The vastness of summer



The lady who tweets these pics does so only occasionally and I’ve lost her details to attribute – should have done it at the time – I’ll keep my eye out and next time she does, I’ll come back here and fill it in.

The picture above, to me, has a lot of summer Russia to it – it’s not unlike a Shiskin painting, always leading somewhere:

It is very much a large, continental place, rather than our little island, though both have beauty.  In that top picture, beyond the flowers in the foreground is the field and then, between two trees, are possibilities out there, particularly nautical ones.

I certainly have this island mentality but the sense of continental vastness and our place in it also calls.  One place we can see our island mentality is at Hebden Bridge where, in a quite large valley, nevertheless, up that winding road, people have built little boxes to live in, perched on the hillside and beside the boxes are sub-compact car-sized spaces for parking two cars – that’s it, no more and no inches to spare.

The American equivalent would be sprawling ranch houses – bit difficult on a hill such as at Hebden Bridge but they’d do it via cantilever most like.

It’s definitely a mental set.  We could both fly into Bali – you from a continental country and me from here and we’d see the place through different eyes.  I don’t mean just our differences as people, I mean something in the soul – one expansive and the other contained, regulated, hedgerow orderly.

Some scenes uplift, some depress

The second picture is so like the approach road to the lake my gf and I used to walk down, her in her dainty summer gossamer florals and flip-flops, me in polo tee, shorts and boat shoes and so the Shishkin painting uplifts.  There is something “endless summer” about it all.

In American terms:

Only problem is – it ain’t me, nosirree, as Woody Allen might say. I can appreciate it as a guest, I can feel at one with someone for whom that continental thing is in her soul, I’ve experienced enough of it to be part of it but dawdling along that track in that 40 degree [hundred and something] heat, she with the expansive heart, I’m instead seeking out that shady tree, that little corner which we can call our own, to even erect some sort of low barrier around to keep others out.

But that’s not to say insular, no sir, not in the least. My eye is always on that lake in the picture at the top of the post, it’s always on that far hill and on the woman beside me or who is not beside me anymore.

Meanwhile, these eyes now blink and here I am back in this box – a very nice box to be sure but still a box – and I’m about to go out into the world of hedgerows and sudden thunderstorms.

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3 comments for “The vastness of summer

  1. The Blocked Dwarf
    May 27, 2018 at 11:03

    *isn’t really in the mood to admire the scenery of this not-so-little Island (8th largest on the planet last time i checked Wiki) nor of the Continent, after the events -and yes I am also referring to that which dare not speak its name- of yesterday*

  2. dearieme
    May 27, 2018 at 18:05

    When did artists learn to paint trees so well that you can recognise the species?

    (I’m not for a moment suggesting that that first painting is in that class.)

  3. May 27, 2018 at 18:12

    If you mean Shishkin – the 1890s.

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