The Murrayville War Memorial.

The Murrayville War Memorial near Langley, British Columbia…shadows in the mist.
(P. Ferguson image, October 2018)

A late night to be sure

Trees hang over the road…this way home. Dark as those that absorb all light, blue-black sky, silver ripples bared across the water. To write of the night…the dark…exceptional stillness, save for scampering thoughts. This night I have been, watched and listened.

Northern France...our guardian trees. (P. Ferguson image, April 2007)

Northern France…our guardian trees.
(P. Ferguson image, April 2007)

I have seen trees as witnesses, branches as arms, fingers reaching – pointing across to the presences they sense. And those limbless ones, memorial shards to the dark days of men. There is hope in trees, but within their bark a record of hurt…blemishes upon their rings…they are their own fellowship…I have a perception that trees are wise.

Tree section in the In Flanders Fields Museum.

Tree section on exhibit at the In Flanders Fields Museum, Ieper (Ypres), Belgium. The black blemishes of the Great War within its 177 rings.
(P. Ferguson image, November 2018)

Our folly, with our thinking, to find a way to speak for all to see, to hear…a soft waver within…what are words without meaning, to play with expression…a watch to keep…the trees beating hearts pulse in the gentle flutter of their leaves. The day rests with its wisdom to begin tomorrow as shepherds of trees watch in a vacuum of diminishing light.

Punchbowl Crater, National Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii.

Punchbowl Crater, National Cemetery of the Pacific, Hawaii. Tree roots entwined with the marker to Ernest C. Anderson, 29th Marines.
(P. Ferguson image, August 2010)

To what do I speak? Images from a film this night that explores an imagination of one man…Tolkien. Middle ground my middle earth stretching to find in his imagination my own. The paths to Mordor, Sindarin Black Land…dark as those that absorb all light. How many of us experience the realms within this earth and sky, amongst all things spirit, ent, wraith and burning eye?

Imagination – the silent voice of creativity and now to find the pen.

Brookwood Military Cemetery.  The reddening of the leaves, nature bleeds.(P. Ferguson image, September 2010)

Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England. The reddening of the leaves. Nature bleeds.
(P. Ferguson image, September 2010)

About The Author

Paul has worked with the Paradigm Motion Picture Company since 2009 as producer, historian and research specialist. Paul first met Casey and Ian WIlliams of Paradigm in April 2007 at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium when ceremonies were being held for the re-dedication of the Vimy Memorial, France. Paul's sensitivity to film was developed at an early age seeing his first films at RCAF Zweibrucken, Germany and Sardinia. Paul returned to Canada in 1967 and was captivated by David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Bridge on the River Kwai". Over time Paul became increasingly interested in storytelling, content development, character, direction, cinematography, narration and soundtracks. At the University of Victoria, Paul studied and compared Japanese and Australian film and became interested in Australian film maker Peter Weir and his film "Gallipoli" (1981). Paul was inspired when he learned Weir visited the beaches, ridges and ravines of the peninsula. "Gallipoli", the film, led Paul on many journeys to sites of conflict in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Malta, Hawaii, Gallipoli, North Macedonia and Salonika. When Paul first watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, "The Civil War", Paul understood how his own experience and insight could be effective and perhaps influential in film-making. Combining his knowledge of Museums and Archives, exhibitions and idea strategies with his film interests was a natural progression. Paul thinks like a film-maker. His passion for history and storytelling brings to Paradigm an eye (and ear) to the keen and sensitive interests of; content development, the understanding of successful and relational use of collections, imagery and voice. Like Paul's favorite actor, Peter O'Toole, Paul believes in the adage “To deepen not broaden.” While on this path Paul always remembers his grandmother whose father did not return from the Great War and how his loss shaped her life and how her experience continues to guide him.


One Response to “Fellowship”

  1. W.R. Paul Ferguson says:

    For those interested in other Tolkien blogs on the Pipes of War website keyword search Tolkien. See There and Back Again (August 22, 2015) and Splinters (April 29, 2012)

Leave a Reply