At Cass

The greens are different up here. Not as toxicly bright, but older and wiser, like wrinkled skin that remembers more than its wearer would like it to. The stones are smaller, massed in packs so they flow like iron filings to a magnet, drawn toward the valley floor where they splay out like toes testing their footprint in damp sand. Grain by grain they are ‘ making land’.

The greens are tired, but it is all a matter of comparison. Just as the most spritely pensioner at bingo is ‘the young one’, set against the lino cut mountains these hues are life, undisputedly. The green is the child in the valley, the quiet one who has ‘been on this planet before’, you can tell by the eyes. Here the mountains guard, protective, like parents with children on the cusp of adolescence. They hover, pretending to be otherwise occupied, tending to their mantles of snow that allow them to go incognito against the pensive sky.

We come here to this valley and palette and bring our own stories, want to know where, why, how? Does the grass know what it feels like to be greener? Do the pebbles ever yearn for their perch way up close to the sky? Made of incredibly squashed and incredibly dead algae carcasses, the castle rock sandstones are in fact a massive sea floor graveyard. Do they remember the sound of the waves?

Why is it that the very first urge I had was to personify the landscape? No shaking of hands, no presenting a particular side of oneself to another. This was a one sided introduction. Much as the words signify elements in the surroundings, they are mirrors and an introduction to the writer, the personifier. The one who wonders about wrinkled skin will develop crowsfeet, will paddle in many oceans, may even play bingo one day if she makes it that far. She will meet ‘old souls’, wear a cloak of her own.

And the grass? It will keep growing, oblivious to its pigment and the deficiencies perceived through other-eyes.

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