There is an LP that I own, and its spatial sound, the sound of the mix of all the songs and its lush, reverberating production remind me of a time and a place that I experienced “between lives”.

The place and the time are combined, though the place existed long before the time. The time itself involved travelling along a route through a landscape and I was there, present, but utterly dwarfed by my tinyness in its enormity.

In the blue of the sky and the brown of the fields lay all the potential of life, always in a strange time of the day like the afternoon where work or something else ought to be being done. Being in it was a reminder of how for some people life was going on successfully and confidently without me, and within me was how it ached to be left adrift and uncertain and alone.

It was very much NOT the landscape I grew up in, and I think it had to be something with being a stranger and a transplant, not feeling I belonged there as I experienced it daily, trying to work out the unravelling of who I had been and the influence of who I was thrust amongst.

The music unlocked the memory of the landscape years later as I tried and failed to carve out a place for me amidst a different emotional mess. All the time there was pride on my part getting in the way, but in the end although giving up a lot of that worked wonders, it ultimately led to me getting walked all over at times too.

I read that the route is that of a prehistoric ridgeway between the valleys of two rivers. The Romans adopted the route and paved part of it. It remained in use through the medieval period, being described by 1675 as the primary way in its part of the county. In the 18th century the route was turnpiked. Part of that sense of intense, continued use and habitation is, I think, something to do with why it resonates so strongly for me and why it captured how I was feeling when I first experienced it.

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