The structure of one day in at Duncan of Jordanstone listening to inspiring presentations and then two days of field trips to immerse oneself in a variety of chosen Scottish places and then coming back together for a final day of reflections was a potent and powerful mix on my imagination, combined with staying with Khalid and spending time with him and Kev, Harriet and Esme for yet another version of invisible Scotland, was sheer delight.
The first field trip, revisiting some of the sites we visited on our earlier field trip to Dundee with PLaCE – the dove cot and souterrain, and also standing stones. The moment that feels most moving and intimate was Arthur Watson standing in the fields that led down to the Tay talking of picking raspberries in former days and singing two travellers songs. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up linking back to memories of older farming practices and a cultural history forever changed by different Eastern european migrant workers now working teh continual harvest of poly tunnel covered soft fruit plants.
I started the second field trip with Richard De Marco writing – I carry the absent ones on this labyrinthine journey. I kept connecting to a deep sadness, a waiting, a yearning to weep. the yearning continued travelling to Inchcolm but not getting off the boat. Observing an almost accident, prompted by a momentary loss of attention and awareness, Gina provided rescue remedy for the boat crew to deal with the shock and a small blond girl wailed as the shock reverberated.
I let myself fall under the De Marco spell, such energy and passion and fire – I’d like to have that at 83, I’d like that now, though maybe I do! I was touched that he respond so positively to my response to his question – What did you get from the day? – that I was gong to make something about love and remembering.
All good impetus to make a contribution to the Invisible Scotland Book.