…I am part of where I think I am…
…because I surround myself…
…with the environment I want…
…in order to protect the image…
…of myself I have made.
THE INFINITE HIGHWAY
If one always returns to where one came from,
then one’s destination is halfway between where
one came from and where one is going to.
HALFWAY TO INFINITY
Every step along the infinite highway is simultaneously
an equal distance between an infinite future
and an infinite past, that is, it is halfway to and from infinity.
EQUAL PARTS OF INFINITY
To find the halfway point of any distance,
one first splits the distance into equal parts then,
when the number of equal parts remaining is equal
to those that have passed one has one’s halfway point.
The equal parts of infinity, however, are all infinite.
Infinity is the only thing that can be split into… infinities.
This is known as counting the for evers of forever.
Reflecting upon all this it appears…
‘The Ancient of Days’
Is a good poetic name for infinity.
THE INFINITE HOTEL
A Traveller approaches the Infinite Hotel and asks The Ancient of Days for a room.
Now, there are an infinite number of rooms in the Infinite Hotel, however, the Traveller is informed by the Ancient of Days that all the rooms in the Infinite Hotel are taken.
Q: How does the Traveller get a room in the Infinite Hotel ?
A: The Ancient of Days asks the occupants of Room 1 to move into Room 2 and the occupants of Room 2 to move into Room 3…and so on… and on… Infinitely, thus making room for the Traveller.
At any one time in the Infinite Hotel then, there will be any number of people on the corridors moving from one room to the next, and this number will be dependent on how many Travellers are seeking a room in the Infinite Hotel…
All the rooms in the Infinite Hotel have a name…
All the rooms in the Infinite Hotel have the same name…
The name of all the rooms in the Infinite Hotel is ‘After-Life’.
All the corridors in the Infinite Hotel have a name…
All the corridors in the Infinite Hotel have the same name…
The name of all the corridors in the Infinite Hotel is ‘Life’.
The occupants of each room in the Infinite Hotel have names…
The occupants in the room before yours are called ‘Parents’
The occupants in the room after yours are called ‘Children.’
The act of moving from room to corridor is called ‘Birth’.
The act of moving from corridor to room is called ‘Death’.
‘Life Duration’ in the Infinite Hotel can be defined as,
the amount of time spent in the corridor
before moving into the next room…
…If Tee’s study was the hub of intelligence, then Miss Hunnyfludd’s office, which comprised no more than a hastily compromised ante-chamber to its plush superior, was the heart…
Thomas Welch was currently making himself at home in the heart of operations and musing about his latest exploits in the name of service…
It was not, upon reflection, the most distinguished of performances from our number one agent.
“They’re already referring to it as The Big Stone Head Affair, Tommy,” said Hunnyfludd disarmingly.
“Oh, they are, are they, Hunnyfludd, and who, precisely, might I ask, are ‘they’?” Welch smiled sardonically and raised a secretly famous eyebrow.
“Why, those in the know, of course, Tommy, those in the know,” smiled back Hunnyfludd, equally sardonically for she enjoyed their little contretemps.
“Then we await with baited breath to see what The Moon will make of it, something infinitely cruder and more…
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The Grand-Father Clock, tock…tock…tocked reassuringly in the corner of the oak panelled study.
Through the window to one side the ancient time piece’s Big Brother could be discerned dominating the metropolitan sky-line…
Tee, was wilfully oblivious of the time.
He deliberately shuffled the pile of predominantly red and black images on his large teak writing desk for the third time and shifted uneasily in his racing green, leather upholstered, swivel chair.
Then he snorted…
It was the snort of a man determined to do something, somehow, anyhow, about whatever it was that currently irked him.
Tee snorted again, “Not in this day and age, Carstairs!”
Carstairs hovered about the edges of the large teak writing desk, diligently, attentively, but non the wiser as to the immediate source of Tee’s irritation.
“No, Sir?” he squeaked inquisitively.
One of the predominantly red and black photographic images slid across the writing desk…
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Which translates, ‘Ivan’s Village’ but was also formerly known as, ‘Arthur’s Quoit’.
Another ‘quoit’, and only a few miles away from the last one.
