Something had happened when we decided to approach the strange village by walking along the beach and coming to it via the old but grand harbour, with its mighty blocks and sea-gates. It was only later that we realised that what we had, inadvertently, photographed in the far distance was the focus of the whole story.
You could relate it to one of my favourite Gurdjieffian pastimes: stopping the world. This technique requires a degree of stealth and an ability not to be embarrassed by the unusual – and your part in it! Stuart and I once caused such a moment of presence by each turning around in a cafe and facing the opposite way (outwards). We were not trying to be irritating, just to do something usual. The people we were sharing the cafe with took it in good part and assumed we were doing something humourous, possibly for a bet.
On that day we stopped after a few seconds; we had no desire to prolong it, simply to create the experience, good-naturedly, as an extension of the serious conversation we were having.
There is something about the silence generated that tells you you’ve got it right. It doesn’t have to be in public, but there’s something about that arena that generates a feeling that something else is watching…
Continue reading: Bright in the dark: endeavour and the lighthouse (3) – The Silent Eye