Here in Kilpisjarvi, the fast life doesn’t exist. A week ago I was back in Scotland, rushing through essays, articles and chores, and never stopping to breathe. Being a gentle soul at heart, this way of working has always seemed wrong, but I had to play the game. Edinburgh, my home city, is swarming with talented, dedicated writers all competing for the same few opportunities. Even if you’re published, you must continue to prove you are worthy. This takes, or rather we’re told it takes, a phenomenal amount of determination, resilience and productivity. If you have a day off you feel bereft, as though your one chance at success has slipped through your fingers and into the hands of another. I’ve tried tackling this problem for years, it’s just hard when you’re driven and eager. My peers seem to forget the old story of the tortoise and the hare, applauding my more stressful, speedy efforts. When you think about it, it’s no surprise: working both hard and fast is a very impressive feat.

My animated lake

Here, I still have my drive, but without the morbid passing of time. It’s difficult to describe. Local poet Johan Yuri captured these sensibilities with eloquence and simplicity. He wrote about how there is no time here in Lapland, but that its mist still impressions upon us. This resonates with me: here, I have no anxieties about time because I feel so connected to the present. The sunlight is perpetual and so it never feels like a particular time of day or night. The lake outside my window is an animation repeating over and over, operating in some strange state of flux and never getting old. Clocks are ornaments showcasing meaningless information — my body clock included. I feel mischievous and amiss, like a broken compass spinning round and round, taking immense delight in its own chaos. Artists, and indeed everyone who moves too fast, could benefit from time — or rather the lack of time — in Lapland. Of course, it has other high points too, besides its peacefulness and history. The food, which I have consumed in copious amounts, has been fantastic.

Although I love to cook back home, I let work get in the way. I also tend to live in my head, intellectualising everything and ignoring my body’s cries for attention. This is partly due to my over-ambitious work ethic, and also because I have joint pain. Switching off from this pain is a useful trick, though it means masking other sensations too, like tiredness and hunger. But when I travel, I become much more aware of my body and its need to be rested and nourished. It’s upsetting to notice the pain, but it’s great to want food. In general, I’m not keen on Scottish cuisine, especially not from canteens, as it’s often tasteless, unhealthy and unethical. The food here — a range of stews, soups and bakes — is delicious, combining unusual textures and flavours. My favourite is cake made with apple, cream cheese and cardamon — foods I’d never have thought to put together. However, I hope to get through life without ever having coffee cheese again. That one was a bit scary.

I’ll be sad to leave this place, but I’ll take its lessons with me. I’ve loved  having a clean, timeless slate to write upon, and I’ve enjoyed being around like-minded people. Our house, Kiekula, has been very sociable, inspiring great conversations about philosophy, science and art. I’ve taken various walks and hikes across unspoilt landscapes, and in the evenings I’ve been writing essays and learning Finnish; a complex and beautiful language. And when I’ve not been doing those things, I’ve been mapping the local area in an attempt to imbibe these ever-present feelings of timelessness, sleeplessness and hunger. I don’t know if this will lead to a significant piece or the most pretentious disaster ever created, but it’s been fun and that what counts. What is significant is how I feel about writing now as my residency draws to a close. I’m one step closer to dropping out of the toxic race for success. The fast movers will fire ahead at the speed of light, and they might get there before I do. That isn’t me and it never was. In order to be a happy and healthy writer, I need to leave that future behind.

Song for Birds 1     

Here at incredible Kiekula residence, enjoying many things including the House Martins whom we share the outside porch with. Their tweets have been non stop, so decided to give them a tune back-this ones for the birds! Click on Icon and enjoy their song as we have here….

Now my last day here so have tried to sum this experience up for me, later I will put some more sound pieces up after they are edited a little.

Elusive Being

This has without a doubt been one of the most powerful experiences I have had for a long while, the region has a magic about it that has entered into my dreams and soul; even the fridge purred in Kiekula like a content old cat!
For days I wandered and dreamt in subconscious merriment ever deeper towards the rare gems that lie there so long abandoned but never forgotten, surrounded by the mists of disorientation.

Could I find this place of mystery again, why hadn’t I heard its sound, why is there only silence?
Confusion and indecision being my ever faithful allies and guides on this quest; searching for a glimpse of paradise and hoping that the rewards of which would outweigh the many sacrifices made-I was trusting they would!

