Weekend 211.1 (Man is the measure…)

landscape“But to me they were living and the turf that covered them was a skin, under which their muscles rippled, and I felt that those hills had called with incalculable force to men in the past, and that men had loved them. Now they sleep–perhaps for ever. They commune with humanity in dreams. Happy the man, happy the woman, who awakes the hills of Wessex. For though they sleep, they will never die.” – E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops

“Many people are fascinated by the course of the subterranean rivers; they track them, sometimes with maps and sometimes with dowsing rods, seeking for the life under ground. They pursue them as far as they can through uncompromising surroundings of council blocks or shopping malls or derelict plots of marshy land. On stretches of their route the outer world is in mourning for its lost companion. A verse from Job may act as a summary: ‘Even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men.’

The river walkers pace their journey slowly, recreating a sense of time that has been lost in the contemporary city–or perhaps time is altered by the presence of the buried river. It may follow the speed of the water beneath the ground. Time itself does not matter in the presence of the lost river.” – Peter Ackroyd, London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

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