collecting rocks to make pigment with, reflecting on climate change

The Cliff looms high above her head, there’s someone collecting rocks on the beach to make pigment with. She gets down on to the ground and presses paper onto the surface of the mud. A smile breaks out on her face as she peels back the page – she has successfully transferred the landscape into the notebook.  The traces of her walk are recorded without the use of brushes or pens.

She thinks about the Triassic age, before the Jurassic period, when major climate catastrophe resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. Maybe, in 2000 years, someone might find her footprints fossilised in this landscape in which he feels so embedded?

Some of the strata have uncannily straight edges, as if written or drawn by a ruler. The lines were formed by compressed mud and clay.

Nature found a way to produce geometric forms, even though humans think only they can do right angles, triangles and circles. Bubbles of water, or air, we’re trapped in the mud, leaving only the container that had held them there  – a perfect circle.

The earth’s surface appears to us to be suspended in time. Yet humans have shaped and changed it so often, it is hard to know where the edge of the natural and the built environment actually resides.

As she gathered her bags, the sun broke through the misty sky. Seagulls gathered high above the cliff. What about the birds’ skeletons – will they end up as dinosaurs of the twenty-first century? Alongside human remains?

The time when humans destroyed the planet and all it supports.

Hopefully it will recover, but maybe not in our lifetime unless we make changes. The Triassic-Jurassic boundary is marked by a major extinction in the marine realm. Was it marked by a line in the sand?

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