Sunday, February 4, 2007

Day 15 : Bath to Old Sodbury

Monday 29th January 2007

Distance Walked: 18.2 miles
Start Time: 10:13
End Time: 15:39
Elapsed Time: 5:26
Weather: Overcast but mild again.
Distance walked so far: 300.5 miles

All art is an attempt to capture and convey our experiences to others. We present our interpretations in order to articulate our emotions about events, in whichever medium is most relevant: painting or dance or words or music or stories or photography. For some, the urge to capture each moment in which they live is so overwhelming that they risk removing themselves from those things in which they are ostensibly participating in order to attempt to absorb every nuance. They are detached, almost unknowingly. Alone in a crowd. Sadly, I think that I am one of those people.

The loss of a camera for today’s walking is such a mortifying catastrophe that I even consider having a rest day to charge the battery of the new model that I’m forced to purchase when the shops open. I’m not sure if this is self-validation (“this really did happen”) or self-aggrandisement (“see what I have done”) or merely just a natural desire to communicate. Why experience anything if it cannot effectively be captured and shared? Sadly, I leave Bath and its many sights behind, with two unusable cameras failing to record the moment.


I quite fancied the idea, if I ever had a baby, of taking a snapshot of my child, once every year or six months throughout it's entire life, with both the child and the camera placed in a set position. The child would be surrounded by objects that were special to it at that moment in time, and also surrounded by loved ones (parents during the early years, and then girlfriends/boyfriends, spouse, children of it's own, etc). After my death the child would continue the project, recording an image of itself every six months until death. The resulting collected set of images could be played in order to illustrate, in time-lapse fashion, the entire life of one person. Would it tell the viewer anything about the subject? Perhaps. If each image was on screen for only a second then the entire display would last no more than three minutes. A pop video of a human life, 70+ years in the making.


Thus far, whilst the funnel of Devon and Cornwall was being negotiated, there had been limited choices regarding the End-to-End route, but now the guts of England were waiting for exploration. Whilst there are many acknowledged options, there is no official route from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The couple I met on the way to Glastonbury had spent 80 days on their walk, travelling up the east coast. An alternative is to head towards Wales and the Offa’s Dyke path. For now, I stick with McCloy and follow the Cotswold Way as it winds out of the city, past the Royal Crescent and up into the villages on the Cotswold Edge. My determination to go in as straight a line as possible is challenged at every turn, as the Way guides the walker in loops of increasing perplexity, but at least the signposts are clear and the views rewarding. My memory of them may be less permanent than any photograph but, for today, will have to suffice.

Song of the day:

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Carry On”

The sky is clearing /
And the night has gone out
The sun, he come /
And the world is all full of light
Rejoice, Rejoice /
We have no choice /
But to carry on

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