“The Great Orme, it seems, hasn’t quite finished with us, yet.”
“So it would appear.”
“There is a walk…”
“Not more walking.”
“…Which can be driven.”
“Let’s do that, then.”
“You see faces?”
“Yes, I see faces.”
“Then you are possessed. You are a believer, born again, and yet you see faces so you are possessed.”
“Possessed by what precisely?”
“The Spirit of Animism.”
“There are a lot of ugly looking lions in Portmeirion.”
We shrink from wondering whether or not one of them is devouring the Buddha’s missing right forearm.
“And lots of steps.”
“Number Six spends a lot of time in the village running up and down steps.”
Run up one set of steps in Portmeirion and a Mansion becomes a Two-up-Two-down.
Run down another and one is accosted by a plaster-cast-christ declaiming on a balcony from which depends a black sheep.
“Perspective. One is spatial, the other, intellectual.”
Here, the ridiculous jostles with the sublime to unfeasibly pleasing effect.
“It’s nothing more than a clutter and jumble of odds and sods, lovingly reassembled into, well, something, uncluttered and well ordered.”
“Much like memories, perhaps.”
“Or what memory makes of experience.”
In the corner of that courtyard there, a manicured tree sprouts in-front of a doorway.
Or rather, a doorway, which leads nowhere, has been constructed behind a tree which is then kept manicured.
Its the perfect place in which to reconsider one’s cardinal points and be reminded of one’s priorities.
Well, it didn’t take us long to get there did it?
But let’s ponder a moment
what this structure could mean…
We could call the two flanking uprights,
Summer and Winter,
or Night and Day,
or Them and Us,
and it would not really matter which was which.
If we did that though, what would we call the holed stone?
If ever there was a monument that ought to be regarded as fake.
This is surely it.
So far as we know it is unique,
although there are many holed stones.
The others are usually uprights, stand alone, and have much smaller holes.
But if it is authentic, and we have never come across
any suggestion that it is not,
then it is an indication that the ancients
ritualised, and that they thought symbolically.
This should not come as a surprise.
With a total disregard for tradition we tackled our ‘just right bowl of porridge’ first .
It is strange to say, perhaps, but this particular conglomeration of, once covered but now exposed, structured stone did not, initially, feel particularly motherly.
For one thing there seemed to be a general reluctance for people to step inside.
Was this fear, awe, reverence… ?
Perhaps it was a commingling of all three emotions…
The structure does cast an illusion of wanton precariousness.
Those undressed slabs of rock together comprise an impressive sight and tonnage.
The bones of our ancestors were once interred here.
More recently it has served as a sheep shelter.
Whatever it was it was soon dispelled as we got ‘down and dirty’ in the chamber in order to read a contemporary ‘Druid Prayer’.
There is a theory about male and female standing stones.
The broader, squatter, shorter stones being deemed female whilst the taller, thinner, longer stones are deemed male.
It struck me that if the Cap-Stone were upright it would probably be regarded as a male stone.
According to another theory the Cap-Stone would definitely be male, irrespective of whether or not it is standing, for it has seams of white-quartz running through it.
From this angle though the Cap-Stone, in its present state, looks like nothing so much as a bird skull.
Which notion may cause pause for further thought…
Was there a deeper level of symbolism at play than the familiar Womb-Tomb equation?
There is talk in the official literature of a possible second chamber and certainly from this angle the Cap-Stone looks quite badly broken.
It would also explain the curiously lonely looking ‘stone figure’ to the right.
Whichever way one approaches the structure it is hard to shake the resemblance to a modern day coffin with pall bearers…
Except, perhaps, this one…
The Cap-Stone possesses contours which closely resemble a distant Head-Land.
This is best seen in image one.
When the structure was covered in earth and grass this resemblance would, presumably, be even more accurate, especially if seen from a distance.
The portal ‘looks out’ across an ocean which has an island in it.
It is from this Isle, legend tells us, that St Samson flicked the stones to land and take up their present position.
So, St Samson must, at some stage in his story, have been a giant.
“It’s got a ‘wen’ in it!”
And if we had not already twigged
that really should have clinched it!
“How are they pronouncing it anyway?”
“‘Bosk-a-Noon’ – ‘The House of the Elder-Tree.'”
“They’re ignoring the ‘wen-bit’ then.”
“Or, we could just call it hidden.”
“How do they do that?”
“Make a stone that size disappear.”
“Well, at least it’s not yet started walking…”
By the time we left, though,
all the stones in the circle had begun,
what we call, ‘morphing’…
And somewhere a horn was sounding.
“If I didn’t know better,
I’d say the Wild Hunt was abroad.”