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Work's been intense, but I took a break and met wakanomori for lunch, and we read a little from this book, The Old Ways, by Robert MacFarlane, and there was this passage:

The way-marking of old paths is an esoteric lore of its own, involving cairns, grey wethers, sarsens, hoarstones, longstones, milestones, cromlechs and other guide-signs. On boggy ares of Dartmoor, fragments of white china clay were placed to show safe paths at twilight, like Hansel and Gretel's pebble trail. (p. 15, italics mine)

May you find your glimmering twilight path.

Dartmoor (Source: Dartmoor Hail and Sunbeams, southdownswalking.com.)


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2016 12:56 am (UTC)
Oh my gosh. I love that book. I have been through it a couple of times. Robin Sachs read the audiobook version.
Mar. 11th, 2016 01:08 am (UTC)
Wow!! It's totally new to me! I'm enjoying it very much.
Mar. 11th, 2016 02:34 am (UTC)
I should have thought of you instantly.
Mar. 11th, 2016 07:22 am (UTC)
Robin Sachs read the audiobook version.

I should listen to that. Thank you for letting me know it exists!
Mar. 11th, 2016 01:23 am (UTC)
This makes me very happy. Words and photo both.
Mar. 11th, 2016 04:56 am (UTC)
Yay! I'm glad.
Mar. 11th, 2016 02:35 am (UTC)
What a beautiful passage--and a gorgeous photo!
Mar. 11th, 2016 04:58 am (UTC)
The passage makes me want to see a path marked out that way--and yes, doesn't Dartmoor look beautiful.
Mar. 11th, 2016 03:50 am (UTC)
That's gorgeous imagery for the path. I've always thought trail markers - even the kind painted on trees at nature centers - were magical. There's a certain power in looking for the next one, not knowing if you were really going the right way in between the markers.
Mar. 11th, 2016 04:59 am (UTC)
I agree!
Mar. 11th, 2016 05:37 am (UTC)
I realized I've been delighting in your beautiful posts without actually replying for awhile. I feel like I should give you a jar of hearts or stars or something for all the times I would have clicked "like" if that were an LJ feature.
Mar. 11th, 2016 12:21 pm (UTC)
I really wish LJ would add a like button. I know it seems like succumbing to low involvement, but sometimes low involvement is exactly the right involvement! I'd use it too if they had it.

(And honestly truly: you're *very welcome* to read without commenting--I do it too. Not to make myself the measuring stick or anything; just to say I understand that position from the inside.)
Mar. 11th, 2016 07:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is something that FB really got right. As much as I enjoy the wandering conversations in LJ, there are times when I just want a low-energy way to add my support.
Mar. 11th, 2016 07:21 am (UTC)
May you find your glimmering twilight path.

I love that book so much. Thank you for the accompanying photo. I am so glad you are reading it.
Mar. 11th, 2016 12:22 pm (UTC)
I am not surprised in the least that you know it and love it! I almost never read nonfiction for pleasure; this book shows me what I've been missing.
Mar. 11th, 2016 07:38 am (UTC)
Could you make the picture smaller and then link to the full size? It is twice the size of my screen and makes all the other entries on my FP go super wide and I have to scroll back and forth to see them. Thanks, if you can. Great picture, by the way.
Mar. 11th, 2016 12:25 pm (UTC)
I was worried it might be doing that! Thank you for letting me know. It didn't show up as a problem on my own page or when I tried testing it by looking at a my page through a random friends' view--but when I've been getting email notifications of people's comments, it's looked mega huge. It should be much smaller now--how does it seem?
Mar. 11th, 2016 04:19 pm (UTC)
<a href="http://www.example">LINK</a>
It's pretty small now. I think you can make it up to about 800 mp wide ( or about 6 - 8 inches wide, and that will work for most people who have this problem. That is the size that most of the photo communities recommend not to go above.

If you use photobucket, you can make a large size image and a smaller image. Post the small image in LJ using the HTML in the title of this comment with the small image as the LINK and the larger image between the " ". Then people can click on the small image to see the large one in a new window... or just create a link to the larger image below the small one, or post the address of the larger image so people can click on it. The large image was stunning, it's a shame we can't see it anymore.

HTML doesn't work in the title of LJ entries, only in the body of entries or comments. That's why I put it in the title bar, so it won't change or disappear. Thanks for changing the size.
Mar. 11th, 2016 08:06 am (UTC)
I love that book.

Dartmoor is so bleak and featureless - it must have been a great comfort to see the next splash of white clay ahead in the twilight.

Mar. 11th, 2016 12:28 pm (UTC)
When you go searching for pictures of Dartmoor on Google images, you get a lot of very dramatic sky scapes! That, and pictures featuring the aforementioned hoarstones.
Mar. 11th, 2016 10:44 am (UTC)
One of my all time favourite places. :o)
Mar. 11th, 2016 12:29 pm (UTC)
Have you ever seen any of these paths MacFarlane mentions? Or maybe they're not around anymore?
Mar. 11th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
I've certainly seem some of the longstones and sarsens out on the Moor.
Mar. 11th, 2016 07:32 pm (UTC)
It's interesting that, as city dwellers, it's almost possible to live now without caring whether it is night or day, when once it could have literally been life and death. I wonder how universal the marking were though, and if travellers needed to learn the local sign-lore in each place they came to.
Mar. 13th, 2016 07:21 am (UTC)
I wonder how universal the marking were though, ...

I wondered this, too.
Mar. 13th, 2016 11:12 am (UTC)
I wonder if they still have them, anywhere,
Mar. 13th, 2016 11:12 am (UTC)
I've thought about that too--not so much the life-and-death aspect, but just the fact of asserting our will over something as basic as light and darkness, day and night. It's clear that we gain a whole lot by doing that, but we lose things, too. I've thought that about our asserting our will over climatic things, too. Two of the three places I've lived in Japan had no central heating, and the house we lived in in England didn't, either. It's not that there was no way of being warm in the winter: there were space heaters and of course sweaters etc. But the ambient temperature was much, much colder in the winter. You drank lots of hot drinks and soups. And you felt it with your whole body when spring slowly came on--it was wonderful. The feeling of connection to the world, of being not-separate from the mud, grass, trees, air, was just noticeably stronger.

But to get back to the life-and-death thing, yeah! This land is deadly to those who can't read the signs. Quite literally.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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