Seeing Beyond

Saturday 22nd of July 2023
Hadrian's Wall

I haven’t posted a blog on here for quite some while.  I’ll explain why at the end of this piece.  This was actually written about six months ago, but I am only now going ahead and posting it.

I want to say something about walls.  When we first developed the Vision Cards, we were trying to think of a picture to appear on the “Obstacles” card.  In the first version of the cards, we used a rather brutal close-up of a brick wall.  (In the later version this evolved into the photograph of Hadrian’s Wall also used above).

Recently, I’ve been thinking more about walls which run parallel to our tracks rather than across them (intriguingly, the Hadrian’s Wall image combined both of these, although I don’t think I fully realised this at the time).

These walls offer structure, but they may also have a sense of constriction.  There are aspects of vision-making which can seem like that.  In order to offer a service to the community, we tend to need a venue.  In organising an event, we may have to plan well ahead in order to publicise it at the right time.  It can take time to network and make the contacts which enable us to find the people who will be attracted by what we are putting on.  Sometimes we become aware of skills which are necessary but which we know we personally don’t possess and it can take further effort to find the best people to involve.

Tonight I was watching an architecture programme on TV.  One of the buildings featured had an interesting combination of how walls were used.  Sometimes they involved quite narrow passages or staircases.  At other times there were corridors with large panes of glass on either side looking out onto gardens or which drew in light in other ways.  The “cosier” areas would open out into larger spaces.

One of the aspects of vison-making which has always been very striking to me but seems to hit me even harder over time is that there are times of intense focus when it is easy to lose connection with either the fire of the original vision or a more down-to-earth sense of what you are actually trying to achieve.  Another way of expressing this would be getting bogged down in detail or not being able to see the wood for the trees.

It seems to me at those points that connecting (or re-connecting) with the “larger spaces” can help us not to “lose the plot”, even if there are delays or frustrations when having to put certain arrangements in place before we can reach our goal.  Going back to the wood and the trees, another way of seeing these more open spaces could be that they resemble clearings in woods.  There is an almost instinctive desire to stop in such a space, look up at the sky and possibly take in a 360 degree view.  Whilst we are among trees, we tend to look forwards, especially if there is an avenue of trees funnelling our line of sight.  (There may also be times when we realise that structures can actually block something of bringing vision to fruition, but I’ll write about that separately).

I’d just like to return briefly to what I’ve been doing since I last posted something on Trees by Water.  The most recent blogs on Trees by Water have focused on ecological issues.  I set out in late 2022 to try and find an online venue where I could make blogs on these themes accessible to more people.  However, I’ve ended up back on Trees by Water.

Over the past eighteen months, I’ve been continuing to reflect on ecological issues.  Some of that has involved writing stories where ecological themes surface.  Also, although I haven’t posted on Trees by Water, I have been organising my thoughts in ways that reflect some aspects of how I have written posts here.  I have been using the image of the Hopeful Globe. 

The globe reminds me of that over-arching sense of vision.  Somehow that lends itself to the sense of curve and completeness, rather different from a normal wall.  Hope is very much about the outflowing of the vision, seeing practical and positive results.  The practical is especially important when it comes to the natural world, grounding in the literal as well as metaphorical sense.

I’m hoping at the same time as continuing along that road to re-focus more specifically on ideas and experience around vision on this particular site, but also to carry on writing about some aspects of the natural world, including in stories as well as blogs.