Having just returned from Malaga today it is fresh in my mind. I have not been keeping up with the small stones every day of January, which are the terms of the small stone writing challenge. But I am thinking instead I am going to scatter small stones throughout the year, whenever I feel like it. I don’t want to set it in stone (haha) that I will do however many, I just want to write them spontaneously. I am lazy at mindfulness.
Typical small stone writing seems to me to interact with nature; although I like the way I’ve read some, and written my own, that interact with technology in this new fangled world. Martin Vosper’s small stones are classics of the nature genre, and I’ve taken it up with a bird inspired piece (you’ll notice technology persists in creeping in).
Small Stone: Seagulls
We’ve never seen so many seagulls fly at once. I have seen as many, if not more, pecking the playground free of crisps and crumbs when I was fourteen. They’d wait for us to herd inside and then descend. Their stiff winged bodies in threes and fours interrupting my flight up several layers of stone steps to Maths, chewing gum under feet and don’t touch the railings in case of spit or fresh-from-the-mouth Wrigleys. Ten years on and we have walked to the zenith of this hill. The seagulls wheelbarrow through the sky, turning unexpectedly and running up the blue ground, uninterrupted. The sky is the ground up here, there is so much of it.
They no longer seem as ugly, scavengers as I am used to think of them, nearly as annoying as pigeons, just as familiar. They are made strange in this moment and we want to capture it on camera, as we would a bird with red wings. As if they are now exotic, sought after, wanted; redeeming their hunting of the school yard scraps with this, the grace they must have always held. The lens is heavy as a gun and we cannot take the shot we want, that will keep this moment real.