The fourteenth instalment of Darren Hayman’s Thankful Villages project
I arrived and parked at what used to be the Chelwood Primary School. The ‘C’ had eroded from the stone. I kept taking pictures of the sky with just small parts of the village intruding the composition. I photographed the edges of roofs, the tips of trees and the tops of gravestones.
There was a stream of well-dressed people walking from their shiny cars to a function of some kind. There was a magnificent horse who kept coming closer to me whilst its owner hollered and shrieked a field away.
Chelwood was a village where I had arrived with no plan or strategy. My mind was blank. I let the sky lead me.
I was drawn to the crooked gravestones and then thought of the clouds in the sky. I considered how the clouds made the rain, that made the ground wet, which made the graves lean away from the heavens. I considered that every grave is destined to be untended eventually.
The church door was locked, so I sat in the porch of the church.
I wrote about death and the sky and the ground.
It was recorded on a cassette dictaphone. It’s supposed to sound like this.
Darren plays Caught by the River Thames this Sunday 7 August.