The Art of Life & Death

Island of Hoy – by Patrick Craigie

On Sept 8th 2015 during the making of Total Eclipse my brother in law Alan Craigie died. He was a beautiful man who I was lucky enough to be close to. Alan’s photography particularly of his beloved Orkney revealed details and textures barely perceptible to most of us. He was determined to stay alive for as long as possible and requested support medically to remain here under any circumstances – maybe to hear the voices of his children, wife and simply the sounds of the world. A world that he viewed and captured in such exquisite detail.

The evening before scattering Alan’s ashes at his favourite place – Rackwick Bay on the island of Hoy, a huge clear rainbow appeared over the sea; one end in Orkney where his father originates, the other settling in Hoy, Alan’s final destination .

For Alan

A hand opens, a map, time frontiers

Years and years

Raindrops pause, diverted

Wavering traces, the sun comes, a rainbow haze

Uncertainty begins again

Eyes glide, the arc of life

Intangible beauty, no real matter, no place

A hand closes, no map

The frontier

Total Eclipse ………the final stages

Exploring different losses in life, within ourselves, between us, transitory and ultimate ones; alongside the reality in our lives of other bereavements and the journeys of those struggling to stay in the world…for as long as they possibly can…

Lily is convinced that the suffering she experiences around the loss of her mum is all just part of a bigger transformation… that she has crafted herself that’s not about loss at all ……otherwise what would be the point?

She deflects uncertainty by looking out to the cosmos, away from ordinariness, rhythm and what is inevitable in life.

Paco polarises to the other extreme, his gaze held by things in close proximity to the picnic box, comforted by his chair and the tangibility of everything.

Polarising – what happens if the position that we hold consciously or otherwise; all that it drives, all that it serves to defend against, in it’s deceptive clarity ……just doesn’t work out in the end…..?

Does grief shine a light on our investment in these places and their ultimate frailty?

A light so expansive it insists on including the other polarity – the part that has been jettisoned away?

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