This week GC and SueW have chosen the following as the theme for their challenge.
For this week’s challenge Susan and I would like you to give us your take on the matter of boundaries.
Well we all now appear to be continuing our lives within the new boundaries that have been set for us. Those of you who follow my blog know that at the start of our present situation, I did sort of wax lyrical, about boundaries, so here is a link to one of those posts.
We live in an age where the lack of physical movement is of no boundary to our visual imagery, the internet, television, our photographic archives all allow us to see those spaces to which we cannot travel at the present time.
But perhaps this has always been the case, I can hear the ancient stones, that I am so fond of visiting calling to me. I close my eyes, and I am once again transported across time and space to their location, perhaps you can do the same. Or perhaps in viewing the photograph below, in the reading of these words, it brings our consciousnesses a little closer.
Is this how the ancients felt?
So we are in lock-down, yet my blog page is being visited more than ever, are we all sat at home looking for something to do. And thus, while there are physical boundaries between us, the virtual boundaries, usually policed by a lack of time, have been broken down.
Boundaries can protect us, and in the case of the stones below, one of the boundaries evident in this photo, the very visual and physical one, is there to ‘protect’ the stones, to keep them from damage, and if you know anything about the kings men, this is indeed a concern. Do these railings stop me from enjoying the stones? Well maybe a little, do our present boundaries stop me from enjoying my usual life? “Well maybe a little”, but we adapt, we move forward.
What of the other boundaries evident in the photo below, the farmers fields, the horizon, and even the stones themselves, all physical boundaries, but ones which we can navigate.
Some people see these ancient sites as markers of the ancient peoples’ boundaries, perhaps inter-visibility between sites and the natural landscape marked out ownership, rights of way, power of one form or another! Stones such as these still exert a force in the modern landscape, can still exert their boundaries, why else do we visit, examine, cogitate on their purpose!
And so although surrounded on all sides at present by boundaries to our physical movement, from the comfort of perhaps your own homes, you have walked with me to these stones. As I have rambled on, perhaps for too long, we find ourselves in this virtual, liminal space, stood looking at these stones. Perhaps we can at this moment reflect on some of the good that can come from the situation we find ourselves in, perhaps we do not need to go back to all of our old ways, and perhaps, just perhaps, we can break down some of the boundaries that lie between us. The power to enact change does indeed lie within our hands, and in our voices.
“Rise up stick, and stand still stone,
For King of England thou shalt be none;
As Long Compton thou ne’er didst see
Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be”
You can go here to learn more about these stones, the archaeology, history, legends, and how the king and his men were turned from flesh to stone by a witch: https://www.rollrightstones.co.uk/