Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Time Travel in Durham

Today is one of those days that feels as if the border between the Now and the Then has worn a little thin. You feel that if you let go, if you closed your eyes for an instant and lost your grip on the present, you could be sucked back into times gone by.

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Little things do it. Little timeless things, a visual prompt, an audible moment, a sensory pause in the shadow of Castle and Cathedral.

The scent of wild garlic on the riverbank by the mill, the moorhen seeking in the weeds, and the jay threatening the blackbird's nestlings. The gentle scrish scritch of someone edging the lawns of Palace Green by hand. A glimpse of a cobbled alley, or vennel, medieval stone buildings leaning in close. A shower of rain splat-dotting mellow stone flags near the North Bailey, while a black-clothed clergyman scurries for cover, his robes flapping around his legs. The arhythmic chip and ring of stonemasons at work.

Utterly magical.


At 6:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sigh. Your words are a seductive song of what was.

Living in my aggressively modern place, I love riding your descriptions to a beautiful world.


At 3:09 am, Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hi again Anna,
I do know what you mean. I've gone through episodes like this many-a-time. When something unpredictable triggers off a sharp memory pang with which to tickle the senses or simply to haunt.
It's like a phase - a guest that never rings or writes but is suddenly there at the doorstep.
With me, it's often the whiff of a scent or a song. Have a nice day.

At 4:23 pm, Anonymous Jewell said...

Ahhhhhhhhhh Anna

What a wonderful tapestry of words you wove. I wanted to jump through the internet line to reach that beautiful destination.

Here in the US, there's a different feel to our treasured places, diversified though they may be. Yes we have ancient canyons, and ancient civilizations to study, but I've always been found of castles myself. Tee hee

In my humble opinion, one destination in the US should not be missed if possible. Mount Rushmore. Pictures do no justice at all to that fabulous piece of work and its surroundings.

I'm am not as eloquent as you, so suffice it to say that many visitors become awestruck and find themselves spending much more time staring up at this incredible work of stone than their vacations alloted for.

Jewell (who really should be editing)


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