IONA MACKENZIE


Naarm Melbourne / Artist

Self-isolation & Working from Home



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I’m taking a photo of some old ruins in Scotland. They look like they were once a house of hefty stone bricks. The remaining scattered bricks are consumed by moss and debris, and when I turn one over it reveals its heavy impression in the soil. The previously peaceful bugs now squirm and burrow back into hiding. I think about how long they’ve slept under that brick. I turn it back over and regret having touched it. I wonder which rocks they were chiseled from. The ruinous house is surrounded by woodland — tall, thin pine trees that fade to darkness the deeper in I look. Looking back on the photo, I see that beside the ruins and between two trees there is the translucent apparition of a tall, slender lady dressed in a long white nightgown. Her figure sort of mimics the trees. And all she is, is white light. She’s staring right at the lens. I don’t recognise her face and I can’t make out the features because they’re blurred by the light her body is emitting. I feel a sense of comfort knowing she was watching me at that place. The next day I return to the ruins and feel pulled in by the trees. So I take a walk through the forest and eventually I hear a horseman galloping closer. I move aside, behind a tree, to let him pass and as he does I realise he is another apparition. He didn’t seem angry, but he was galloping with so much ferocity and energy that when he rode past I felt a gust of air hit me. For a quick second I saw his face, and he looked upset. It made me feel timid and scared. I wonder where he was going, and why he was upset. I sit with my back against a tree for a while, waiting for someone else to come by, but the forest dims and no one does.


(23/3/2020)