My Feet and Faith – #photographicmemory

In #photographicmemory, Features, HOME, LIFE by Sam Prance

#photographicmemory is a feature in which we ask someone to write about a nostalgic photo of themselves. It was created because sometimes you can find out more about a person by asking them to describe a photo than by asking them a ton of questions. It was also created because it’s nice to look at pretty photos.

10754772_10204416579926260_1104068295_nThese are my feet as I sat above a grey and windy Edinburgh, on Arthur’s Seat this summer – arty, I know.

Edinburgh is my favourite city in the world. I always feel like I’m not quite qualified to say that, since I have only ever visited it three times, but each time I go I’m reminded of just how special it is. Memories of a sunny Princes Street, drinks in pubs, and watching amazing/crappy Fringe shows with some of my best mates are things that will stay with me forever.

It’s actually some of the more awful shows which recall some of the best memories. On my first visit to the Fringe some friends and I saw a production of a play called Closer by Patrick Marber. It was performed in the round, in an absolutely tiny room and what ensued can only be described as a train wreck which resulted in over an hour of horrifically-embarrassing-yet-completely-hilarious stifled laughter. 

This was a less than ideal situation as a poor actor tried to deliver a heartfelt monologue about how her boyfriend had dumped her, less than a metre away from us. Not all Fringe experiences were of that calibre though, I couldn’t begin to list some of the brilliant things I’ve seen there.

With that in mind it’s unsurprising that every summer I visit Edinburgh my camera roll ends up jammed with photos of great friends and beautiful places; this photo was taken at the end of a week in which I’d been performing at the Fringe Festival and enjoyed these two things in abundance.

It stands out to me not just because it reminds me of this city and this week but because it represents a moment where I felt a real peace and joy at a time where my life felt quite unsettled. I had just left the safe environment of school, I was unsure as to where I would be going to university, and I had an unplanned gap year looming ahead of me. I realise that in the grand scheme of things these are relatively minor, perhaps fortunate, worries to have – but at the time they felt daunting.

And this could just be a romantic image of me sitting above a busy city and finding peace in solitude (or something wanky like that), but as a Christian I think it was something more than this.

I’ve been a Christian for six years now, and used to see Christianity as a set of rules and regulations, or a pose that I had to assume. As I grew up, however, I looked more closely at Jesus and have come to know faith as a relationship between me and God. And so as I sat there, I remember thinking and praying to God about his purpose for my life, and, despite the beautiful and exciting city that stood in front of me, it was my simple, stumbling, human knowledge of my Father in heaven that was the real focus of my peace. 

Charlie Coombs

Charlie is on a gap year, currently working in the Christmas department of a garden centre, slowly going insane at the sight of tinsel and baubles. 2015 brings more hope and less glitter with 7 months of travelling and a place at Durham University to read English Lit. An avid MNEK and James Blake fan, Charlie likes to think he’s a little bit edgy and urban, when in fact he’s still a sucker for countryside walks with his Labrador: Lottie.

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