Saturday, 6 November 2021

Lusset Glen. Old Kilpatrick to Bowling Walk. Canal Reflections. Beauty is my Muse.

                                                ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN

  I set out one glorious autumnal morning, at the very dawn of the day, for Old Kilpatrick, the village that stopped the Roman Empire in its tracks. It was a magical setting in a precious jewel of current existence- diamond sharp, crisp and clear. Too good to miss. The sort of morning where you believe anything is possible and that all is right in the world.

A large ship passed silently under the Erskine Bridge when I arrived as if sliding through a forest in dream state and it is moments like this that keep me going out- they inspire me with the thought that wondrous events or auspicious meetings might well occur- and on days like this... they often do. 

Lusset Glen. I was alone... but did not want to be on this particular occasion... as it was so fair a morning it should be shared with someone else.

Then,  by the canal, I saw her lying.... submerged.... cold and remote under a liquid sky.  Where Millais, the painter, had left her.     As Above- So Below....

 It was a day where anything could happen... and... with some imagination... maybe it did.

Her grey lifeless eyes stared up at me.... but animation and colour grew within them slowly the longer I looked.

 "Arise Damsel and take your rightful place as ' Queen of Water'.... you are badly needed now- like never before. Walk with me on this perfect morning. Feel the sun on your skin again at last. Taste clean air in your lungs.'

 And she did.... for  'Beauty' is my muse and always has been.... throughout my long, long life.

 Together... hand in dripping hand... we enjoyed the day.

And what a day it was... a morning plucked from Eden... fresh and completely still.

 Mirror images everywhere... as my lady dried her flaxen hair on a nearby bench.... which soon turned to gold under the warming sun above.

 Old Kilpatrick Church on the Forth and Clyde Canal.

 Old Kilpatrick. Hills, woods, and village church. 

 Erskine Bridge and The Saltings. Far from the Madding Crowd.

Old mooring wall. The wild River Clyde.

Dumbarton Rock from the Clyde Estuary mud flats.

 'Thank you for rescuing me.' she said. ' Not many have attempted it before. Funny that?'

  ' You are very welcome.' I replied. 'As you rescued me also on this fine day.'

 'It is most opportune.' she agreed.

The day passed slowly into afternoon and the harbour at Bowling reminded her of a life before that famous stream set her in immortal amber for all time.


 "Oh yes, this is much better than that desperate bleak ending"... she said, delighted by her sudden change in circumstance. "What a lovely place. Who are you.... to work such magic?"

"I am Narcissus." I replied. " We have an established bond, you and I - each fixed in time and collective memory through liquid surface."

 Eventually the afternoon wore on... and as the sun lost its warmth quickly at this time of year we began to think of other things.

"I do not want to go back under that black water."  she muttered sadly. " so cold there... and very lonely."

"I do not live far away." I informed her. "and I have a spare bedroom that might suit a guest."

 She brightened at this and a smile slowly began.  "Well, you wouldn't want to save me for nothing now, would you? Do you have a fire, some cheese, bread....  and some mead?"

'As a matter of fact I do'.  I nodded.

"Well then".... she replied.


The time for reflection was now over it seemed.







Carol said...

Looks a nice day out and lovely weather. Nice to see calm waters - pretty rare here!

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Carol.
When it does happen it is always special. Just lucky I was in the right place at the right time to do the reflections justice. Bowling is a pretty location at any time of year then I had the idea of twinning Narcissus with Ophelia through water/ponds, with which they are both eternally associated and have some fun with it.

Rosemary said...

I think that I might have caught a glimpse of Ophelia too, but could have been The Lady of Shalott?

blueskyscotland said...

You are right Rosemary. I wasn't aware of the Waterhouse painting, sitting in a boat, but that's a similar theme involving mirrors. I would not be surprised if Tolkien's Galadriel and her mirror came from that source as that seems obvious now.

Andy said...

Beautiful still morning with reflections both real and illusory! Always seems odd to have a canal running parallel to a major river artery

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Andy,
The canal does join the River Clyde at Bowling. At one time the river was exceptionally busy with large ships exported to every corner of the world, including some that took up the whole width of the river. like the QE2 so maybe they thought having canal boats in the upper stretch would have been too dangerous for them. The old water workhouses, The Clyde Puffers, operated out of Bowling where the river is wider and they were sea going, delivering coal, timber, and general supplies throughout the west coast Highlands and Islands. As depicted in Para Handy, The Maggie, and Young Adam- three films worth watching for a visual look at a way of life on the water long gone but not forgotten.