Trapped in time

The weather has been pretty wild and there is more forecast to come. I came out one morning last week and the platform was covered in seaweed and pebbles so I have taken to hanging kitchen weights off the tripod in a pair of pink socks on windy days. A very girls own way to secure ones film equipment!

It is very easy to feel trapped on Knoydart when the weather is like this. Many of the boats are cancelled even if you did have the perverse desire to leave the house let alone go out to sea.

It struck me today that this film might be an expression of feeling trapped as much as it is the cause. When I showed the test film at Glasgow short film festival last January the first response was that I appeared trapped in the frame. I didn’t think too much of it, but looking at many of the pictures now I wonder whether the whole project is an attempt to articulate a sense of being trapped that goes beyond spending five years on a remote Scottish peninsular. After all, I came here to escape.

Do most people feel trapped? It is easy to feel trapped by work, routine, commitment, lack of time, responsibility, trapped like Groundhog Day, on the London underground again and again and again.  When I lived in London the only way I coped was to image myself part of a large musical set on the London transport system – and I’m not the only person to have had this fantasy.

I was going to boil this down to a clever argument about how in the modern world we are given an idea of time, freedom and youth as a luxury to aspire to.  But that, as I am learning quite profoundly right now, the best way to feel trapped is to get an idea in your head of a freedom that you are not having. And yes it’s a pain but routine, commitment, responsibility, time management and aging are just a part of life. As many an octogenarian millionaire dabbling in cryogenics soon discovers you can’t actually buy time. So maybe this is why we all feel trapped because we are sold an idea of freedom that is really quite childlike of permanent holidays with no responsibilities that none of us can attain.

But there is more to it than that and this is the bit I struggle to articulate and maybe why I am a film maker and not a writer (if I can call myself either). Because one has to balance having a sense of perspective with the knowledge that every now and then one does experience something akin to a sensation of freedom possibly beyond time and ones self, that has nothing to do with ideas of society and modern living and what we are sold and what we are not, and that can maybe only be achieved by being fully in the moment, and even then I’m not sure how.

But once you’ve tasted it, it’s hard not to keep chasing those moments. Because we are all trapped in some ways, in ourselves, in this life, because this is the only time we are going to get.

Or maybe all of this rainy weather is just giving me the opportunity to think far too much . . .


One response to “Trapped in time”

  1. It is very important to pursue those times of being fully in the moment. It sounds as if you are describing what the positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called ‘flow’ – something that is experienced when we are doing what we are good at doing. We become fully immersed in the moment, and cease to notice time passing. It is at these moments that people are at their happiest. Csikszentmihalyi’s work can be found in ‘Flow: The Psychology of Happiness: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness’.

    Mum x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: