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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Snakes or vegetation?

It's important to know the difference out on the Pointe de Primel, but not so easy in the crypt of Lanmeur church.
This has been a good working day, spent on the north coast in the Finisterien Trégor, researching route and sights for my Saints Shore Way project. Nothing I haven't seen before, but what weather to enjoy it in!
A pleasant lunch-time interlude at St-Jean-du-Doigt with Tex running his little legs off on the beach once I'd finished more sombre moments in the church. The finger was not on show today.