How to articulate a space, how to give it a name? Always it is a question of time passing; and no sooner have you said something or committed it to print than the meaning modifies, even if the thought behind it is only a minute, a second old... already it will have accrued a thousand changes, each scarcely perceptible, to make it other. How then to write history, how then to chronicle the places which, for all their capacity to move, to irritate us, are already moving beyond us as clouds pass beyond the horizon, dissolving into nothingness? The present stretches before us: the so many red tiledroofs and gas-adapted chimneys, and the lives that go on beneath them holding so many secrets that even to begin to chronicle them will be fruitless. Already the suggestion of cliche lurks at the edge of the page, the words threaten to peter out. Is it possible to say anything at all, or is the silence preferable? All one may do is gather thoughts together like stones in season, knowing that the cairn one builds of them to forge an inner landscape, will eventually crumble.

 

Julian Meek