Haunts Of Ancient Peace

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The goal isn’t the pictures… it isn’t even to make the pictures. The photographs just happen and are a by-product of what I am really doing.

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But what exactly is that? I don’t know that I can adequately explain it. I suppose in a certain sense my pictures tell that story, but I think sometimes the audience tends to fixate on the picture itself, the artefact or object, and not the underlying reasons for that image’s existence. I don’t think I share images because I want to share the image. In a weird way I don’t really care about the picture. It is far less important to me than why I made the picture, and I suppose that is what I try to share when I share images. It is also why I am never quite comfortable accepting praise regarding the images I make. I appreciate the thoughts behind it, but it feels like it either misses the point that was driving me, or subverts the meaning of what I was doing slightly. If that makes any sense. There is something deeply spiritual for me when I stand there in ancient woods. I can talk about it, or write about it (as these are natural things to want to do when something moves you on such a level) but one of the other forms of communication I am effective at is photography, so it is also natural for me to want to communicate via imagery. The photograph is just the vehicle. But if you were to linger a bit more on the spiritual aspect of it, I could comment that the photograph is an idol of sorts, and the worship of an idol versus that larger entity which the idol represents… Yes, I know, it is all a bit out there and weird to describe it this way, but at the moment they are the best words I have to describe something whose description has long eluded me. I am not critical of enjoying a photograph, but at the same time I am aware that there is something much better worth admiring above and beyond that photograph. At least that is how I feel when it comes to my photographs.

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These are the days, the time is now

There is no past, there’s only future

There’s only here, there’s only now

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Ragged Glory

As mesmerising as the Mont is at a distance, and trust me, it is completely entrancing even from afar, Susan and I were eager to head closer to it. So that is where you and I are heading now.

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Mont Saint-Michel is currently connected to land via a dry causeway, which is causing all sorts of problems, namely the fact that it is changing Saint-Michel from an island to mainland as silt builds up on one side of the causeway and cannot be washed away by the tides.

The causeway itself is roughly a kilometre long. There are buses that trundle along it every few minutes transporting visitors, but we preferred the walk on the other side of the canal. Getting to know Mont Saint-Michel step by step was an enjoyable process. And it is something else to see it grow steadily in front of you as you get closer and closer; there is certainly more gravitas to it than zipping up in a bus crammed full of tourists smashed up against the windows with camera phones out and the reflected backwash of flash lighting everything up. Although, that is an experience of its own.

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Especially on a misty afternoon like this though, with only two other individuals to share the road with and this beautiful and famed abbey rising slowly in front of you, it wasn’t hard to imagine the experience of past pilgrims to this site. Though I think my journey was a drier one.

To state the obvious, France is a land of fairy tales. Walking under the Eiffel Tower. See Mont Saint-Michel rise out of the fog above the tidal plains for the first time. Running your hands along the many rough, ruined stone walls. I am thankful that such places exist. Even more amazing that they were built by people. But I guess when you think about it, in one sense or another, all the best fairy tales are created by people. We create the stories that we make appearances in.

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And as a new year starts for me and with it new stories, that I’ll share some moments from this particularly lovely fairy tale of a trip that was momentous and fleeting all at the same time.

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Like Dean Moriarty’s ghost I came in quest of secret knowledge
in the winter of my journey to a crumbling Granite college .
I saw three crosses pierce the sky above that distant hill
the sky burned red as I turned my head and I left that scene behind
I took another god to be my guide, the one inside
our destinies entwined

http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Veiled Longings

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I believe we all have a longing that one day we would like to live somewhere, have a house somewhere.

I believe that’s a longing for something inside; there is a place inside where that serenity exists.

Safe and sound with yourself. It is something I long for and I am working towards it in the most practical way possible.

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I looked back and glimpsed the outline of a boy
His life of sorrows now collapsing into joy.

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Good Hair Day

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Finally made it to the local hairdresser. What a drive. Through woods bathed in autumn glow, past abandoned cottages, ever deeper into the forest, until you arrive at Johns house. I captured him on Ferrania film which is waiting to be developed.

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Meanwhile here are a couple of images to enjoy.

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Vernon Sinclair with the curly red hair
Breaks into Trinity church on a dare
Where the pastor hides a camera
To capture the rapture the day that it comes

Vernon gets afraid and runs

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And as we play out these parts in the relative dark
They hand you a script
And then they pick you apart
Memorise all your lines
But the most you can hope to be an extra
If they let you

All the while you felt so alone
And you were not alone…
You’re never alone

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/

Smile

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Floating in the void
Between there and back

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It’s all bright in front
And it’s all dark behind
Living for the now that’s in between the bridges and the signs
And getting there is still a long way to go
While others dream and wish
This is everything officially I need to know
Happy, boy you bet I am
Holding on to this smile for just as long as I can

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http://www.berndkugow.photos/