Walking with Henry David Thoreau in mind and a "prayer" of Heidegger's in my heart

Once again this week I was staying at my parents' house in Ramsey, Essex as my father is seriously ill in hospital. Such times are, for every family, difficult. Every person deals with this differently but I deal with them best by walking or cycling. As I mentioned in a post from last week my folks live very close to the River Stour and so every morning and evening, before and after my mum, sister, niece and I visited dad, I went for a walk in Copperas Wood. Walking in a wood is a timeless activity - by which I mean for the most part you would not be able to distinguish any difference between the walk you were currently making and a walk made at almost any previous time (except of course differences in season). In my own imagination the paradigmatic walker in woods was Henry David Thoreau who lived and worked during the early days of photography. Thanks to modern technology, today one can reproduce (rather ironically) old photographic techniques with relative ease and, what with Thoreau very much in my mind, I came home one evening and processed a few pictures from the morning walk in homage to that early period of photography. It was at one level, perhaps, a pointless exercise but the walk was wonderfully restorative and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it reflected back to me in a way that seemed viscerally to connect me to the times of dear HDT. Copperas Wood is, of course, not Walden Wood but, if Walden is understood not as a place but more of a state of mind, then maybe it is. Anyway the walking, thinking and the taking of photographs all helped me get through those days with a measure of Epicurean ataraxia. Below are some of those photos.

Also in my heart whilst walking in the woods was what can only be described as some prayer-like words of Heidegger's which, over the past couple of months, have been of increasing help to me:

"May world in its worlding be the nearest of all nearing that nears, as it brings the truth of Being near to [our] essence, and so gives [us] to belong to the disclosing bringing-to-pass that is a bringing into its own." 

(From the essay The Turning in The Question Concerning Technology p. 49)

And, lastly, a faux-Cyanotype of some very late-appearing wood anemones (anemone nemorosa)


Yewtree said…
Sorry to hear about your dad.

I love the faux-Victorian woodland photos.

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