Thursday, May 24, 2012
A matter of scale...
More and more I become aware that the attractiveness of Brittany's landscape to a great many people is a matter of scale. There are no extremes here, neither of terrain nor temperature, and the degree of comfort and security that confers is a major factor in connectedness. It is often the difference between feeling oneself within a landscape rather looking at it from the outside, which inevitably carries a degree of emotional detachment.
This may well be a matter of age - as we get older we start to seek peace from our surroundings, a reassurance relevant to our size and powers of endurance, rather than challenge or adventure or otherness. This is not a devaluation of experience, as our perception of significance is simply magnified in a smaller sphere.
Brittany’s highest ‘mountains’, the Monts d’Arrée, reach up less than 400 metres, the most towering cliffs near Plouha barely stand 100 metres above the sea. But these bald figures are quite irrelevant to impressiveness of the scenery, which is determined by context not comparison. These are magnificent settings in which to place ourselves.
So we can be ‘on top of the world’ on Mont-St-Michel-de-Brasparts or Menez Hom or ‘at the end of the earth’ at the Pointe de Corsen or the Pointe du Raz without becoming mountaineers or endurance hikers. And there we can feel our surroundings spectacular in a proportionate way to our own existence in the same world.