Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wuthering Heights

I love the Yorkshire Dales - often when I lived in Manchester years ago we'd drive up there on many a Friday evening, after a long working week, and spend all day Saturday and Sunday simply wandering along the moorland paths that lead you through the rich tapestry of hills and dales. The Dales are full of strange topologies that are commonly enhanced by the sheer bleakness and absolute silence of the place. Yet, often were the occasions when we observed just beyond the range of normal vision and sound, particularly around this time of year, an ancient type of almost chthonian mythos that could enfold itself outwards towards us, for a few moments at least, as we somehow had encountered or even disturbed it by our presence. In many respects, when explained back to ourselves in the black and white language of everyday experiences, after theses events, nothing out of the ordinary could be discerned- it was now just a lonely willow tree arching over the bend in the mountain brook- but moments ago, we'd glimpsed it literally in a different "light".

Often on our wanderings, we'd reflect on these little "visitations" in the local pub late into the night ..... and now many years later it often appears to me that these events are the reverse of the actual Husserlian Ego positing reality as he or she "holds" or "grasps" it within the Lebenswelt, where all manner of things are "enclosed in a mind space" by the transcendental ego at every moment of a person's being. Instead, there often appears to be moments, like those up upon the lonely, bleak moors, when something else, beyond the pure phenomena of the world beholds us for a time, and lets us see beyond the veil of Maya for just a few moments.

And, yet still I don't know exactly what it is that looks back at us on these occasions - people have always had names for these types of events - but just like all our wanderings across the moors often promised us that we'd surely come across the estate of Wuthering Heights or Thrushcross Grange, we knew deep down that despite all our efforts to retrace and find the footsteps of Catherine and Heathcliff, that we'd never get there, and, that perhaps the most sublime things in this world can only truly live in the eternal mundus imaginalis who can, and rare occasions, watch us, with our full attention while we endeavour to transverse this world too.

Photo by Pete Barnes