The year is beginning nicely. The picture is one I took on the brief hike New Year’s Day. I love it when the air is as clear as this. The sky was incredibly blue, and the air was as still as a lazy Summer day in England, apart from scattered birdsong. It’s not often you can see the other islands so clearly. The closer one, to the right of the hill in the foreground is La Gomera, a wonderful quiet island with a slightly magical air to its forrests and mountains. To the left, further away, is Él Hierro, the smallest island, which I still haven’t visited, which is said to be the most peaceful, with wonderful marine life to be seen. Shame there wasn’t time that day to take a drive around our island and glimpse the others. La Palma and Gran Canaria can both be seen quite clearly on a day such as that.
Since working the 6th I am taking a short break. I need to take a breath, smell the roses and catch up on several things. I am taking the catching up easy. I made time to read, which I haven’t been doing for a while. I always fit in books in dribs and drabs, it’s a rare day I don’t read at all, but as for specifically making time for it? Well, I can’t remember the last time. To my delight, the book I chose had me hooked from the start, and I rediscovered that wonderful release of being totally lost in it, unaware of passing time, thirst or hunger. How marvellous to feel that way again!
And I promised to tell you about Baraka………it’s so hard to describe. In fact, the best explanation comes from the director in the extras at the end, when he calls it “A guided meditation”. When I heard that I gave a sharp intake of breath, because it did have on me the effect I expected mediation to have. I can’t meditate. I have tried and tried, but mostly I fall asleep, or my mind wanders and I can’t pull it back. The movie must have been around for a long time. I don’t want to say more than that there is an event in it which places it in time, a news story you will remember. Reason I don’t want to say more than that is because it would lose its impact if you see it. It is a documentary which lets the pictures tell the story. There is amazing music, and there are natural sounds, but no dialogue, no voiceover, no explanations of the stunningly beautiful scenes from nature, of the shattering pictures of the destruction man is causing to the planet, or of the telling scenes from everyday life in different parts of the globe. It is a photographic symphony, a record of the late 20th century, and a work of art. It takes your breath away one moment, and plunges you into the depths of despair the next. It sets your senses tingling, and soothes them at the same time. You might guess – I would highly recommend it to anyone.