Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stonehenge 2010

This summer I managed to get some great pictures of the ancient site when we visited as a group. This was my fifth visit, and for the first time I actually captured the feeling of the site.

The weirdest thing is trying not to get the two streams of traffic surrounding the peaceful stones, the constant stream of visitors (us included) circling the stones and clicking away, and in general the ridiculousness of the noisy, superficial 21st century crashing up against the solid constancy of the unknowable prehistoric past.

Our students, unable to walk among the stones, to touch them or to confront them one-on-one, can only snap camera-phone pix and chatter about the same old/same old as they circle around, thru the gift shop, and back onto the bus. Somehow, even the small distance of the grass here, keeping us out of their ring, disconnects us from their magic: they seem "not real," of course, but in a surprisingly unsubstantial way. The magical facts given by the headsets don't connect us.

But the stones are beautiful, silent, patient, and there as we pass through... 

In two years, I'll be back and they be the same, except for infinitesimal loss. Can I say the same? Would I want to?

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