Monday, 5 July 2010

strong winds

As I approached the shelter this morning in the cold, rain and wind, I expected to see some damage. So I wasn't too surprised to see that the fabric cover had torn away. The shelter looked like an unordered pile of sticks and stones. The walk has become more difficult. The long wet grass soaks through to knee-height. I was testing out the effectiveness of my 'off-road' sandals. They certainly grip when going up or down inclines, and give just enough support. They're not magic, however, and don't stop you from stubbing your toe on hidden stones, or getting stung by lone stalks of nettle lurking amongst the water-avens.

The walk may be getting more difficult, but there are new attractions to it. Some parts of the route seem to be positively exploding with wild flowers and herbs, and the deep purple orchids score well for lifting the spirits on a cold blustery morning. I was struck by the layering of colours and textures. Each species seems to fit in to a tightly-knit order, competing for light, space and pollinating insects, and struggling to stay in balance. I don't think I'm romantic about this since reading and getting a basic understanding of Lovelock's Gaia Theory and the DaisyWorld a couple of years'ago. Each time I use the word 'harmony', I could probably substitute the word 'homoeostasis'. I should apply it to my shelter as well. Each part relies on another part for it to remain a stable structure. The choices and decisions I made when building it determine how effective they are. My knowledge and experience is insufficient and didn't fully appreciate the strength of wind.

I repaired the shelter quite quickly. It was heartening to see how effective that weaving can be. It doesn't look very neat, which is something that dissatisfies me. I want it to display what it is that makes it strong and resilient, so I did a drawing of a detail that aimed to show that the opposing forces of contraction and expansion work together and create stability.
It was strangely reassuring to explore what what going on by drawing. However, my toes were becoming numb with cold, and after such a prolonged period of warm air, the wind felt cold through my shirt, so I left for home and a hot cup of coffee.

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