge Cliff
Rose up between me and the stars, and still,
With measur'd motion, like a living thing,
Strode after me.

And a little further on:

But huge and mighty Forms that do not live
Like living men mov'd slowly through my mind
By day and were the trouble of my dreams.

And here's the next: a picture of the Bristol harbourside.

I was heading towards the ss Great Britain, which has something fresh to see every time I go. But this, below, is an old favourite, not a new one: on the door of each cubicle in the loos is an extract from a poem to do with the sea. This is one. It seemed the perfect accompaniment to Bristol, as well as to Brunel's beautiful ship. And I like the last line, which says that by travelling, we may 'know the thoughts of men in other lands'. It's what we need, but often signally fail to do: to know the thoughts of others.

And finally a picture from the dear old hill, and one from the Avalon Marshes: and a final thought from Wordsworth's poem, Lines Written Above Tintern Abbey.

...........with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

Thank you, John and William.


  1. It can be lovely around that reservoir. I've photographed many beautiful sunsets, and cloud formations, looking west from there. One of my neighbours walked around it a few days ago, with the East wind ripping across. He said it was like the North Sea.

    As I read the latter part of 'The Ship', I contemplated the life of a sailor, reaching port, and heading for the nearest brothel. I guess that isn't quite what what John Masefield had in mind.