Time and Space

And the days are not full enough
And the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
Not shaking the grass

there’s been a bit of a rigmarole lately concerning a cyclist who got cut-up, then physically assaulted by a van driver – and captured it all on his helmet cam. it was all over the bbc and various other cycling blogs and websites. the original article is here.

the funny thing is, i’ve been thinking of getting a helmet camera recently, or modifying something and fixing it to the frame, but i’d be lying if i said it was linked to bad driving. i do encounter bad driving every single day. the problem is that the psycho driving the van is almost certainly a psycho in every other facet of his existence – if he even understood that he existed – it’s just that the effects of being a total nutjob are amplified considerably when driving a 6 ton white van.

anyway, the reason i want to get a helmet cam is to try and get some sort of sense of the progression of time and the seasons; i cycle throughout the year and through the ends of each day; currently dawn is creeping towards bristol, each morning it appears a bit earlier in the commute; and the evenings are lighter and longer by a minute a day. the weather changes throughout the week, and frequently the ride, redhill has its own microclimate where prevailing mist and fog casts a milky glow across the landscape, the lights hang suspended within the clouds as the thundering disembodied sound of aircraft tears through the fabric of the fog. i frequently see strange things, because of my uninsulated proximity to nature, my eyeline level with the tops of the hedgerows, like a pastoral flaneur – or more appositely, the edwardian figure of the tramp rewritten for two wheels;

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night

it is this i want to capture and share, the shadows of silent flocks of sheep, asleep in the half-light; the deer that stands motionless in iwood lane, the orange moon low in the sky, the sun rolling along the field boundaries, and the rich kaleidoscope of changing colour; when “as happens sometimes, a moment settles and hovers and remains for much more than a moment. and sound stops and movement stops for much, much more than a moment.”*

“Sudden and magnificent, the sun’s broad golden disc showed itself over the horizon facing them; and the first rays, shooting across the level water-meadows, took the animals full in the eyes and dazzled them. When they were able to look once more, the Vision had vanished, and the air was full of the carol of birds that hailed the dawn.”


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