Trekking round lakes, traversing valleys, tundra and mountain-tops, descending into moss and lichen laden forests following the melodic song of birds and the smell of damp moist earth before finally laying down to rest beside a glacial stream, seeking its sweet song to be whispered to me.
Still this secret eluded me, that like anything that is slightly just out of reach you never quite get hold of it and maybe that’s because the desire is too strong, maybe it’s not that simple, who knows? So I told myself that when I let go of the desire perhaps I will find this elusive muse, so that’s what I did.
For I could not name what I was seeking even though it was familiar to my past, making the path truly mysterious but I knew it’s something-that drives me on, keeps me going and makes the moments of not knowing somehow more meaningful.
The path brings me here yet again to this land where time dwells not in a logical format but conjuring up the unimaginable and not ever what you thought it was going to be, bringing to mind the old saying ‘make plans, God laughs’ and I hear that sound, chuckling away!
Where doing may not be being, but being really is the doing and time spent trying to be, can exhaust you to the core.

Flabbergasted and tried to the last I sat upon the earth and made a fire with birch, fire not as fast as that but many times I kept at it; failure after failure ‘but I used to be one with nature, how is it the fire won’t light?
Self-doubt sticks its ugly head in and hisses in my ear; ‘city boy now, who’s lost his way severed from his roots and what he loves most, all passion gone aging body remains with decay setting in that’s rotting the teeth. The best is gone and the rest is not worth the paper it’s written on, a tale of familiar morbid truth is all that’s left-what is the point of anything’?
I stared in despair at the damp bits of twig and set my mind to focus on sparking the birch bark, I was going to do it, clearing my mind and releasing my thoughts ‘a moment of mindfulness’-as the tiny flicker of a small flame danced amongst the damp, there was still hope!
Huge powerful dark clouds loom over head threatening to quench the small friendly flame, behind Pikku-Malla sheets of rain fall on Swedish soil. A dream as a child where I was running away, but as I ran the dark thing chasing me became closer and closer, footsteps growing louder and louder, the faster I went the more deafening and bigger an closer it got, there was no escape THUMP, THUMP, THUMP, THUMP!

The fire cracked I refocused and the dancing continued slowly growing as I added more wood fed piece by piece, twig by twig-fire replacing smoke, warmth battled against cold, sitting myself closer to the flames feeling winter creeping nearby and darkness evermore at bay. After a while the fire was crackling and snapping, mountain water lapping on the shore, rhythms and familiar sounds as miraculous alchemy warmed my soul leaving me feeling not so alone. Reaching for my ukulele and striking a tune in harmony as Wagtails flew close by rising, falling up and down, reunited with other friends of nature once again; fire, water, air, earth, wood and stone keeping me company beside the lake of Kilpisjärvi, ‘being-home again’.

 

JR: I’ve spent the last two weeks here at the Kiekula residence on my first visit to the Arctic. I’ve never experienced 24 hour days, and it’s extraordinary how such a simple difference so radically alters my perception of time. When noon looks the same as midnight, clock time becomes meaningless. The most fundamental activities such as eating and sleeping are no longer triggered by darkness or by the angle of the sun. I can feel tired or hungry at any time, not unlike jet lag.

midnight in kilpis - view to the south of Kiekula House

EF: The strong ties to the daily sun cycle can be represented by aesthetic, psychological, and physiological relationships to light and darkness.  For many species and many cultures of humans, the deepest relationship to sun cycles are formed within the 24 hour sun cycle. 

JR: How do I cope? I am clinging to a regular schedule. At a reasonable hour I shut the curtains, put on my sleep mask, and make myself lay down to sleep. I seem to wake up after the usual 7 or 8 hours. Meals likewise happen at the usual intervals. Perhaps I am afraid to let go of regularity, of a reassuring rhythm that grounds me, connects me to my appetites for food, for sleep, for running and walking.

EF: Within a few days, my sleep time creeped along later and later and my wake time followed along in tow.  By the end of my stay, I fell asleep at 6am and woke at 4pm.  I believed that my biological clock was in a state that is called ‘free run’ – dissociated from the day-night light cycle (or lack thereof).  

Self portrait of sleep deprivation

JR: Funny how appetite and time are so closely connected. With clock time fading into the shadows, I am noticing how many clocks in my body are asserting their existence. My heart and my breath, eating, walking, running, sleeping: all are oscillating in their own rhythms. My heartbeat has become even slower than usual here, beating 36 times a minute while I write this.

