English Woodlands

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                 Woodlands near Woodchurch (c)Stewart Weir 2015

So far its been a 5 year journey of photographing English woodlands and trees. This image was taken in the rain in private woodlands close to the village of Woodchurch in Kent. Like most personal projects I work on they dont seem to have an end in sight, rather they stop and start depending on my mood. I guess it’s something that afflicts all creative types … the stopping and starting, the feeling of enough is enough and then you wake up several days, weeks or months later and think NO, I’ve not finished yet …

I Wonder

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I Wonder (c) Stewart Weir 2012

Today I woke reminded of the seconds that pass as you lay there not quite awake and not quite asleep. Remembering dreams and not quite remembering others in a mush of mind chatter. Peicing together fragments and working out whether it’s relevant to my life or just the mind amusing itself with it’s own private soap show. So I wake and get that first coffee and the dreams become less real and more fragmented whilst other fragments remain as if they really happened yesterday. I’m going to add them to all of my other dream fragments that ‘really’ happened to me once upon a time.

I walked on gravestones, watched water flow in a cold Scottish loch with surfers in the far distance riding small but perfectly formed waves. I kissed a girl from my past from long ago and she smiled and said nothing. I rode a bicycle along a dusty path and saw where I wanted to go in the distance, then she was there again by my side but I went off down the hill and she turned and smiled again as I called out to her and as I did I felt love for everything, at peace and a forward momentum to somewhere I don’t know.

Last night I watched the documentary film Searching For Sugarman and I’m still thinking about the story of Sixto Rodriguez this morning. It’s had an impact but for now I’m still working it out. Iv’e found his music and will dig deep into what he had to say. I guess this is my point. We are forever working things out and yet for some like Sixto they appear to have it worked out. Wide awake to the world, spiritually gifted, humble and incredibly talented and even though he never became as big as he may have, he still gave with his heart for no material gain other than for his soul to be enriched by doing things his way and for others. He is the epitome of acceptance of how life goes… for better or worse.

So the seconds as they tick by every day give us many opportunities and chances to go this way or that. Left, right, yes or no to do or not to do. The image above is to me the choices we make today and the branches we choose to travel whether we like it or not… enforced or self imposed. We know this but how often do we really think about each fraction of time that passes us by to make that whole hour, day and year? Do we accept and are we humble in a way that Sixto teaches?

Image and words (c) Stewart Weir 2014

Reflection

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Ealing, London (c) Stewart Weir 2012

 “You can’t see yourself. You know what you look like because of mirrors and photographs, but out there in the world, as you move among your fellow human beings, whether strangers or friends or the most intimate beloveds, your own face is invisible to you. You can see other parts of yourself, arms and legs, hands and feet, shoulders and torso, but only from the front, nothing of the back except the backs of your legs if you twist them into the right position, but not your face, never your face, and in the end – at least as far as others are concerned – your face is who you are, the essential fact of your identity. Passports do not contain pictures of hands and feet. Even you, who have lived inside your body for sixty-four years now, would probably be unable to recognize your foot in an isolated photograph of that foot, not to speak of your ear, or your elbow, or one of your eyes in close-up. All so familiar to you in the context of the whole, but utterly anonymous when taken piece by piece. We are all aliens to ourselves, and if we have any sense of who we are, it is only because we live inside the eyes of others.” – ― Paul Auster, Winter Journal