I sat and watched a group of children walk up these steps that led to the summit of a mountain. A girl at the tail end stopped and stared at the steps. A man in black was perched, like a raven wearing shades, on a rock a little further up. He tried to tempt the girl up the steps, to ascend and reach the peak, the pinnacle of her life. But she just stood and waited and watched as people came down the steps. She looked closely at them and a look of trepidation came over her face. The people coming down were not the friends she knew but were old people.
The man in black tempted her again saying,
‘You can see the whole world from up there, the whole of life, everything you could wish for, it’s just up there.’
She kept standing and watched as more old people came down, now she was puzzled and became confused, her friends had not come back down.
‘Go and see the world.’ The man-raven said.
The girl just stood and put her hands together and thought, then said back,
‘I don’t want to see the whole world or my whole life now because when I come back down I’ll be old too.’
The wind whipped up great dark clouds, blowing them over the hills. They spread and stretch over the low tide, sky reflecting beach. Rain drops fell heavy, sparse, with splat on my face and I rushed running across the shore. I looked back to see following footprints in that storm brew sky, then pushed on and came across a painter sat on a box.
He worked paint, slash and stoke, curling oil hairs over the scene. He wore a hat on his head and a wet proof boiler suit with wellies on his feet. I knew the beach and the look of the sky and recognised the colour of storm.
‘There’s bad weather coming in.’ I told him, ‘it’s going to lash it down.’
‘I know.’ He said. Then looked at me and recognise surprise, turned back and began painting again, having to catch now and then the easel and canvas, acting like sail. The wind got stronger and he raised his head into it, full face, feeling the cold wet fresh of the rain.
Then he held that look, filled the brush with oil and painted, transfering what he felt.
Then said. ‘Without the feeling, you just can’t, can’t find the heart of a thing.’
I captured, then left him there.