EF: Fatigue set in at midnight, regardless of when I fell asleep.  Between fatigue and sleep, movements felt languid, thoughts felt prolonged, and the ‘wait’ seemed to be inescapable.

JR:As a composer, my activities are not as closely linked to the environment here at Bioarctica as those of many of the other artist residents. So what do I do here? Mostly I go outdoors. I run every morning, for 40 minutes or an hour or more, up and down hills, skipping over rocks and mud and streams, bumping into reindeer. And most days I go for extended hikes, from one to six hours.

Self portrait where 3 boundaries collide

Then I listen to music on my trusty iPad. I follow my nose, and it’s been leading me to highly rhythmic music, funk especially, and dance music of all kinds (The arctic solstice felt like funk). Finally, I compose and sketch fragments of various pieces I’m working on, or fragments with no direction home, complete unknowns, musical doodles.

I am noticing a thread here. Of all the elements in music–timbre, harmony, melody–it is time which is perhaps the most compelling, and the most mysterious. It’s notoriously difficult to talk about, to quantify or theorize, whether as local rhythms or large-scale structures. Yet it is said that timing is everything.

EF: These kinds of considerations are the lense through which I view the world. Particularly, I am drawn to low frequencies. Timescales of days, months, and years, are relevant to aspects of our experience like memory, reflection, and emotional resolution.  It is possible that time heals because it removes you from the moment, and it is viewpoint that keeps your perception locked in some ‘there’ – in some space. Music is like a moving image of time that takes me on a journey to other spaces.

JR: Arnold Schoenberg once told John Cage that he had no feeling for harmony, whereupon Cage replied that he would spend the rest of his life banging his head against the wall, trying to figure out harmony. I imagine Cage, whose wonderful innate feeling for rhythm can be heard in joyful 1940s works such as Third Construction in Metal and Credo in Us, banging his head in those same infectious grooves. And if I bang my head against anything, no matter how wonderful the world of harmony might be, let it be the rhythm wall. (If only Schoenberg had banged that wall every now and then.)

EF: It feels odd to say – counterintuitive, maybe – but I find it much easier to find myself lost in time to music that it very ‘rhythmocentric’ than while listening to music that highlights melody (Heartthrob – Futures Past).  Perhaps I am searching for rhythm, and that attention to time makes it more difficult to lose track of temporality.

Remnants of a prison camp

JR: On a hike north of the fell Saana, there are the remains of a German WW2 prison camp. I think of Messiaen and his Quartet For The End of Time, written in just such a camp.

At times in that piece, we can hear how his perception of time must have been radically changed by his surroundings, putting him in closer relationship with the idea of eternity, an idea which was also important in his Catholic faith. I am drawn to composers who have very personal takes on time, be they Messiaen or Cage, Stravinsky or Varese, Andriessen or Feldman.

EF:  The prison camp was settled in the basin of rolling hills at the foot of massive blades of mountain.  El medio de la nada. Everything was visible but you felt the ‘nowhereness’ in the superficial stasis of the environment.  Spending time in the location meant experiencing the flux of the wind, and the events that come with it.  As we grew to learn, many species and cultures of humans form deep aesthetic, psychological, and physiological ties to the cycles of the wind.

JR:I’ve come this far without mentioning the most striking thing about being here: it’s so beautiful. The plants and animals, the rolling alpine meadows and snowy peaks, the lakes and rivers, the quiet (no planes, no honking, no car alarms, no blaring music), the pure and tasty air and water, the colours, seeing nothing but nature for mile upon mile: how could anything be more beautiful? It shows me what I lose by living in a city. Being here is like finding roots I wasn’t even aware existed.

Lake Kilpisjärvi and Pikku Mala

 

It’s especially relevant being from Canada, a country whose identity is so closely tied to nature, yet which has become rapidly urbanized. How odd to go so far from home to learn about home.

Lake Louise and the Valley of Ten Peaks

by James Rolfe, 29 June 2014

I’ve spent the last two weeks here at the Kiekula residence on my first visit to the Arctic. I’ve never experienced 24 hour days, and it’s extraordinary how such a simple difference so radically alters my perception of time. When noon looks the same as midnight, clock time becomes meaningless. The most fundamental activities such as eating and sleeping are no longer triggered by darkness or by the angle of the sun. I can feel tired or hungry at any time, not unlike jet lag.

