Day 2 of the challenge and I’m cheating. This one was taken a while ago. On the other hand, this is where I actually am… and I hope the weather is as good.
We… the Silent Eye and friends… are playing out in Avebury and the surrounding countryside. This is one of our informal workshops, unstructured in many ways, where we explore and follow whatever song the moment sings. We spend so much of our daily lives tied to necessity and schedule, from taking out the dog to work and meals. These weekends follow no such plan and largely ignore any other clock than the impulsion of intuition.
The first stones of the circles of Avebury date back, it is thought, around 5,000 years. No-one, of course, knows exactly what they were built for, though theories abound from the driest scientific to the most oddball ideas. My own opinion is that man would not have gone to all that effort, working together for so long and using the most primitive of tools, unless they saw the work as being hugely important. It certainly isn’t purely defensive; though the deep ditch and rampart around the outer circle would undoubtedly have been able to serve in that manner. It would have also made a perfect amphitheatre for watching what went on within the stones. The Avenue that guards a processional way across the fields, lined with enormous uprights was probably, I think, more than just a road. And I’m fairly sure there can be no comfortably domestic explanation for the great pyramid of Silbury Hill… similar in size to the pyramids of Giza and yet made entirely of earth and stone that was once mirrored in the ‘moat’ below. And this is without the vast scale of the surounding landscape, with so many connecting sites and burials….
Today there is a village built entirely within the circle of stones, a pub… a church… tea shops and tourists…but there is something more, something that radiates from earth and stone and which defies any attempt to dismiss it. It is a very special place… and for the next few days, I will be calling this landscape home.