Sometimes its hard to know how to start these posts. I can be full of great words, long phrases about this and that that I want to say, but when it comes down to actually typing away, its easier just to let the images speak for themselves.
I like this place, I like it a lot. I like how it is slower, even though doing anything involves travelling over huge distances. I quite like the fact that interconnectivity is both important to the islanders, but also somewhat haphazard.
Most of all, I like the fact it is so bloody far away. You can’t fly there unless in a little wire and dope propeller driven thing with a pilot called Biggles. Unless you are heading for Harris, Lewis or Uist you don’t pass through it en-route to another destination, and if you have an aversion to being eaten alive or drowning above water it is definitely a place to miss.
Not that place for rowdy nights out ( although did attend the island cèilidh a couple of years ago that was mad! ) or all inclusive all you can drink holidays.
No, this is a hard place, the hob nailed boots of the vacation world if you like.
But to see it as that is to miss out on what it actually is. A place of intense beauty, where the islanders work hard, yet are prisoners to no man. A place of weather, yip thats a given!
What it most is, for me at any rate, is sanctuary.
Things changed for me too, I stopped chimping, I started looking and I started to shoot with medium format film too. I didn’t look at the images on the dSLR until I loaded them up today, so it was not unlike times long gone where it could be months before you saw what you had failed to take. My photography went backwards to some extent, and that gave me freedom to enjoy the places with both eyes for a change, and I liked the depth I saw the world in. I liked how I fitted into it. Maybe its what the comfort blanket islands were there for, to give me space to see properly.
Not sure what will happen going forward with my photography, but I know that this approach is one that suits me better.
Tonight, I’ll raise a glass of the water of life to Skye, indeed to Tiree, Orkney, Harris and Lewis. To the Llyn Peninsula, The Gower and the far reaches of Cornwall. All linked by the view to the West, of the setting sun, and of the promise of a new start.
And I will be looking forward to tomorrow, to now and to yesterday, and seeing the excitement that exists outside the world we are told to live in.
Thank you, Eilean a’ Cheò, for giving me back my smile…