How do I cope? I am clinging to a regular schedule. At a reasonable hour I shut the curtains, put on my sleep mask, and make myself lay down to sleep. I seem to wake up after the usual 7 or 8 hours. Meals likewise happen at the usual intervals. Perhaps I am afraid to let go of regularity, of a reassuring rhythm that grounds me, connects me to my appetites for food, for sleep, for running and walking.

Funny how appetite and time are so closely connected. With clock time fading into the shadows, I am noticing how many clocks in my body are asserting their existence. My heart and my breath, eating, walking, running, sleeping: all are oscillating in their own rhythms. My heartbeat has become even slower than usual here, beating 36 times a minute while I write this.

As a composer, my activities are not as closely linked to the environment here at Bioarctica as those of many of the other artist residents. So what do I do here? Mostly I go outdoors. I run every morning, for 40 minutes or an hour or more, up and down hills, skipping over rocks and mud and streams, bumping into reindeer. And most days I go for extended hikes, from one to six hours. Then I listen to music on my trusty iPad. I follow my nose, and it’s been leading me to highly rhythmic music, funk especially, and dance music of all kinds. Finally, I compose and sketch fragments of various pieces I’m working on, or fragments with no direction home, complete unknowns, musical doodles.

I am noticing a thread here. Of all the elements in music–timbre, harmony, melody–it is time which is perhaps the most compelling, and the most mysterious. It’s notoriously difficult to talk about, to quantify or theorize, whether as local rhythms or large-scale structures. Yet it is said that timing is everything. Arnold Schoenberg once told John Cage that he had no feeling for harmony, whereupon Cage replied that he would spend the rest of his life banging his head against the wall, trying to figure out harmony. I imagine Cage, whose wonderful innate feeling for rhythm can be heard in joyful 1940s works such as Third Construction in Metal and Credo in Us, banging his head in those same infectious grooves. And if I bang my head against anything, no matter how wonderful the world of harmony might be, let it be the rhythm wall. (If only Schoenberg had banged that wall every now and then.)

On a hike north of the fell Saana, there are the remains of a German WW2 prison camp. I think of Messiaen and his Quartet for the End of Time, written in just such a camp. At times in that piece, we can hear how his perception of time must have been radically changed by his surroundings, putting him in closer relationship with the idea of eternity, an idea which was also important in his Catholic faith. I am drawn to composers who have very personal takes on time, be they Messiaen or Cage, Stravinsky or Varese, Andriessen or Feldman.

I’ve come this far without mentioning the most striking thing about being here: it’s so beautiful. The plants and animals, the rolling alpine meadows and snowy peaks, the lakes and rivers, the quiet (no planes, no honking, no car alarms, no blaring music), the pure and tasty air and water, the colours, seeing nothing but nature for mile upon mile: how could anything be more beautiful? It shows me what I lose by living in a city. Being here is like finding roots I wasn’t even aware existed. It’s especially relevant being from Canada, a country whose identity is so closely tied to nature, yet which has become rapidly urbanized. How odd to go so far from home to learn about home.

The Four Seasons Project is a multi-media project that incorporates chronobiological research, innovative approaches to new media performance art, and experiments in music composition.
The Times Collide Group consists of scientist/visual artist Erin Fortier, interdisciplinary artist Jason Baerg, and composer James Rolfe. This Art and Science collaborative was born at a symposium called ‘Collide: Experiments in Music, Media Art and Science’, which took place at Hexagram in Montréal in April 2013. Collide is a two-year long initiative organized through a partnership between Subtle Technologies Art and Science Festival, now in its 14th year, and Continuum Contemporary Music, an organization in its 28th year, that is internationally renowned for commissioning and premiering cutting-edge contemporary music. The weekend long workshop launched five collaborative groups, each consisting of a media artist, a composer, and a scientist, with each group intended to create cross-disciplinary performances and installations. The collaborations will lead to public presentations, concerts, and performances in May and August 2015.

