Saturday, 7 June 2008

Like a runaway tattoo

Walking on a pink gravel track alongside the overflowing tarn, watching puddles cloud beneath our feet, we headed for the crooked trees. We hissed and shushed our cagouled way to a distant ferocious calligraphy of dark branches. I felt cold jewels of rain creep inside my cuffs. We carried sketchbooks and ink and I watched the edges of my pristine pages stain and curl, worried about the bottle of ink in my trouser pocket - imagined one leg gradually turning matt black, softly edged in blue, like a runaway tattoo.

Under old oaks, we searched for twigs to use as dip pens. We leaned on old stones eyed with lichen and I watched as those twigs seemed to begin their own drawings across the page. The ink ran away with the raindrops and they flooded with pleasure. And somehow, my pages captured the gnarled trees, the tiny carpets of lichen, the stony earth that still smelled of cattle, the shroud of mist that held us all in a strangely muted world, the snap and scratch of twig, and the little percussion of it's catching and spluttering recorded in the Morse code of ink.