Filed under: Inspirations
Eighty year old Agnes Varda walks backwards through her incredible life revisiting places and people.
Another little film made with my mobile phone attempting to catch a moment on the beach at sunset. I kind of forgot I was filming and started to sing out loud to the music on my headphones so I made it part of the film.
I am always travelling these days and what I’ve discovered is that many things, although seemingly different and far away, are essentially the same. A plane is a plane is a plane. An apartment, whether in London or New York, furnished or empty, is where you lay your head. Friends on both sides of the Atlantic meet in the same restaurants, stand in the same streets at Halloween with only slightly older kids, love and complain on the same levels about more or less the same issues over many years.
So why travel? And why stay still? Because it is our perception of ourselves and our surroundings that changes. And that is both deeply unreliable as a way of measuring time and progress and also oddly the only thing we have. That and our conversations with the place itself and with the people we love in it.
To constantly travel and never arrive is as challenging as standing in one space forever. To ‘settle for something’ is seen as an admission of failure but it is, well, unsettling – to not know where you stand in the world.
I see great bravery in your face looking at the camera, and so am inspired to be brave myself, and keep travelling.
With love, Em xxx
Emma Lindley is a friend and filmmaker. She is currently directing the TV series ‘In Search of Food’ for Ovation TV in the USA and teaches at the Met Film School.
My friend Tommy who is the postman and ranger here on Knoydart told me a while ago about his dad Mac who has been taking pictures of the same gate every Monday for the last twenty years and Mac has kindly sent me some of his pictures. I think they are quite beautiful.
Friend, Eigg dweller, talented poet and fellow wood tiger Ailidh Morrison responded with this . . .
It is as if, time had not passed
Nor moved your face from mine
Though thundering waves denote a different season passing
As yet I am still
Inside our time
Rain wreaks havoc on a muddied window pane
Yet my sunwarmed skin
shines beneath the layers of woollen comfort
olfactory senses seek out the bright tinge of green leaves
as wind blasted debris fly by my sight
Illusionary this ‘passing’ of time
for I am still everyday my Self
you are still everyday your Self
External images collated from optic to nerves to sight to truth?
A pumping beating organ staccatos thoughts on you and I
red rouged the re-living of our synchronistic beat
how foolish to think at all,
in terms of minutes hours and days
When heartbeats tell truthful tales of a real time
dancing always in arms held ready
easily succumbing to an inner metronome
of conjoined experience
for time is not linear but held now in all planes
the possibilities of everywhen
rhythmically creating our days.
I have been filming in exactly the same place, at exactly the same time every day for exactly five months now. It feels like so much has happened in that time, but it has also gone quickly. The platform has aged significantly, the varnish has worn off and today it was covered in ice. In a few weeks I will be filming in near darkness. But the speed at which the light has changing has noticeably slowed down and I have started to adjust to a winter routine.
So, the last month hasn’t been the easiest (I think I say that every month!). I realised that I had slipped into fighting this project and it was making me unhappy. I got caught up with ideas of the things I was missing out on, a fantasy life not being led of time spent with friends, visiting places and having conversations, rather than just enjoying the reality of being here in this beautiful place enjoying the time with people who live here too.
The gap between fantasy and reality is an interesting place. Sometimes it feels like that’s where I live balancing on the edge between the two. It’s a place of telling stories and dreaming up new ideas, of escape and magic but it’s a dangerous place to get lost in. It is the deep dark woods of fairy tales. . . you don’t want to spend too long there on your own after dark. In fact you don’t want to spend too long there on your own at your desk. Fantasies can eat you up. And here, in internetland, is the best realm of all for merging fantasy and reality.
So, the healthiest thing to do is to bring them out into the light, name them as such and use them in some way.
I remembered a year ago I was fantasising about making this film. Literally fantasising. I hadn’t moved into this house (where I film in front of) or put in a funding bid but I imagined myself filming every day in the spot where I do and spending the rest of my time going out and make little film poems about nature, which I haven’t done so much of. I didn’t imagine the project would be quite as hard in the way it is (an imploding inside your own head kind of hard). And I didn’t imagine I would spent so much of this time at my desk writing, which has been brilliant.
I have just finished a proposal for a new feature film and the response so far has been more exciting than anything I could have imagined. So I am going to keep dreaming stuff up and allow myself to drift sometimes into the depths forest, but under strict self -supervision and am going to stay away from the fantasies about all the good times I am having in some paralell universe which I think I am missing out on.
I guess that’s another aspect of time moving on; sometimes we dwell on the past and other times we enjoy the moment or look forward to the possibilities ahead. Our mood changes how quickly that time passes. Why does it have to pass so quickly when we’re enjoying life?
The other thing that strikes me is that this film covers a whole year, with the tides rising and falling, the seasons changing and the daylight lengthening and shortening; it’s a long time. Then I look at the mountains and the loch in the background, carved out by glacial ice over 10,000 years ago. I wonder what that view looked like before the ice age. Now that’s a timelapse sequence I’d like to see. I can’t share that with you but here’s a little timelapse sequence I took of night falling over Inverie, the location of your film.