Times Collide is applying to Ars Bioarctica to do the work, research, and art, which will inform our collaboration. We intend to use the station as a forum for discussion about the nature of Time as a scientific concept and as an aesthetic experience. Our daily sessions of comparing notes and feeding off each other’s research and creation will deepen our collaboration and broaden the scope of the work that is detailed in our application.
Within our group residency proposal, each of us has a work plan that connects this collaboration to our respective practices. Chronobiologist and artist Erin Fortier will focus on the elements of biological timescales within the framework of traditional Saami temporal concepts and the unique surroundings of the midnight sun. For Composer James Rolfe, this will be the first of four carefully selected environments in which to explore the dramatic impact of natural rhythms on creativity, work which will ultimately be expressed in extended instrumental compositions. Interdisciplinary artist Jason Baerg will develop intercultural artistic exchanges that share knowledge through the creative process, bringing forth layers of meaning through Indigenous understanding of nature and perspectives on time.

Finally, during my last day here, I managed to get all the way to the summit of Saana. And it was worth it, although the wind was freezing cold. On the way up it was helping from the back, but on the way down it was blowing right in your face. No mist, luckily. The walk up on top of the mountain is rather pleasant, after the steep steps, although it is longer than you would imagine. There is always one more peak ahead. Coming down was almost harder because of the cold wind, but I did not feel tired before I was safely down on the main road. Only then did my legs tell me they wanted some rest. So now I have done my duty as a good tourist and feel I can leave the place content of fulfilling what was expected of me. And sure, I would be poorer without the views from Saana in my mind. The pictures on my phone are only a pale shadow of them, of course.

   

The ten days I have spent here have coincided with the arrival of spring. When I came I was astonished at the warm weather and the fact that the birches did not show any signs of green. And now when I am about to leave, I am surprised by the cold weather although the landscape is now all green around me. Although today was spent freezing in the dry, rocky moon landscape on Saana, some images of the beautiful foaming waterfall near the village I passed on my way to Lake Saana yesterday, can serve as a counterpoint.

  

The video works with Malla that I tried to complete here still remain to be edited, but for now this is enough. I am fairly sure to be back one day, perhaps already in the autumn, who knows. For now, thank you to the Finnish Bioart Society for the possibility to return here – and good luck to those who come after me.

Two days of mist and rain. Yesterday I walked on the slope of Saana toward Saanajärvi, but turned around half way, scared of the fog, or perhaps tired and cold, too. Today the weather was a bit clearer, so I walked up towards Jehkas on the nature path and marveled at the open landscape on the “paljakka”, above tree level. I begin to realize why people want to wander up on the fells.  I saw all the German remains, too, of the airplane that crashed and the camp for prisoners, weird rusty evidence of a war that seems so  far away in time. The rivulets had turned into rivers in some places, and the snow was treacherous, hiding the water underneath. I managed to circumvent a few problematic places but in the end I came to a river that was too much to wade across. I did not want to come back the same way, so I took a deep breath, abandoned the path (which was cut off by the river) and started walking towards Saana, since I calculated that the circular path would come back somewhere there. It felt scary, although there was of course no way of getting lost in an open area between such mighty fells. Nevertheless I was very, very happy, when I finally saw a stick with an orange colored top, the sign of the path.

After the majestic views and timeless emptiness on the “paljakka” it felt somehow sad, like when the party is over, to return to the slopes with vegetation, well trodden paths and murmuring brooks. I continued with some small experiments I tentatively started yesterday, for lack of any better ideas, that is, recording the small brooks of melting water that are cascading or trickling down everywhere on the slopes. The very first work I did by myself with a video camera in 1999 was following two mountain brooks  in Farrera de Pallars in the Pyrenées to the point of their confluence, during my residency at Centre D’Art i Natura there. So like a reflex, I tried to look at the brooks again, prompted by their omnipresent sound. I expected to get som picturesque but probably uninteresting imagery and used video mainly for the sound.

  

The still images I took on the same spots that I videoed looked really strange, when I transferred them to my computer. The grey sky is reflected in the water, and turns the images with water running over last years’ grass into flat surfaces, rather fascinating in their blandness. So what to do with these? Luckily I need not decide that now…

  

  

 

