The past few weeks have been really hectic for me. I'm the kind of person that needs a lot of space around me, in all shapes and forms. That means that not only do I need a lot of solitude, I also need to have a schedule which allows me time on my own.
So I have to say, that the past few years have been a real challenge to me. As my workshop participant and friend Sam Blair said to me after a workshop on the isle of Eigg 'don't forget to take some time to recharge your own batteries. Put the camera down for 30-60 days, ride a bike across Scotland, train for a 10K, volunteer, prepare an outline for your book, whatever the hell it might be. We all need to recharge, particularly creative people'
I admit to that. I'm a social person (so the workshops are great fun), but I also need time to recharge, time to get enthusiastic about the future, time to get enthused about something.
So this week I'm home, and I haven't been anywhere near my office, because, quite frankly, I can't face it. I've not had a day or so to just be on my own, with time to absorb what I've witnessed over the past few weeks, and that has been quite remarkable.
Last week I was in Switzerland, and while I was there, I spent two mornings at viewpoints looking towards the Matterhorn.
The Matterhorn, has for me, always been a symbol of what an iconic mountain should look like. Paramount Pictures based their icon, i'm convinced, on the Matterhorn*. Maybe you can correct me, but I think the Paramount Pictures image is of no particular mountain, but what they consider an 'iconic mountain shape'.
Anyway, my good friend Sonja sent me this photo today of me sitting on a ledge, looking out towards the Matterhorn. I must say I was surprised at how small the mountain seemed. Scale, size, are all banished when looking at an object of massive proportions from a distance. It was hard to get a grasp on how big the mountain is. Maybe this is a symbolic reference, and something I should take heed of.
Sometimes, the things we do, the chance encounter, the people we meet, the passing conversation, or the images we capture, all have a meaning, much more powerful than we can grasp at the time of the exchange. We often don't have a sense of scale, of importance to current events, until we're at a distance, so that we can apply some form of enlightenment, otherwise known as hindsight.
* Wikipedia (a very reliable source, not), has this to say about the Paramount Pictures Mountain "According to some sources, the Paramount Pictures logo, known as Majestic Mountain, was modeled after Mount Ben Lomond. It is said that William W. Hodkinson, the founder of Paramount and a native of the Ogden area, initially drew the image on a napkin during a meeting in 1914".
Personally, I do find it interesting, the idea of an icon, and of objects, people, ideas, becoming more than what they are. Paramount pictures mountain, for me, has always symbolised what the perfect mountain should be. I believe, with all my heart, that the Matterhorn is as close to that ideology as anything could be.