The other day I came across these lines, which I've since discovered are part of Tennyson's poem Ulysses;
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
Hopefully the untravell'd world won't turn out to be a graveyard, as in the photograph I took here just outside Stirling in Scotland. At least not just yet!
Poetry, is of course, often subjective and lends itself to different interpretation, so I'm loathe to suggest I have any expertise on the matter, but to me this (admittedly very small part of a longer poem) kind of alludes to the fact that our past experiences in life shape us but aren't the sum total of who we are because there are yet more experiences and adventures to be had. It reminded me of a song who's lyrics also had something of a profound effect on me when I first heard them. This time from Roy Harper's The Same Old Rock;
All along the ancient wastes the thin reflections spin
That gather up the times and tides at once we love within;
That builds the edges round the shrouds that cloud the setting sun
And carry us to other days and other days to one.
For as long as I can remember, way back into my childhood, I've been attracted to things that resonate with the past. Ancient landscapes, the ruins of castles, abbeys and monastery's, hillforts.....anything really that links back to those who have gone before, so I consider myself very lucky to live in the British Isle, which has so much of this kind of stuff on offer.
Photos such as this for example, which is part of the ruins of Netley Abbey just outside of Southampton;
or this, part of the ancient landscape of North Wales;
I do seem to like my teals and blue effects don't I? Trying for something with a little more colour though again sticking with a grunge effect, this is the fifteenth century Tu Hwnt i'r Bont in Wales, now a tea room owned by the National Trust.
The legacy of the past in places such as these still impacts on us in the modern world and I suspect will continue to do so long into the future. Maybe this was what old Tennyson was alluding to? For me, despite their often troubled past they are sources of, to quote yet another song, this time by Van Morrison, Haunts of Ancient Peace. I'm looking forward to discovering more as the year progresses.