Those of you who have read my book will have come across a namecheck in the foreword of a certain Kenneth White. White introduced the term Geopoetics, the meaning of which has informed both my writing and the way that I see the world for a long time-long before I had even heard of Geopoetics or knew what it meant.
Being an admirer of White’s poetry and his waybooks, this afternoon I was sat outside in what is perhaps the final ebb of summer, reading House Of Tides. This quote, of an old Japanese saying, stood out:
In youth a man plays with women, in middle age with the arts, and in old age with a garden.
I put it in context for myself.
Here I am: happily married; playing at being a poet; thinking about peas.
I saw this photograph on a local Facebook page. The photographer Carlo Fontanarosa gave me permission to share it.
It is taken from the old cemetery in my home town of Middleton, and the church is that of St.Leonard’s. Standing on the highest part of the town, it dominates the view both spiritually and geographically.
Part of the building dates back to Norman times, and it is built on the site of a wooden Saxon church. There is even speculation that there was a pagan religious site before this.
All those layers, but its greatest historic significance is that it is where I got married!
I love this shot, it has everything: history; place; wilderness; memories. And to cap it all, it is taken at dusk, my favourite part of the day.