A soft prayer

Living in the shadow

Silence speaks volumes. The eyes of lost souls regard you from every wall in this place. A casual reminder that in the inevitable future we will all ultimately become fragments of the past. The ghosts of the clan walk the wings late at night. So it is said. We are strangers to this saga, though.

Chris is of a different generation. A new one. Not brought up in an era which feared a looming Soviet spectre. The word ‘Chernobyl’, to him, references a legend rather than a memory. The word ‘nuclear’, to him, has a non-partisan positivity to it; grand scientific potential, molecular level complexities and exothermic reactions of infinite complexity which are all unseen by the human eye. ‘Contamination’, to him, is the blackening of the house’s exterior wall caused by build up of coal dust from a nearby fossil fuel processor, run by a different energy company.

Later, we step out to film the landscape. The sky is grey, foreboding. In the distance, the vast blades of a wind turbine glide through the air with agile majesty, harnessing the strength of the gale which buffets us from far beyond the sea and casts rain in a horizontal direction, lashing our faces with the force of nature. We can’t see it, but we sure as hell can feel it. Between shots, someone mentions tritium, and I think of the god Triton, lord of the sea. As I look westward across the white-crested gunmetal waves, with the dark monolith of the power station in the foreground, I am reminded that humans have always been at the mercy of unseen forces and mysterious energies of far greater magnitude than themselves, and that they have always sought to somehow harness that power for their own furtherance. Or at least placate it. At one point I whisper a soft prayer to the wind and it suddenly abates, momentarily. Before I have a chance to contemplate this serendipity, the tempest resumes its onslaught with even greater monstrosity.