Time (and a ‘second fiddle’ post)

Mostly this blog concerns itself with space, place and their representations on maps, ‘time’ plays second fiddle. But the Lines of Attraction mini-fest contained so many time distortions I thought they deserved unpacking. Without a watch and with no phone signal those five days in the yurt occurred ‘outside of time’, each moment was experienced in and of itself, I inhabited it as much as I did the yurt. There was a time-rich ‘dense’ quality to the experience. So, it came as no surprise to read how time literally alters with altitude:

“…time passes faster in the mountains than it does at sea level. The difference is small but can be measured with precision timepieces… This slowing down can be detected between levels just a few centimetres apart: a clock placed on the floor runs a little more slowly than one on a table.”                                                                Carlo Rovelli “The Order of Time”Can ‘now’ be cupped within an episode from 1774? I could have been Maskelyne residing in his bothy, taking a cuppa outside after dark to check the night sky for stars. Like he, eminent locals, surveyors and scientists met with me in my temporary residence to discuss the mountain; not quite a ‘re-enactment’ but echoes thereof: ripples in time. And on our last night we too held a Ceilidh though ours – in an age of health and safety – was a soberer affair, nothing burned (apart from the odd sausage). Stories and memories are like time-capsules, altering with age and telling, and during our Ceilidh new histories of Schiehallion were forged, new memories made alongside the playing of folk tunes as old as the fiddle (we did rescue THE fiddle from its ‘museumy bonds’, and heard it played – but not at the Ceilidh where the risk of history repeating itself was too great). I keep thinking back to a poem written by Jon Plunkett for the event which conveys those space/time fluctuations of physics so much better than I:

“We are talking minute measurements here.
fractions of fractions taken from the space
between a star-line straight and true,
and a plumb-lines slim deflection,
the subtlest bend of gravity,
the tiniest sway of cosmic force,
just enough to weigh the world.”

Extract from “The attraction of mountains, 1774” by Jon Plunkett, 2018

The ‘Yellow London Lady’ being played by Fiona Farris of the Lus Collective


About karenrann

Karen is a visual artist drawn to working from a sense of place
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2 Responses to Time (and a ‘second fiddle’ post)

  1. Callum McNeill-Ritchie says:

    ” Nothing burned (apart from the odd sausage) ”
    Cheeky! I’ll let you know those were re-enactment sausages who do regular Lines of Attraction stunt work to pass on the essence of the original ceilidh night !!

    I miss the post 1774 discussioms and tea that we shared – magical moments forever captured.


    • karenrann says:

      Ah Callum, I’m missing it all too, I took a little artistic licence to conjure ‘sausage gate’, hadn’t intended to diss your excellent cooking skills…


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