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Walking past the harbour I heard a strange cry, sufficient to cause me to stop. It was repeated, then, several seconds later, for a third and final time. There was nothing visible on the surface of the sea and I couldn't tell how near or far the sound might have travelled over the still air. I looked around the harbour but there was nothing unusual. The sound was reminiscent of the cry of a whale?
I paused, before slipping down the steep road that led to the harbour, continuing forward to walk to the end of the large, solid pier that provided a clear view along the waters of the Sound and across the Minch to Skye. I was alone, existing in the brief moment between the ticking of time, caught in the void between one second and the next. Nothing moved. Silence. I was living in a pause, moving through the still life of a painting. The black woolly punctuations on the hill were motionless. The sea a solid sheet of rippled grey glass. Silence.
At the boundary between land and sea, I stood in the border between past and future. The present, that moment that is no sooner named than it is gone, had expanded. Instead of a line between adjacent numbers, it had stretched and spread into an ongoing experience of 'now'. Taking my camera from the breast pocket where it lay, I began to explore my surroundings, taking delight in the smallest detail and in the unexpected symbols that I found there. An infinite border of opportunities that had been heralded by the three strange sounds, a countdown to this present. The present gifted as a present.
Clarity. Silence. To live in this line on the ruler of time was to be at peace. I had made similar journeys to different borders before. This time, however, I had entered the border itself, explored its meaning, and returned smiling.
Three strange hoots had called me away from time, granting me the present of time...
Author, Peter Kerr
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