This seems, if anything, a little unimaginative.
Or, alternatively, it could signal a connection between the two sites.
The more obvious visual parallels though are with our first site, Carreg Samson.
Seen from one angle Pentre Ifan now frames the distant peak of Carningli (Hill of Angels) and like St Samson’s stone the upper ridge of its Cap follows closely the contours of the terrain which has always dominated its horizon.
We have been moving deeper into the country on our three-fold quest and the sites have become increasingly populace.
We met no one at the first site but at the second, we were hurried on our way by a couple of visitors as though we were holding up play on a golf course.
Here, we pass an entourage on the way in and on our way out we are replaced by another one.
The conveyor belt effect…
True to the form in which we have cast these sketches we are over heating by this point in the proceedings.
Still, we have just come from a long climb up a big hill on a very hot day and the surrounding recumbents prove more than a tad adequate as baking stones.
It is perhaps just as well.
By paying too much attention to the stones one can start to become a trifle uncomfortable in quite a different sense.
For one thing, it becomes abundantly apparent that the central stone is not a support stone at all.
Not a support stone?
Quite definitely not.
But if it is not a support stone then what is it doing there, what is it, and why does it have claws?
Stone claws, or perhaps talons, which are firmly rooted in, not to say sprouting from, the earth?
Well, that is true, but even so…
Maybe, whatever it is, is pointing the way.
Pointing the way to what and where?
To Ivan’s Village.
Whatever that means?
Ivan is Ian… is Jan, and Janus, the god-form of portals, is two-faced and looks both ways. In and out, up and down, before and after, here and there.
Ivan’s Village is Janus’ place!
Well, it is one aspect of Janus’ face, or Jane’s, certainly.
All of which means, we are still no nearer to an answer…
The symbolic preoccupation of all these structures seems to be with Headlands, (end of the land and start of the sea) or Mountain peaks (end of the land and start of the sky). And by extension with islands which is land situated in the sea, and also with birds which are beings that fly in the sky.
In other words the builders of these structures are concerned with thresholds and what lies beyond those thresholds in the domains which they bound. The analogy always involves the natural environment which is then related to their, and hence to our, own experience.
So, it is not so much from here to eternity but rather from here to our apparently limited horizons and then on beyond them…
Which may very well be an eternity or if not, then at least, an endless round.
And that is just the formal symbolism of the structures, without consideration of the precise geometries of their situation…
Despite the conveyor belt effect we still get time enough to do what is needed.
And we conclude our ‘…Prayer’ with a little chanting.
Because that’s the way…
we like it.
You think that will have gone unnoticed?
Quite possibly not.
“…Manifest thy light for my regeneration, and let the breadth, height, fullness and crown
of the solar radiance appear, and may the light within shine forth!”
Abbe de Villars, ‘The Comte de Gabalis’
“We’ve just got to the top of the slope by the castle,” said the voice on the phone, in answer to my query. We had been a few minutes late arriving on Holy Island, and our companions had begun to stroll out towards the medieval castle that dominates the island landscape. Having failed to find them in any of the three cafés where we had looked, we had located them by phone and, putting on a bit of a spurt, finally caught up with them. From here we could look back at the beginning of our journey, over the water to Bamburgh Castle, just as the spiritual pilgrim looks back on his inner journey and sees with…
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For practical purposes they are like elephants and flowing water.
They follow the shortest, flatest path to wherever they are going, and en route the jagged edges first get smoothed and then get worn away.
In this particular case we are on the path to understanding…
‘Standing Stones of the Druids’
‘STANding sTONes of the DRUids’
There are a number of ‘Stantons’ in England with an attendant ancient site, and for a long time these places were associated with Druids although we now know that they were around a lot earlier than the period normally associated with those infamous ‘Old-Time-Sages’.
This ‘fella’, could easily be a druid, although he could just as easily be a she, in which case one would be tempted to call her a witch.
It is the first stone that greets you at the site.
If you look closely at the first photograph you can see some of the other stones lurking in the background.
On our first visit to this site we were struck by how utterly ‘other’ the stones appeared in relation to their environment.