More perambulations around the village where I live, collecting instances and pondering on what it is that I’m doing – in a positive way. A few days ago, at the height of the recent flooding, I set out to document the river crossings in the village, there are seven, two of which are difficult to discern covered and masked as they are by landowners extending their land boundaries if possible, one other is on private land. The river of course knows no such bounds and flows through much as it has done for a very long time, and at flood it masks the masks. It is this sort of narrative that flows through my meditations, and these instances of ephemeral light occupying spaces for a very short time, illuminating a place where things have or might have happened. I don’t feel ‘flaneurish’ in these walks, I know the area better now than any place I have ever lived, my sense of belonging here is stronger than I have ever felt before. I know some of the stories; this sense of place that I feel now steeped in, despite not having been born here, is nearly thirty years old and approaching half my life.
So I have a feeling that I am collecting stories, or probably better said, parts of stories; with these images. I know how wonderful and how sad some of these stories are, these places that light is shined into, illuminating a space that has born witness; what Fontcuberta defines as a ‘decisive place’. However I am conscious that this place where I live has untold stories and long forgotten stories; it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the village has families that have lived here for many generations. I’m not under any illusion that these excursions will uncover any new stories for me, but I want to suggest is that these stories are embedded in the core of the village, something about memory and landscape perhaps, but personal, more individual, about the lives of individuals, about the loves and losses of the people who lived and live still in this rural community.