Day 5

18th August 2022 – 6pm – Thursday

Start: Bridge No. 3 – gentle weather, warm, not hot

The wind blows through

It’s a South, Southwest wind

Towards Lochrin Basin

The canal is rippling in the opposite direction

to yesterday

The wind has changed

It strikes me how held

in form this water is

how contained it is,

It is water held in a human made vessel

I touched the bottom tonight

It was thrilling!

Soft and squidgy

Warm

And not as long as my arm

Waved at the fishing

school boys from yesterday’s exchange

Nice to feel welcome and familiar

What is not familiar is the ability to

locate oneself in the city.

The canal feels straight but

actually bends

and weaves

“We seem to have travelled so far but have come no distance at all”

The words of someone travelling with me tonight

Space and time have altered themselves

The joggers and cyclists are linear

Speeding along

Beating the clock

And the boat rowers from the rowing club

They glide across the surface

of the water at breathtaking speed

Appearing effortless but

very effort-full

They are beautiful and soundless

I feel the contrast

between them

and the horses that

would once pull

the barges

And there is me

Slowly moving

Noticing

Fleeting moments

Slipping in and out of things

Responding

Moving with

Moving as

Fodder for the senses

Filled with experience

There are formal and informal entrances and exits

A new bridge sits alongside an old bridge

The former is flat and smooth and nothing grows there.

The latter rough and crumbly,

cut by hand and plants

sprout out from it

Down a banking to rusty railings

hooking down at

the railway line

The very railway line

that stole away the

life of the canal

Overtook

Tookover

The towpath is wilder now

There are trees to swing on

And berries to pick

And a wall that’s once been

A handmade dyke

Stepping stones remain

I jump from stone to stone

and balance where I can

Then tip and twirl

and land and find

another ancient stone

Who cares for this place

Tends it

Nurtures it

Cares about the future

and who is welcome here

If care is an action

Then action is a way to be

So be the change

Change time

Share space

Notice

Swing on the branch

of a tree

This is enough

and more than enough

Next – Friday 19th August 2022 – Start Bridge No. 4 – Meggetland – 3pm