59. Two Sides of Beauty

@Anglo-Scottish border, Cumbria, England.

The first question which is a question and is worthy enough to be called a question, about the Anglo-Scottish border would be the choice of being at this side or the other. It is not that much of a controversial question which makes one think so many times until being engulfed by nightmares as if it is Indo-Pak or Isreal-Palestine border. But here, it would be just as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe becoming a Scott in the Pierce Brosnan starrer from being a man from York. This would be just that much of different. Even the Indo-Pak thingy would be historically more of a lesser question considering the roots and not the present. The borders are never that much of a reality; it is just that creation of humanity for their security against their brethren about whom they have bad doubts due to their regionalism which they exaggerate using the term “nationalism” and that fake patriotism which would lead them to support sports team. Coming back to this particular border, it is the same United Kingdom on both sides, and it is that beautiful whichever side you are on. It is like the two sides of inspiration; on one side, it is the skylark and on the other side, it is the nightingale; here you see the beauty of Britian and on the other side also you see the same.

Therefore, casting that view through that area on this Southern side which inspired those poets of nature and committed that act of inception into Wordsworth, Coleridge and the rest of the team with a Lake Poet subconscious thingy and the unconscious of beauty, consisting of that Lake District and that Carlisle which was that border town which always deserved its title to be a gateway. There I was at this side of the border, the English side, moments before I was at that other side. At this time when months have passed after that Lake District, Kirkpatrick-Fleming and Carlisle write-up, the shades are alive and they live through every point of that road not taken, those which diverged in the woods for Robert Frost, and that road which diverged from Jerusalem, Amman and Cairo for me, from the religious and spiritual capital to the literature capital; to that aesthetic head which had no mere architectural beauty, but also that beauty of nature which created that effect of that edible thing they named sandwich, as on that special area I used to be, neither here nor there but still everywhere by intellect’s wraith like ability, for that was the time when Jerusalem took the backseat; even Rome would have backed away for Canterbury and York.

Thos mountains, or hills which were visible from that side; they would have been the holders of the Celtic secrets of the past; those motorways twisting all around them as if a serpent or a lost hair of that great Gorgon sister Medusa herself; the roads getting split into many as if to show that sign of a road not taken, as each road taken had lead to so many being not taken. When one is going at that high a speed, it wouldn’t be easy to see all of those until they are lost in that micro second; just like those trees, mostly green and a few of them yellow and of similar shades which claimed the attention of a semi-photographer with not that awesome a camera. There were the big trucks, but none of them reminded of the movie Joy Ride; not because of the New England setting of the movie, but also due to the absence of anything Gothic or horror related in that world of heavy Romanticism. Most of the cars were still faster; one has to wonder if they were guided by the love for nature creating that need to be there in the woods to answer the call of nature or just because there’s miles to go before they sleep and that barbaric world of no aesthetic sense had just infected their minds.

There was no scarcity of innocent creatures though; the sheep were many, but there were no lambs. Those witnessed were on this side of the border and so I would not think about them having anything of the Scottish side; a few of them raised their heads and looked up and the a few others walked away; there were the other proud ones who could not stop themselves from continuing that process of feeding themselves. The need for food brings that courage even to the most innocent creatures of Earth. Some of them didn’t even mind crossing the road of death for that. Blake would have been proud of the creatures of innocence which could stand on their feet, but what about Pan? The fauns and satyrs would be of less importance too. Their courage and wisdom would have to take a backseat. That Pan of Arcadia would need something extra from Athena or may be store a little more of what he get in those horns. May be he could get into a few of those intelligent sheep and learn that lesson which the animals learn the hard way rather than going to those universities. He could be fit and he could survive, considering the possible presence of powerful divine wine.

Lake District and then Carlisle on one side and Kirkpatrick-Fleming on the other side were the quickest ones to enter the camera and leaving only very less amount of time between them as if each of them wanted to be in the electronic device faster than the other. It was inspiration on the other side up north, even before reaching that monument made for Sir Walter Scott, and that was King Robert The Bruce’s Cave which was that spider inspiration for me. It was where that Bruce, the man who wasn’t depicted that greatly in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart took refuge during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Edward I might have been that much of a fiery figure for him, but he really choose such a cave or what resembled it, that would have been so difficult to reach even for Christopher Nolan’s much improved Dark Knight. But he still managed to see that spider which was weaving the web with so much difficulty and trying again and again without accepting defeat, and got that inspired and won the Battle of Bannockburn and the rest was history. For my journey, the other side of the journey can be attributed to this historic person, and not to anything which might seem more important for any materialistic soul who awaited a raven to say “nevermore”.

The Lake District which was beyond the border to the south would be without the need for any description, as that fame which the Lake Poets like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey might have brought to the area can be considered that immense. What inspired so many good men of great talent cannot be described that easily, but as a whole it has to be more known than any other place. If it is to be summarized in a shorter way, it can be considered a synonym for beauty, or whatever lies as the opposite of all those bad and evil things. As Carlisle lies near enough to the Lakes and that close to the border and hosts the Carlisle Lake District Airport, I had to consider them together; with the great Carlisle Cathedral and Castle which were spectators to some of the big events in history, being at the border of two kingdoms. With the Roman origins tracing to the beginning of Hadrian’s Wall, there is no scarcity of history and there is no absence of beauty at any moment. Each and every time one thinks about border, there is no stopping the mind to be at this border, on both sides in a small interval of time. When Keats said “”A thing of beauty is a joy for ever” in his Endymion and “Beauty is truth, truth beauty” in his Ode on a Grecian Urn, there is no doubt which part of the world made him say it.

Diving out —>