Today at noon I finished my Whitsuntide with Malla, or Little Malla, as I realized today. The real Malla is actually behind the mountain I have called Malla and is not visible from the shore. There was fog and mist during the night, but luckily the rain started only in the afternoon, when I had already finished recording. Beginning with a chilly wind and cloudy skies, through a white night with thick fog that completely hid Little Malla from view and ending with ominously dark clouds and no wind these twenty four hours were perhaps more interesting, albeit gloomy, than a day and night with blue skies and continuous sunshine.
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Strange way to spend the Pentecost or Whitsuntide, sitting on a rock watching a mountain, I thought, when reminded of the religious feast this weekend. Here those rituals seem irrelevant, although in historical times they probably had a lot of meaning even here. There is a saying in Finnish, related to the pagan precursor to the Pentecost that if you have not chosen your Valentine or beloved one by Whitsuntide you will remain alone for the whole summer. I guess a mountain does not count as an ordinary loved one, but does spending this special day and night with an entity of such strong character mean that I am somehow bound to be devoted to it for the rest of the summer? Perhaps I am too superstitious, and I would not mind meeting Malla again in the autumn…
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I have not yet looked at the material; the images here are snapshots taken with my phone, with a slightly different framing and of course without me sitting on the rock, but I have a feeling that the framing was fairly constant, since the tripod was well fixed. The first image, the foggy moment at  midnight, is the closest I came to the midnight sun and the second image is the last image, at noon on Sunday.
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The heat wave is over; a cold wind blows from northeast bringing a chilly mist from the Arctic Sea, perhaps even rain later tonight. It is hard to remember what it felt like to sit on the rock on the shore last night with the sun burning hot in my neck. Now, sitting on the same rock, I am shivering in the wind. The changes in the landscape during these few days have been swift. The birches are now green, since yesterday, and the ice on the lake has turned dark and damp today. The sky has been mainly grey today, no spectacular midnight sun tonight. Of course not, since I decided this Saturday-Sunday would be the right time to record a full day and a night from noon to noon. After the initial disappointment and dread of possible rain around midnight I realised the good sides to this boring greyness; the clouds cover the sun during those hours when it would be facing the camera, possibly blinding it. And there is the satisfaction of knowing that I did not bring my winter coat with me in vain. The temperature is estimated to sink down to + 4 degrees Celsius tomorrow morning. That is fine with me, as long as there is no heavy rain, which the camera would not like. While writing this, I am almost half-way through with one hour left until midnight. The light outside at the moment is like a winter afternoon. The clouds probably spread out the light in more evenly, and one cannot see the sun slowly sliding behind Saana.

Spring-cleaning was the prompt I received for today, which is a suitably exhausting activity comparable with staying up for 24 hours, despite short naps between the night sessions. While waiting for the next session – I go down to the shore every two hours – I have been cleaning my website, removing typos and minor errors, a spring-cleaning of sorts, too. The images here below are from earlier today, before the mist started pouring in from Norway, between Malla and Saana Fell. The wind makes my scarf flap while sitting on the rock, which is an unnecessary distraction in the image, but then again, documentation means documenting what happens, not what you would prefer taking place.

Why is it that the images I take as snapshots, without planning, always seem so much more interesting than the ones I deliberately prepare with a proper camera? Like these, taken in amazement when the ice suddenly began disappearing with an astonishing speed.

  

 

Rewriting an academic text on interaction as a pre-requisite for our contemporary understanding of “liveness”(and what that means for our relationship to animate beings in the environment that cannot provide an immediate experience of interaction, like trees, for example) has occupied me for most of the day. And in the evening I received a message from my colleague, who cursed some fallen trees that blocked the road and destroyed the electricity lines at the cottage. Trees can have agency, too, no doubt about that. I realized how protected and easy my life here at the station is, with three meals a day if needed, warm water, internet connection and all the electricity for the appliances that I depend on, from camera and computer to telephone and toothbrush. Without electricity most of our society would probably collapse within days.

I did a little bit of video this afternoon, well, this evening, although it looks like afternoon, I guess. Sitting on a rock at the shore for fifteen minutes, almost as a still image, to be combined in a long crossfade with the “empty” view, to let the human figure slowly dissolve into the landscape. (The editing I cannot do here, but that is the plan). The sun was burning hot, despite the chilly presence of the ice on the lake. I took two snapshots with my phone, one picture of the view, which the camera saw (albeit vertical, while the video image is horizontal) though without me sitting in the image, and another from where I sat on the rock, of the view that I saw. For once they were not that dissimilar. Sometimes the difference between what I see while performing and what the camera sees while watching or recording me is hilarious. Here the landscape is  continuous; there is very little that you would want to crop out of sight. The sounds of the cars passing on the road I would gladly do without, though. I hoped the glimmer of the empty beer can floating by the shore next to the rock would be visible in the latter image, but maybe not. The illusion of a pristine beauty is preserved, for now.