At Longniddry Bents, the teeth of the sea gnawing the horizon’s blues. Seven days on from dad’s death, I walk this unfamiliar shoreline unsure how I should feel, and frayed at the meniscus of making-do.
i.m. James Lavelle, 1934-2022 Longniddry, East Lothian, 19 September 2022
Still bent to make some port he knows not where, Still standing for some false impossible shore. And sterner comes the roar Of sea and wind; and through the deepening gloom Fainter and fainter wreck and helmsman loom, And he too disappears, and comes no more.
Matthew Arnold, excerpt from A Summer Night (1852)
These photographs were taken on a walk with Murdo Eason in Leith on 13 July 2019, a million lifetimes ago.
A dead puffin on the path to the shore, steep. It’s a dry kind of moment in this unreal autumn, not knowing whether to mourn or be curious about the colours.
The shingle, a shell’s span of time: the brittle crunch beneath my feet. One tiny boat, handmade, handpainted, LV426 run aground on a driftwood trunk, another further on, a steamboat, its painted funnel an exclamation in black, in red, faint shout across the sound to a safer haven.
Edinburgh, October 2020 (Following a walk to the beach at Eagle Rock)